Director: Henry Selick
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders (VOICES)
Release Date: December 13, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
From Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach)) and based on the novella of the same name by author Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Coraline is a wondrous, thrilling, fun and suspenseful adventure and the first stop motion animated film ever to be conceived and photographed in stereoscopic 3-D, unlike anything moviegoers had ever experienced before. A young girl walks through a secret door in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. On the surface, this parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life – only much better. But when this wondrously off-kilter, fantastical adventure turns dangerous and her counterfeit parents try to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to save her family and get back home.
Please Note: Shout! Factory provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Coraline’ tells the tale of a young girl named Coraline Jones who after moving into a new home with her distracted, workaholic parents uncovers a mysterious doorway that leads to another world, yet one that looks nearly identical to her own. After being unable to resist the temptation and travelling through, Coraline uncovers a copy of her own home but with more attentive and loving parents, not to mention all of her neighbors; yet they all curiously have buttons for eyes. Initially ecstatic about this new alternate version of her reality, young Coraline soon begins to realize that there is something much darker going on under the appealing surface, and she may be the only one capable of stopping whatever evil lurks within.
Originally released in 2009 and additionally notable for being the first stop-motion film to be fully created and shot in stereoscopic 3-D, ‘Coraline’ offered an animated film quite unlike anything that we had seen prior. Written for the screen and directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) and based upon the novella of the same name by Neil Gaiman, Selick guides along the dark and enthralling tale of a young woman’s brave and terrifying journey into a mirror world eerily similar to her own. Selick’s beautiful guidance and script is only greatly complemented by a talented and well-selected voice cast that includes Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, John Hodgman, Robert Bailey Jr., and Ian McShane who each contribute their own unique touch to this animated gem.
‘Coraline’ isn’t a terribly old film by any means, but has still held up remarkably well so far since its release in 2009. It still manages to effortlessly serve up all of the wonder, terror and charm that it did over a decade ago. ‘Coraline’ has also always been one of my personal favorites since I first had the pleasure of experiencing it in 3D during its theatrical release just over thirteen years ago (my, how time does fly) and if anything I’ve only managed to become a bigger fan of it in the years (and multiple viewings) since.
Thanks to the folks at Shout! Factory and LAIKA, ‘Coraline’ now arrives home for the first time on 4K Ultra HD with a truly spectacular new Ultra High Definition video presentation featuring Dolby Vision and HDR-10, painstakingly remastered by the team at LAIKA. The stellar new video presentation is only further complemented by a tremendous new Dolby Atmos soundtrack and a nice handful of bonus material in order to deliver a rewarding 4K Ultra HD debut that’s worthy of this animated masterpiece. The Limited Edition 4K Ultra HD Steelbook edition which I was provided for review only makes the release that much more impressive thanks to the truly gorgeous handcrafted artwork featured both inside and out. If you’re a fan of ‘Coraline’ that’s fully 4K capable and already considering a purchase, this one is highly recommended!
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Coraline’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, with the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio, from a remaster by LAIKA. The original press announcement mentions some details on the remastering and is included below:
“Coraline and ParaNorman were painstakingly remastered by the team at LAIKA, led by LAIKA CEO (and Kubo and the Two Strings Director) Travis Knight, and Visual Effects Supervisor Steve Emerson, who pored over each film shot-by-shot, paying close attention to every last detail and color to present these groundbreaking films in the most dynamic format.”
The video presentation for the 4K release of ‘Coraline’ looks spectacular as a whole and provides a clean, richly detailed and altogether quite gorgeous presentation from start to finish. It holds up beautifully throughout even during the various darkly lit moments and never suffers from any unexpected troubles along the way, ensuring that every background, character and everything else looks remarkably sharp and clean down to each animated line, providing a notable increase in clarity and specific details throughout. The Dolby Vision addition only improves upon nearly all of it and offers a gorgeous collection of rich, vibrant colors and satisfyingly deep blacks. Overall, this is a wonderful new Ultra High Definition video presentation that should absolutely thrill fans of this animated gem.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a new Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack is quite the treat in its own right and offers a crisp, clean and hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It consistently utilizes all seven available channels in order to send the music, along with bits of dialogue, creepy and action related effects, plus plenty more throughout the various speakers quite regularly, while never resulting in any dialogue or other audio content that may be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a fantastic new Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that perfectly complements the animated fun and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Coraline’ includes a nice collection of bonus material, the majority of which can be found on the release’s included Blu-ray disc. Both of the discs (4K UHD & Blu-ray) feature an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Henry Selick and Composer Bruno Coulais’, while the Blu-ray disc features plenty of additional supplements such as Featurettes, fun videos and more including ‘Inside LAIKA: Discovering the Characters of Coraline’ (running approximately 11 minutes in length), along with a look back at seven of the film’s key puppets with ‘Inside LAIKA: Revisiting the Puppets with LAIKA’s Animation Team’ (approximately 1-2 minutes each), plus ‘Feature-Length Storyboards’ for the movie (approximately 94 minutes), ‘The Making of ‘Coraline’ multi-part Featurette (approximately 36 minutes altogether), ‘Creepy Coraline’ (5 minutes), ‘Voicing the Characters’ (11 minutes) and some ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (9 minutes combined). Also included are the film’s ‘Trailer’ (2 minutes) and ‘Still Galleries’ for ‘Character Art’, ‘Concept Art’ and ‘Behind the Scenes’. A physical booklet with an essay by Peter Debruge, Chief Film Critic for Variety Magazine is also included within.
The Limited Edition Steelbook release features exclusive, gorgeous artwork on both the interior and exterior of the Steelbook case which diehard fans of this one should thoroughly appreciate. I’m not always one to prefer Steelbook releases, but this one is definitely an exception. You can view a beauty shot at the bottom of the review for a better look inside.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray disc included in the release and resized. They do not represent the quality of the 4K Ultra HD disc itself and will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
‘Coraline’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD & Limited Edition 4K Ultra HD Steelbook from LAIKA & Shout! Factory
You can purchase your copy of the ‘Coraline 4K UHD Limited Edition Steelbook’ by clicking on the Amazon icon below, or purchase it directly from Shout Factory HERE!
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