First, this movie was one that almost completely turned me off of CommonSenseMedia as a whole. Seeing the completely close-minded parent reviews about this movie shamed me as a parent, knowing that these people were my peers.
Corline is a movie that's not for evveryone. Yes, it's scary. Yes, the issues discussed aren't happy and cuddly like most Disney fare. No, Coraline is not likeable all the way through.
The very first thing I would like to address is the constant talk about the 2 old ladies who dance for Coraline. People have lauded the way that French and Saunders (Miss Spink and Forcible) dressed for this dance. They stated that "Her boobies were too big and exposed!". I'm sorry, but people that take severe issue to this need to rethink how they discuss the human body with their children. Yes, they are dressed in scantily clad outfits, but it is not with sexual overtones. It's how many public performers dressed in the era that they were representing. Yes, she has larger than normal breasts, yes they "bounce", but these things are done in a light-hearted manner. So if that description disgusts you, then Coraline isn't for you.
The overtones in this movie are serious and grave, as they are in the book. For most children, ages 7 and up (possibly 9 or older) are best suited for the film. If you spend any time looking at what the story is about, you'll understand it's not going to be a fluff film. Coraline is a girl who is not happy with her parents or what she has in life. She's presented with what looks to be an amazing life from her "Other Mother", and she's thrilled - Until she realizes that her "Other Mother" is trying to steal her soul, as she's done with other Children.
Coraline has to take a long look at herself, through the help of others, to recognize that her parents are fantastic, that they love her and that she loves them, and never wants them to go.
These are character struggles many children go through, especially when their parents, like Coraline, have moments in their life in which they are too busy, or have to do unpopular things such as moving away from friends, school, etc. Coraline acts out, and the entire story comes full circle, Coraline atones for her actions and, something that is handled better in the book, truly is changed from the person she was.
Do not go into this movie with an expectation that it's a fun fluff piece. As I mentioned, it's a serious, grave movie that deals with scary villains and is, to be honest, a "horror movie" for little kids.
Coraline sometimes uses words to hurt her friends because of her frustration and initial narrow mind, but this is necessary to show her growth throughout.
We, as parents, owe it to our children to screen movies like this before showing them to our children. It's clear that parents who blindly took their 4, 5 or 6 year olds to go see this were not doing their job. 10 minutes on this site or on reading a detailed description would have saved them an immense amount of grief.
And seeing the responses here from parents simply, as I've said already, makes me ashamed. The same parents who are fine with Nightmare Before Christmas blast this movie for having poor values and that it's too scary. Well, guess what people - The little kids in Nightmare Before Christmas walked around singing a song about how they wanted to kill Sandy Claws, Oogie Boogie fights Jack at the end using multiple types of guns, and Sally poisons the person who is holding her hostage. You're telling me that you're totally fine with that, but not this?
And how do parents posting her expect anyone to take them seriously? I see better grammar and sentence structure from child reviewers! It's a shame to see parents pour their thoughts into posts where, if graded by a teacher, would get a failing grade. If you can't coherently explain your feelings and thoughts, don't post at all. It does you no benefit other than making you look more foolish. That goes for people applauding this movie in the same way. When you post her, you need to post her as an adult, with an objective and OPEN mind. Anyone that doesn't should be ashamed of themselves.