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DVD pick of the week: Coraline

By Arthur J Pais
July 24, 2009 17:04 IST
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A scene from CoralineIn the dark and utterly amazing fable, Coraline, a young girl with attitude problem and a raft of other emotional issues walks through a secret door in her new home and is stunned by an alternate version of her life. On the surface, this parallel reality is similar to her real life -- only much better.

But how long can the good things last?

Soon her new life turns dangerous, and her counterfeit parents want to hold on to her. Coraline, however, does not give up. Using her wits, resourcefulness, determination and bravery she plots her way back to her real home and save the family. She has become a very different person in the process.

Based on Neil Gaiman's international bestseller, which has been translated into more than 20 world languages, the 3-D stop-motion animated film was a modest hit at the box office grossing some $125 million worldwide (and still counting). It could become a bigger hit on DVD and Blu-Ray.

It was also one of the best-reviewed films of 2008.

'Director Henry Selick, the magic man behind The Nightmare Before Christmas, did the dazzling stop-motion animation (for Coraline),' wrote Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. 'Neil Gaiman (Sandman), a rock star among graphic novelists, wrote the story. And if that doesn't grab you, think of what Japanese anime genius Hayao Miyazaki did with another little-girl story in the Oscar-winning Spirited Away. Coraline isn't in that class but Selick and Gaiman will take you -- and Coraline -- for a certified wild ride.'

A scene from CoralineWith Dakota Fanning voicing Coraline, the film became even more attractive. But the film is not for the very young. Though it is rated PG in America, it surely is a film for children who are above 10 because of its dark atmosphere, spooky scenes and violent images.

'The director of Coraline (Henry Selick) has suggested it is for brave children of any age,' wrote the influential critic Roger Ebert, who gave the film three stars (out of four) in Chicago Sun-Times. 'That's putting it mildly. This is nightmare fodder for children, however brave, under a certain age. I know kids are exposed to all sorts of horror films via video but Coraline is disturbing not for gory images but for the story it tells. That's rare in itself: Lots of movies are good at severing limbs, but few at telling tales that can grab us down inside where it's dark and scary.'

Now the film's DVD package including the 3D version of the film (along with four pairs of 3D glasses) and plenty of behind-the-curtain extras is leading the DVD sales across America and Canada.

Many reviewers are saying that Coraline is one of the richest DVD experiences of the year, highly recommended so long as one doesn't mind subsequently vivid dreams.

A scene from CoralineExtras: The DVD is released along the Blu-Ray version. There is also a 2-Disc collectors version. Among the highlights is the detailed narration of how even the smallest puppet facial tick was brought to life in the film. Learn from director and screenwriter Henry Selick and Neil Gaiman about the intricacies of Coraline's alternative worlds. Fans can access exclusive online and interactive features through their Internet connected Blu-rayTM player, including, My Scenes Sharing; you can show your BD-LiveTM friends your favorite scenes from the film. 

The digital copy of Coraline can be transferred to iPod, Mac or PC and be experienced anywhere and at anytime!

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Arthur J Pais