It all started when Henry Selick met Neil Gaiman, just as Gaiman was finishing up 'Coraline', the novel. A big fan of Gaiman, Selick immediately planned to adapt the novel into a film. Taking the help of the Japanese illustrator, T. Uesugi, who created the astounding concept art for the movie, Henry Selick set about to shoot it in stop motion.
The result was a blend of brilliance and suspense.
Coraline Jones, an 11-year old girl, moved with her family from Michigan to Oregon's Pink Palace Apartments. The apartments are also occupied by a pair of retired actresses and an eccentric Russian acrobat, who claimed that he was on the verge of opening a rat circus of his own!
Coraline meets a mysterious black cat and a crazy boy nick-named Wybie, who gives her a cloth doll which looks exactly like her. Coraline discovers a secret doorway in one of the rooms in her house, and finds herself teleported through it, to 'another world' at night, where there were exact copies of each and every character in the story, everyone, except, herself. And every clone had a pair of buttons in the place of their eyes. Gradually a terrifying secret is revealed and Coraline finds herself the only one who can save her parents from an evil spirit.
Through the 100 minutes of running time of the film, never will the viewer feel that he/she is gaping at a stop-motion where the characters are all hand-made and the backgrounds are simply portions of a humongous set that covered almost 13000 sq.m. ! Uesugi's color palette brings out the difference between the 'real' world and the 'other' world brilliantly.
With excellent character designs and brilliant screenplay, Selick brings out the suspense and mystery that prevails in the Pink Palace apartments.
Though this is a family film, but I wouldn't recommend it to small kids as this is scary and real scary.
Lastly, beware of needles!!