If you are thinking of taking your kids to Coraline, first decide if you'd let them watch The Nightmare Before Christmas or Goosebumps. If the answer is no, you may want to hold off on this one.

Coraline just moved into a new house in a new city. She's bored, her neighbours are strange and her parents are too busy to play with her. But the discovery of a small concealed door soon solves all her problems. The tunnel beyond the door leads to a life much like her own – only better. Her "other" parents are attentive, the "other" neighbours are amusing, and Coraline is happy. It's a fantasy come to life; except that everyone has buttons for eyes. When Coraline discovers the truth behind the illusion, the fantasy begins to unravel and she must fight to be reunited with her real family.

As if the images of this picture were not captivating enough, the film is presented in 3-D. However, it's not your typical extension of the screen gimmick; rather, the dimensions are used to effectively enhance the story world. It becomes much more engaging to watch and impossibly more attractive visually.

Henry Selick, who also directed Tim Burton's untraditional Christmas picture, was definitely the best person to bring this story to the screen. Employing the same stop-motion animation techniques he used to bring Christmas to Halloween town, he sets the perfect tone for this eerie fantasy. It is the biggest stop-motion animation production ever made and the first to be made in stereoscopic 3-D.

Neil Gaiman, author of the original book, is a magnificent storyteller of both adult and children's narratives. Putting this captivating tale of abandonment and courage on the big screen is sure to impress fans and draw new admirers. The character and story-world Gaiman imagined are familiar enough to relate to but strange enough to be unpredictable and fascinating.

Coraline’s voice is provided by the ever-busy teen star Dakota Fanning. This is not her first voice job, nor will it likely be her last, because Fanning has the ability to express so much vocally. Consequently, the quiver in Coraline’s voice as she makes her stand sounds honest.

This is the perfect pick for anyone who enjoys animated films but desires an alternative to the usual sugary releases.

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