Release Date: February 6, 2009

Movie of the Day for Monday, February 2, 2009
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Sure, he's made of cotton candy, but look at his dead eyes.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
12/38 John Seal A visual treat that is also one of the best horror films of recent vintage
28/82 Kelly Metz Very interesting story (I hadn't heard of the Gaiman novel until the movie was released), but stop-motion animation creeps me out big time.
84/169 Max Braden Remarkable set design and cinematography, and a pretty score, but psychedelic trips aren't for me.

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Those of us who work at BOP all have our quirky fanboy preferences. When our site began as, everyone seemed to rally around Kevin Smith. We also could have a few shrines to Aaron Sorkin, Joss Whedon and Bruce Campbell, among others. And there are a few writers who we really, really like as well. One of those writers is Neil Gaiman.

Gaiman has been delighting fans of fantasy for years now, with his most famous works including Stardust, Neverwhere, Sandman and American Gods. In recent years, he's moved seamlessly into the world of film, with Stardust receiving its own adaptation (which deserved a lot more box office attention). He also co-wrote the screenplays for Beowulf and MirrorMask. Now, one of his children's stories is headed for the big screen - in animated form.

Coraline is a great tale in that it not only dwells in the world of fantasy, but also is just a teensy tiny bit scary. Okay, maybe it's more than just a teensy tiny bit scary if you're a nine-year-old, but it's the good kind of scary. I think we can lose sight of the fact that kids of a certain age enjoy a good scare. I can remember curling up next to the babysitter, being frightened by movies like The Wolfman and The Creature from the Black Lagoon as they aired on late-night TV. Coraline will bring about similar emotions.

The story deals with a little girl who gets just a bit bored with her everyday life. That all changes when she discovers a secret door in her house that takes her to an alternate version of her life. Everything is so so close to her normal life - except for the fact that it's all just a little bit better somehow. Soon, though, Coraline realizes that her alternate world has real dangers, and her Other Mother plans to trap her forever. Our young heroine must find a way to escape and save her Real Family from something terrible.

Henry Selick is in the director's chair (do animated movie directors really sit in chairs?) for this one, and you should recognize his name from such acclaimed films as The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach (we'll forget about Monkeybone for the moment). With its dark but fun subject matter, there's a great chance that Coraline could achieve the same sort of fan favorite status as the Jack Skellington film. We're sure rooting for that to happen. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Coraline
Main Cast Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher
Supporting Cast Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Ian McShane
Director Henry Selick
Screenwriter Henry Selick
Distributor Focus Features
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG
Screen Count 2,299
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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