❉ This marvellous 4K presentation from Shout! is the ultimate way to experience this gorgeous looking piece of filmmaking.
“Based on Neil Gaiman’s novella, Selick’s adaptation was a hit with both critics and audiences when it was first released, and has grown into something of a family favourite, at least for more adventurous cinematic families. It’s a dark fantasy that takes genuinely creepy footsteps in the direction of horror, and for many younger viewers, the transgressive imagery will likely serve as a jolt to their Disney-fied sensibilities, while the subversive narrative sends a casual chill down their little spines.”
Over the last few decades, there’s been an absolute onslaught of animated or semi-animated or CGI-animated movies, looking to appeal to both children and adults, and rather consistently, the folks at Laika Studios, who specialize in stop-motion animation, have released some of the best efforts in this vein. Their debut effort, the 2009 production of Coraline, from director and master of the medium Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach), likely stands as their greatest achievement, in terms of both formal artistry, and multi-layered thematic discussions. Which really says a lot considering the other items that have been guided by the artisans at the Hillsboro, Oregon-based shop; in subsequent years, their titles have included ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Missing Link. And for Selick, it pushed his visual irreverence even further than before, perhaps even topping his ultra-surreal Monkeybone, which has found a cult-following after a quick theatrical death back in 2001.
The amazing team at Shout! Factory has recently released a limited edition 4K UHD Steelbook of Coraline, which for any fan of the film, clearly serves as must-own. Based on Neil Gaiman’s novella, Selick’s adaptation was a hit with both critics and audiences when it was first released, and has grown into something of a family favourite, at least for more adventurous cinematic families. It’s a dark fantasy that takes genuinely creepy footsteps in the direction of horror, and for many younger viewers, the transgressive imagery will likely serve as a jolt to their Disney-fied sensibilities, while the subversive narrative sends a casual chill down their little spines. The film tells the story of its titular character, a young girl with an inquisitive mind, who discovers an idealized parallel universe behind a secret door in her new home.
However, she’s unaware that it contains a dark and sinister secret. And from a story stand-point, that’s all you should really know, as upon first viewing, the film is endlessly rewarding when it comes to surprises, while the fantastic voice work featuring Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, John Hodgman, Robert Bailey Jr., and Ian McShane really seals the deal in terms of being a total package entertainment. It’s not hard to see why Coraline won Annie Awards for Best Music in an Animated Feature Production, Best Character Design in an Animated Feature Production and Best Production Design in an Animated Feature Production, and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature and a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature – it’s a technical knock-out on every imaginable level, and Bruno Coulais’ playfully scary musical score registers all of the proper aural notes.
The 4K audio visual presentation by Shout! is marvelous, with a depth and richness of color that is utterly striking to the eye. Featuring a new 4K restoration and sporting a 7.1 Dolby Atmos sound mix, this is the ultimate way to experience this gorgeous looking and sounding piece of filmmaking. Special features are bountiful and the outer Steelbook packaging has been exquisitely designed.
DISC 1 (4K UHD):
- NEW 4K Restoration
- NEW Dolby Atmos 7.1 Mix
DISC 2 (Blu-ray™)
- Inside LAIKA – Discovering The Characters Of Coraline Featuring Rare Test Footage
- Inside LAIKA – Revisiting The Puppets With LAIKA’s Animation Team
- Character, Concept Art And Behind-The-Scenes Photo Galleries
- Audio Commentary With Director Henry Selick And Composer Bruno Coulais
- The Making Of Coraline
- Original Featurettes
- Deleted Scenes
- Feature-Length Storyboards
❉ ‘Coraline’ 4K Ultra HD + Blu-Ray (Limited SteelBook™ Edition) and 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray (Standard Edition) was released on December 13, 2022 via LAIKA/Shout! Factory.
❉ Nick Clement is a freelance writer, having contributed to Variety Magazine, Hollywood- Elsewhere, Awards Daily, Back to the Movies, and Taste of Cinema and is a regular contributor to We Are Cult.. He’s currently writing a book about the works of filmmaker Tony Scott.