The entrancing animated feature Coraline, faithfully adapted by Henry Selick from Neil Gaiman’s marvelous children’s novel, is an Alice in Wonderland story. The feisty, sharp-witted Coraline (voiced by today’s busiest child actor, Dakota Fanning) finds an alternate world behind a locked door in her apartment building.
Perhaps it would be more accurate to link Coraline to Lewis Carroll’s other masterpiece, Through the Looking-Glass, since what Coraline discovers is a mirror version of her own home, with a set of parents who, unlike hers, are dedicated to entertaining her and apparently have bottomless means to do so. Her own parents, who collaborate in writing gardening books, are preoccupied with publication deadlines, so she’s left to her own devices. And her parents’ finances are severely constricted. (Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman provide the voices for both couples.)