Theatrical Release: February 6, 2009
DVD Release: July 21, 2009


Based on Neil Gaiman’s international best-selling book, “Coraline” is the story of a young girl (voiced by Dakota Fanning) who unlocks a mysterious door in her new home, and enters into an adventure in a parallel reality. On the surface, this other world eerily mimics her own life – though much more fantastical. In it, Coraline encounters such off-kilter inhabitants as the morbidly funny Miss Forcible and Miss Spink (French and Ms. Saunders, respectively), and a counterfeit mother (Hatcher) – who attempts to keep her. Ultimately, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home.

Dove Review

“Coraline” takes the viewer on a creepy, imaginative and visually stunning journey. This movie is directed by Henry Selick, the director of “The Nightmare before Christmas” so it is definitely not a Pollyanna movie. It has some images of creepy beings reaching out to grab various characters and instead of a stuffed deer head we see stuffed dog heads adorning one wall in a home. The story is akin to the tale of “Alice in Wonderland”. In this creepy version, young Coraline finds herself in a parallel world where her house and father and mother all exist but are strikingly different. Her “other” mother in this parallel world wants her to come live with her, but Coraline begins to discover some hidden things which gives her a reason to refrain from that possible course.

Some of the images might be too frightening for young children. There is a nice scene included in which the family prays over their meal. At any rate, due to the content listed below, we award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this film for ages twelve and above. There is no content listing which crosses our level of acceptability, but please look at the content listing carefully as some families may choose to pass on seeing the movie. Those who choose to see it will behold a lot of eye candy with stunning visuals.

Content Description

Faith: None
Violence: Girl strikes young man on motorbike; hands grab the dad; scary evil woman character chases girl; cat claws at button eyes of evil character; several chase scenes.
Sex: None
Language: G/OMG-4; Cripes Almighty-1; Dingbats-1; Cat is called wusspuss a few times.
Violence: Girl strikes young man on motorbike; hands grab the dad; scary evil woman character chases girl; cat claws at button eyes of evil character; several chase scenes.
Drugs: Painting of George Washington is seen with a cigar in his mouth.
Nudity: A woman's breast is seen in a painting; one older woman has a very large bosom and at one point wears a very skimpy and risque outfit, with pastings on her breasts to cover nipples; the woman is very overweight and the scene is played for humor, and we later learn it is a disguise.
Other: Scary noises; reference to a water witch as a character tries to find water with a stick; mice are seen running around but are good characters; family prays over food; barking dogs jump up suddenly which might frighten children; tea leaf reading which is a bit of a joke because one person thinks the leaves look like a crawling hand and when it is turned upside down someone else thinks it resembles a giraffe; burping; some child ghosts with button eyes are waiting for an evil character to be defeated so they can receive their real eyes again.


Company: Focus Features
Writer: Henry Selick and Neil Gaiman
Director: Henry Selick
Producer: Claire Jennings
Genre: Animated
Runtime: 100 min.
Starring: Voiceovers of Dakota Fanning, Ian McShane, Teri Hatcher, Keith David
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter