When Coraline moves to an old house, she feels bored and neglected by her parents. She finds a hidden door with a bricked up passage. During the night, she crosses the passage and finds a parallel world where everybody has buttons instead of eyes, with caring parents and all her dreams coming true. When the Other Mother invites Coraline to stay in her world forever, the girl refuses and finds that the alternate reality where she is trapped is only a trick to lure her.
Neil Gaiman is so contemporarily vital, both in literature and cinema, because he more than anyone else (with the possible exception of Terry Gilliam) notes that children and adults alike are fascinated with what lies outside our observable and tangible realms of existence. He realized the reasons storytelling have been significantly important since the dawn of mankind, and devised, as the Brothers Grimm did, that fairy tales and children's stories had to be haunting and entertaining to be both memorable and timeless. This is a great film depicting the growing sense as a child approaches adolescence that their parents and their world aren't exactly as they seem, and that through their trials and tribulations (the 'rites of passage', if you will) they'll reach the 'happy medium' they need to in order to find true happiness in their lifetimes. I definitely hope that all of Gaiman's books and graphic novels are made into movies (I most anticipate the 'Miracleman' graphic novels--both those by him and Alan Moore). Ones so well-written would truly be 'comic book movies' worth watching for me.
Quite dark, but entertaining and very well done. One of the few american animated movies I liked.