Coraline receives a super upgrade from Shout Factory and Laika in the form of a new 4K SteelBook that has this cult icon movie looking the best it ever has. The new 2160p UHD image is dazzling and the new Dolby Atmos audio track is completely immersive and wonderful. There are no new extras here, but the new packaging and new booklet are worth the upgrade alone. Highly Recommended!
Henry Selick made a big name for himself when he released Nightmare Before Christmas with Tim Burton, cementing his name into the dark stop-motion animated realm of children's stories. After more success with James and the Giant Peach and a few other films, Selick and Neil Gaiman teamed up for Coraline, based on Gaiman's book of the same name. With a fantastic voice cast and an utterly dark storyline, Coraline was destined to become an instant-cult favorite amongst new and vintage fans.
The story is about a young girl named Coraline who moves with her family to a small town and discovers a parallel universe behind a secret door in their new house. The caveat here is that while the alternate universe is quite fun and zany, there's a sinister and evil entity lurking in the shadows that causes Coraline to come to terms with her lot in life and make amends with her family. Still, after more than a decade, this film is sweet, charming, and haunting and leaves some lasting visuals that will no doubt conjure up some nightmares.
Here are our previous reviews of Coraline
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Coraline enters the parallel universe again with a new 4K + Blu-ray Disc set from Shout Factory and Laika by way of a glorious SteelBook. Both discs are housed inside a wonderfully painted steelbook that features new artwork of Coraline escaping the alternate dark universe with all of the scary characters. It has a purple and pink palette that looks amazing. There is a booklet inside.
Coraline delivers a brand new 2160p UHD 4K transfer with Dolby Vision HDR and it looks the best it ever has. Since Shout Factory and Laika started doing business together, these amazing collector editions have been out of this world, and Coraline is no different with this impressive steelbook. Their past collaboration on this very movie was wonderful, but somehow they managed to upgrade the video even more with HDR in 4K.
The color palette this time around is more nuanced and dynamic, revealing even more colors in that wide gamut. When Coraline arrives in the new town, the colors give way to bright versions of greens, blues, reds, and every other primary color that would be seen as the American Dream. Coraline herself is the contrast as she wears darker colors like purple and black that act nicely as a foreshadowing tool to the other universe. Inside the new house, colors are more neutral, but once in an alternate reality, colors are just slightly more intense and frightening. Black levels are inkier and purples stand out more. Mood lighting of orange and red is prominent as well.
The HDR enhances all of these colors, especially the black levels and white balance. Those black button eyes and clay dark hair look exquisite and are distinguishable from other dark corridors and hallways. The detail is extremely sharp and vivid. Those textures in the clay and plastic buttons look dynamite with all of their imperfections. The way they move in action sequences and how they're molded together is easily seen, providing an excellent-looking transfer. There are no problems with aliasing, banding, or heavy noise, leaving this new 4K transfer the best this film has ever looked.
This release comes with a brand new Dolby Atmos track that gives the previous 5.1 track an uptick. Right off the bat, the sound effects and score make an astounding presence that feels more immersive and louder than the last outing on Blu-ray. The sound effects are focused and have very smooth transitions when they need to from speaker to speaker. Those haunting sounds of the houses in both universes are fantastic. They are loud and boisterous on all accounts. The ambient noises of otherworldly sounds and other people talking sound wonderful.
One of the highlights of the entire Dolby Atmos track is the score by Bruno Coulais. It's eerily charming and brings all those particular notes to life through every speaker. Some of the bigger action sequences and the big crescendos of this score allow the low end of the bass to become a monster of a good time with a wonderful rumble. It's lively and frightening all at the same time. The dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow. And the height speakers allow for those wild and zany sounds to pop off overhead. There are no issues with this mix.
All of the extras are located on the Blu-ray Disc of this set. None of the bonus features are new since the Blu-ray was released about a year ago. There is a new booklet though. But all the extras are fantastic and are worth the time.
Previous release bonus features:
Coraline is still a hauntingly great time more than then years later. The characters, design, and eerie storyline are pitch-perfect. The new 4K image with HDR looks exquisite and is the best this movie has looked thus far. The new Dolby Atmos track is a stunner as well. There are no new extras, but the new booklet and steelbook packaging are out of this world great. Highly Recommended!