I went to see “Coraline” with Mel & Helen today; it was one of the best times I’ve had at the movies in a long time. The trailers I’d seen for “Coraline” over the last few months had me really interested to see the movie, but they really didn’t do it justice. It’s an amazing film in all aspects: it’s visually remarkable, the voice acting is superb, the story is compelling, and it has a fantastic soundtrack.

It’s a very dark movie in parts, and if you’ve got very small children you might want to consider their penchant for fright before taking them. Helen’s just turned four and she did pretty well, but there were certainly some parts of the movie that freaked her right out. The imagery in the movie can be genuinely creepy; it’s not “hey, something jumped out and solicited a scare” style fright, but the basic atmosphere and feel of the film that gives the scare. It’s incredibly well-done. Helen loved it, and I don’t regret taking her in the slightest; but if your kids are easily scared, you might want to weigh that when deciding whether or not to see this.

Also, keep in mind when you’re watching “Coraline” that every single thing you’re seeing on screen is an actual, constructed object – there’s no CGI in this movie. It’s completely hand-built, sets, props, backdrops, the whole works, shot in stop-motion. It’s a remarkable technical achievement.

I’ve left plenty of movies wondering why I wasted the $20-30 that it takes to get tickets and snacks for a movie at the theaters; this was not one of those movies, not by a long shot. The experience of seeing this on the big screen was worth every cent

My only regret: not living in a city where I would’ve been able to watch “Coraline” in 3D. I’ll bet that’s an amazing experience. Comment if you’ve seen the 3D version and let me know what you think.

Andy Bartlett

By day, I am the executive director of communications and marketing at Bemidji State University. The rest of the time, I'm a husband, father of three, and proponent of super heroes, lasers, space ships and explosions.

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