Coraline appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. A stunning image, the movie looked amazing from start to finish.
Sharpness excelled, as not a single moment looked less than ideal. The film came with terrific definition and accuracy.
I saw no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws failed to manifest themselves as well.
Much of Coraline opted for a fairly blue orientation, and in the “real world”, these tones tended to match the drab setting. Colors became more dynamic in the “other realm”, though, and they appeared as vibrant and bold as they needed to be.
Blacks came across as dark and dense, while shadows offered nice smoothness and clarity. I felt completely pleased by this amazing presentation.
While not as impressive, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack served the story well, especially in terms of ambience. A creepy movie deserved a creepy soundfield, and the mix used the various channels to form a moody setting for the tale.
During more action-oriented scenes, the track opened up well and created a vivid sense of the material. Expect a fairly immersive soundscape to emerge here, and music showed nice involvement as well.
Audio quality worked fine, with natural, concise dialogue. Music showed appealing range and clarity as well.
Effects offered nice reproduction, with elements that seemed accurate and deep. Bass response worked well, as low-end provided tight, warm tones. This turned into a more than satisfactory soundtrack.
As we shift to extras, we find an audio commentary from writer/director Henry Selick. Though the package credits this as a track from both Selick and composer Bruno Boulais, that doesn’t work out as implied.
Selick talks over almost the entire movie, and Boulais offers a few thoughts during the end credits. During his running, screen-specific commentary, Selick looks at the source and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, music and editing, shooting 3D, stop-motion animation and puppets, various effects, and connected domains. For his brief chat, Boulais tells us a little about his work.
Boulais’ remarks add a few nuggets, but he shows up for only about five minutes, so he gets too little space to tell us much. That leaves this as Selick’s party.
And we’re all invited! Selick covers the film in a thorough, detailed manner that brings the project to life. Selick gives us a simply terrific view of the project and makes this an excellent commentary.
A documentary called The Making of Coraline fills 35 minutes, 56 seconds with notes from Selick, author Neil Gaiman, art director Tom Proost, character fabrication supervisor Georgina Hayns, animator Jeremy Spake, lead hair and fur fabricator Suzanne Moulton, lead costume design fabricator Deborah Cook, art director Bo Henry, “Fantastic Garden” art director Matt Sanders, set dresser Bridget Phelan, supervising animator Anthony Scott, lead animators Phil Dale, Travis Knight and Trey Thomas, animator Suzanne Twining, VFX supervisor John Allan Armstrong, senior compositors Patrick Wass, Peter Vickery and Aidan Fraser, director of photography Pete Kozachik, and actors Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Saunders, Teri Hatcher, Dawn French, and John Hodgman.
“Making” looks at story and characters, the source and its adaptation, character design and art direction, cast and performances, puppets, costumes, set design/creation, animation, effects, and the film’s use of 3D.
Across its chapters, “Making” delivers a nice overview of the production, one abetted by ample behind the scenes materials. Those give us a fine look at the various techniques and help make this a worthwhile program.
Two featurettes follow, and Voicing the Characters lasts 10 minutes, 46 seconds. It offers info from Selick, Fanning, Hatcher, Hodgman, Saunders, French, and actors Keith David, Robert Bailey Jr., and Ian McShane.
As implied, “Voicing” looks at cast and performances. It adds to that part of “Making” and becomes a fun look at the recording studio.
With the five-minute, three-second Creepy Coraline, we hear from Selick, Fanning, Hatcher, Hayns, Cook, animator Juliana Cox and mold maker Matt Duron.
“Creepy” discusses some of the movie’s ickier moments and their creation. It turns into another informative piece.
Six Deleted Scenes take up a total of eight minutes, 37 seconds. In truth, only four offer actual “deleted scenes”, as the final two go down other paths. “Ribbon Mice” shows the animation that appears after the end credits, and we also get a montage of short cut snippets that don’t evolve into real “deleted scenes”.
As for the other four, three concentrate on Coraline and her real parents, while the fourth shows her with the ghost children. All seem interesting but not especially useful, especially since the added scenes make Coraline’s real mom seem even more unpleasant.
Note that the running time includes introductions from Selick. He tells us about the unused material and why it didn’t make the film. Selick presents good information, but the editing style annoys, as the disc’s producers create a strange, off-putting alternative to the usual “talking head” elements.
A second disc presents a DVD copy of Coraline. It includes the commentary but lacks the other extras.
An effective mix of fantasy and horror, Coraline becomes an involving effort. With excellent use of stop-motion animation, the movie creates a vivid world. The Blu-ray brings excellent picture as well as very good audio and a nice collection of supplements. Coraline stands out as a winner.