A well made tale about the importance of family.
Navigating around the features was a bit difficult.Coraline Jones is a girl that is bored with her life, her family, and her friends. She has moved to a new home and has absolutely nothing to do. One day she gets a glimpse behind a wall hoping that it will lead somewhere fun. Sadly, she finds that it just leads to a brick wall. Undeterred, she returns to this new place (most likely because it is the only thing in her life that interests her), and she finds that the brick wall is gone and she has found a portal to another world. In the new place she has a mother and father that have time for her and a life that it seems like any child would want. However, the grass always seems greener on the other side and once Coraline his fact, she decides that she maybe her old life wasn't so bad after all. The only problem now is can she return to it?
Clocking in at about nine minutes, these high definition, completed scenes looked really good on this release. Director Henry Selick gives viewers an introduction before each of these excised scenes, and this makes the whole experience feel much more connected. Essentially, these scenes were taken out for time purposes. The completed picture clocks in at 114 minutes so anything more than that might have felt a tad redundant. The scenes here are certainly worth checking out, but ultimately I think the cut of this movie that people got in the theater and on this release is all one needs.
Commentary with Director Henry Selick and Composer Bruno Coulais
Those interested in hearing about what it was like to voice the characters in this film will be happy to screen this piece. We get to hear from essentially the whole cast (Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, et al.) as they discuss what it was like to breath life into these 3-D, digital beings. There isn't anything that incredible about this piece, however, if one was an aspiring voice artist, I could see how they might get something out of watching this segment of supplemental features.
Making of Coraline
These are the following features available using U-Control. They are:
- Tours and Voice Sessions
- Picture in Picture
While the first two offerings listed are pretty pedestrian in nature, I absolutely think that would be animators (a group that I consider myself a part of), could really help themselves by watched this. As it plays within the picture of the larger film, users get to watch, in animatic form, how this movie was initially conceived. Considering that the final product looks incredible, it is pretty cool to see how it originated and what it ultimately became.
BD Live Features
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.... I am sorry but making only an interview with the director (which we already get on this release) and other small, afterthought content available on this format feels cheap. Especially since, depending on your connection, accessing BD-Live can be a lot of work. Why nor just include it on Blu-ray as that is the whole point of having this 50GB format any way, right? I honestly think once studios realize that people don't care too much for this stuff, they are simply going to wait 2-5 years and release the movie again in another Edition.
1080p - 1.85:1. Encoded with the VC-1 video codec. I know that I say this a lot but this movie was made for Blu-ray. Playing in both HD and 3-D, users have the option to choose how they wish to screen this movie. I only watched a little of it in 3-D (mainly because that format has always given me a headache), but even in "regular HD" things were as crisp as I have seen them on any Blu-ray release. There is so much happening on screen at all times. Things like little character nuances, the colors of the film, the background and foreground images are all on display here. There are no moments of over compression and it seems like Universal has handled this release with supreme kid gloves.
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. French and Spanish DTS 5.1. The audio on this release was really well put together. As I stated above, the picture quality is so clear that it shows all the small nuances on this film. Well, the people behind this movie's audio makeup seem like they have tried to underscore all of that. Yes, you have read that right. Bruno Coulais' score always seems like it is striving to bring viewers deeper and deeper into this world. At the same time, it isn't beating us down like Danny Elfman's scores sometimes do for similar looking films.
Coraline is shown in this front cover peering into her new found world, with the silhouette of a tree pulling her inside. The back features more of the characters from this film, a description of what this movie is about, a Special Features listing for this 2-disc set, a cast list and technical specs.
Coraline is one of those movies that will certainly be around for years to come. Directed by the person that gave us The Nightmare Before Christmas, this movie has the same iconic look as that film, yet, the story it tells is 100% different. I remember when this movie came out in the theater, I really wanted to see it but I sadly never got around to it. When I was at MovieWeb headquarters my bosses eyes almost bugged out when I told him that I had to review this title. One would think that my eclectic tastes would be known by now, but apparently they aren't.
This movie was really good. What I liked the most about it is that it tells a well known tale but it never seems to feel too familiar. There is a richness and depth to this story that makes viewers really come to feel for Coraline and her plight. Nobody wants her to have a boring life, so when things suddenly get exciting for her it is easy to see how she might get caught up in that. What she eventually comes to realize is the age old adage of be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.
This is a great Blu-ray release for kids, adults and collectors alike.