I review a fair amount of children's and family movies, and often my eyes hurt from me rolling them so much because too many of these films rely on tiredly predictable plots, stupid animal jokes, morals so blatant that even the youngest audience members must be fed up, and poop jokes. (The same could be said about comedy films supposedly for grown-ups, but we'll argue that another time.) The idea seems to be that if a movie is squeaky clean and suitable for all ages, it doesn't have to be very good.

On the other end of the spectrum, I also watch well-made films like Wall-E and Ratatouille and now Coraline-- films that I enjoy very much. But are these really family films? How many children will like these movies, and what ages? Coraline is a bit scary at times and some kids are going to have trouble with it. But for children and adults who can appreciate the experience of a darker movie, Coraline is gorgeously fantastic, in all senses of the word.