Last night, I attended the Beverly Hills press screening of Henry Selick’s CORALINE, based on Neil’s novella of the same name. The press isn’t allowed to publish reviews before February 2nd, but I can say whatever I desire (neener neener).

And I say it was darned wonderful.

I loved how he depicted the characters; whereas Neil is more subtle, Selick dives right in with creepy bombast. (This is the man who brought us THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, after all.) Coraline, the grumpy blue-haired girl, quickly makes a friend (of sorts) with a boy — Wybie Lovat — whose invention and interpolation into the film version is pure genius. I completely adored him, especially in the banana slug scene. He and the Other Wybie make terrific foils to and allies with Coraline.

The Cat! Oh, my goodness, how I enjoyed the way Selick captured The Cat, as well as his wildly energetic and hilarious craftings of Mr. Bobinsky, Miss Forcible and Miss Spink. I can’t help but mention that I found particularly humorous his fascination with enormously endowed old women. Not sure what the obsession is about but it’s entertaining.

The Other Mother was damned creepy. I’m not going to say anything else.

The 3D had none of the problems that I experienced with BEOWULF. In fact, it was nearly flawless. And you must must must stay until the very end. An incredible bit of extended 3D work wended its way into the audience, taking my breath away.

And there you have it.

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