We went to see Coraline tonight. I probably wouldn't have gotten around to it this weekend on my own, but others were going so I tagged along.
I had seen a preview a couple weeks back, and wasn't impressed. I didn't especially like Nightmare Before Christmas, and iIrc I quite liked the animation of James and the Giant Peach but found much of the movie (except the one Roald Dahl song that survived intact) pretty forgettable.
So I was guessing that I would enjoy the visuals in Coraline but not especially like the movie.
But I was wrong. It's a lovely, delightful, charming, and (in a good way) spooky movie. It's hard to be sure of this, because I've seen several movies I liked quite a bit lately, but I think this is my favorite movie of the ones I've seen in at least the past several months.
It has a few moments when it states things a little too directly/explicitly. And I wouldn't recommend taking small kids to it unless you know they like creepy/spooky/scary stuff. And it's been long enough since I read the book that I can't comment on how faithful this movie is to the original; I'll have to go back and re-read it now. I did quite like the book, rather to my surprise at the time; I think both book and movie looked on the surface like things that wouldn't appeal to me, but both turned out to appeal to me quite a bit.
No spoilers here, but I think my favorite thing in the movie is something that's evident within the opening couple of minutes: Coraline's mouth is very expressive, and I love the attitude that it expresses. I think a lot of what makes me like this movie so much more than Selick's (and Burton's) others is that I adore the protagonist here.
. . . I should note that we saw the 2D version. I have yet to watch any of the latest generation of 3D movies; I suspect I wouldn't feel that the effect added much, but I don't know.
Amusing side note: as we were leaving the theatre, I overheard a snippet of conversation between two adults who had been sitting a row or two back from us (there were no kids with them):
"I'm surprised. I thought this was rated G, but [character] said 'rat crap' so I guess it must be PG."
(The amusing thing about this, in case it's not clear, is that there's a lot of other stuff in the movie that I would have thought of sooner as likely to result in a PG rating. The MPAA's actual PG rating is for "thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor." So I guess the phrase "rat crap" may've been part of it, but I suspect not the main part.)
Anyway, I'm drifting from my main point, which is: Coraline. Good movie. Go see it.