Just as was the case with 2005's Corpse Bride, I probably shouldn't have gone into this expecting it to be The Nightmare Before Christmas, but I did, and it wasn't. By that I mean it's not a stop-motion masterpiece that is as humorous and imaginative as it is visually arresting.


That aside, this is still an enjoyable, entertaining viewing experience.


You've got a barrage of talented people lending their voices to the characters, including Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Ian McShane and, one of my all-time favorites (not to mention, one of Hollywood's busiest performers), Keith David.


The film definitely has it moments. Notable examples include Coraline's "other dad" playing a song for her on his piano, Coraline's "other mom" revealing her true colors, and the eyeball hunt. The movie incorporates some pretty dazzling effects that test the limits of what stop-motion features can do.


Nonetheless, it's missing that special something that has enabled Henry Selick's 1993 film to achieve well-deserved cult classic status.


For those interested (or for those who disagree with me completely and love the film, and there are many), I would suggest watching this in the Blu-ray format. Not only is the picture and sound quality worth the buy, you get a nice set of special features, both the DVD and digital copy on the same disc, and a pair of 3-D goggles that allow you to watch the film from another perspective.


I haven't tried that yet. Maybe a second viewing in a different format makes all the difference.

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