I don’t feel the need to write much, as I find myself agreeing completely with David Edelstein’s review for Fresh Air. Coraline is a brilliant piece of animation, beautifully presented, but I wish it could have maintained more aspects of the original story and had fewer additions. Some of them work quite well, especially the stunning new garden and theater visuals and the musical interlude, but others are unnecessary and distracting. My companions to the film, who have not read the book, found the convoluted search for ghost eyes distracting and formulaic, and I agree. These and other additions that detract from the story are regrettable, but the film is still both a visual treat and a great bit of storytelling.
Coraline is one of a rash of films that are beginning to come out in the modern “Real-D” digital circular-polarized 3D format, which is much more advanced than earlier techniques. The 3D here was subtle and well executed, but still bothered me. If 3D doesn’t give you headaches, see the film that way for an extra layer of fun. But if you think it’s going to lessen your enjoyment, best to just skip it.