I went to the movies yesterday to see Coraline in 3-D. Overall, I quite enjoyed it. I don't expect it to become a classic on a par with The Nightmare Before Christmas or James and the Giant Peach, but it was very charming. The story, about a girl who discovers a doorway to a creepy yet enticing mirror world, presented an intriguing idea, but it didn't really follow through and instead finished in rather generic fashion. The stop-motion characters were delightful, though the movie had its share of CG effects as well, and, to be honest, I couldn't guess to what extent the character animation was CG-assisted. Makes me wonder how much longer this art form can endure.
The 3-D was disappointing. The last picture I saw in 3-D was Beowulf on IMAX. I thought it was pretty amazing, and that experience was what encouraged me to view Coraline in 3-D. Beowulf's 3-D may have been gimmicky at times, but, on reflection, I don't think the technology can be subtly effective. I'm never going to stop noticing the color-dimming lenses, the eye-straining blurriness, or the freaking pair of glasses on my face, so the reward had better be spectacular. In Coraline, I barely noticed it most of the time, and the few moments where it worked weren't worth the headache. If Beowulf came back to theaters, I'd probably see it again, but I think 3-D has a long way to go still before we start casually asking for it for everything.