Movie Review: Coraline, starring the voice of Dakota Fanning


Image Credit : IMDB

Movie: Coraline

Production Company: Laika Studios

Director: Henry Selick

Producers: Claire Jennings

Main Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Keith David

Release Date: 8th May 2009

Running Time: 100 Minutes 

Certificate: PG


Approaching Coraline’s 15th anniversary celebrations it felt only right to rewatch this brilliant work of animation. Henry Selick created an enchanting yet haunting children’s animation that any age can admire.


When Coraline and her family move into The Pink Palace she does not expect to find a whole new world or a whole other family. With the help of a cunning cat and three ghostly children, Coraline must save her parents from her other mother.

Analysis of Coraline

All be it a children’s film, Coraline delves into a dark and haunting story. The plot of the film is fascinatingly unsettling, adapted from Neil Gaiman’s book of the same name. The land painted by Laika Studios is wonderful. I am still reeling over the shot above the garden. The vivid colours and stunning animation juxtaposed the dark and twisted story, balancing each other out, resulting in a movie of beauty and horror. Having read the book and watched the film, I can confirm that it is a worthy adaptation.

Characters of Coraline

Coraline has an array of insanely interesting characters, from the ringmaster of a mouse circus to outrageous theatre spinsters. It is safe to say Coraline did not fall short in terms of character.

I absolutely loved Spink and Forcible. They added such great humour to the movie whilst aiding Coraline in her adventure. As we can expect from any characters being voiced by Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, the comedy duo delivered exceptional voice acting. Whimsy yet still managed to add to the haunting twists of the film.

Unconventionally the Other Mother was my favourite character. The complexity and unease that the character added to the film were brilliant. Teri Hatcher’s voice of honey juxtaposed the devilish character wonderfully. There are three versions of Coraline’s mother, the real one, the evil one and the even more creepy, loving one. Teri Hatcher transforms all three versions of this character into three separate entities that are all brilliant in their own right. Her character is one of my favourite components of the film.

Visuals of Coraline

The most poignant part of this film deserving of never ending praise is the animation. Coraline was the first ever animated 3D film. Laika Studios blew me away. It is hard to wrap my head around the dedication that the studio put into this work of art. Like I previously said the shot of the garden from above is exceptional, pairing it with the gorgeous score is perfect. The beautiful colours and warmth that radiated from each individual flower created an atmosphere of pure beauty and the craftsmanship that would have gone into this shot alone is unbelievable, there is so much character and beauty within each singular detail. For Laika’s first film, Coraline set the bar of standard extremely high.


The soundtrack of Coraline is gorgeous, the haunting French children’s choir makes for an atmospheric experience. Bruno Coulais created an astounding soundtrack that paired with the film perfectly, the score and the film are both creepy yet beautiful in their own way. Using a French children’s choir there is ambiguity to the haunting and beauty that creates wonder for the audience, I felt that the score was beyond effective at adding to the atmospheric experience of the film and putting a chill down your spine. The score in its own right is wonderful.


Despite being a children’s film the experience of watching this movie is unmissable. I absolutely adore this film and urge you to watch it in time for the 15 year anniversary celebrations, I look forward to watching the 3D rendered version in August.


Find out more about Coraline here