Okay, so we’ve been waiting for this. When were we going to get something as cool as ”The Nightmare Before Christmas” again? “Corpse Bride” was OK but not great. Maybe it was a onetime thing. I was starting to think it just wouldn’t happen again. I am extremely happy to report that “Coraline” is absolutely amazing. As good as Nightmare? How about in some ways, even better? It has both lush and creepy locations, cool character designs, good animation and Dakota Fanning not being annoyingly precocious. Then add digital 3D into the mix and you have a pretty groundbreaking experience. “Coraline”, based on Neil Gaiman’s young adult novel, is about a girl who finds a little door in her new home and crawls though it. Once through the looking glass she finds herself face to face with her “other” mother and father, and they are so much more fun. They cook for her, they play with her, and pay attention to her. The only thing is, they have black as night buttons for eyes. So the eyes are dead and there is no soul, like you’re watching a Keanu Reeves performance. I kept looking for Tm Burton’s name on this movie and it was nowhere to be found. Turns out, Gaiman and director Henry Selick had things well in creepy hand. And I do mean creepy hand. You’ll see. Using Gaiman’s source material but not being a slave to it, Selick provides an immersive, wash over and envelope you movie. Perfect pacing and timing make it all the better with lessons about getting what you wish for, the perils of being blinded by desire and the age old lessons of innocence turning to maturity. A story arc worthy of “The Never Ending Story” but without the Kajagoogoo song. This is the animated dark gothic fairy tale we’ve all been waiting for from the rotating child/Goth/horror triumvirate of Gaiman, Burton, and Selick. It feels like we’ve been waiting so long, and I have to say “Coraline” makes it worth the wait. Interestingly, the 3D effects aren’t really used that much for “coming at you” scares. It is used in a much more clever and satisfying way. You see the depth of Coraline’s world. Backgrounds, foregrounds and everything in between pops with life and detail, from gardens to kitchens to creepy giant theaters. It’s truly amazing. You are drawn into the world. A world that slowly starts to become unsettling, but you don’t want to leave. Is this a movie for the younger kids? Well, the first half is. It takes some very dark turns and once again the trailer editors missed the point completely. Do NOT take young kids to see this movie. Older kids will love it and so will you. In fact, I think there was only one kid in the theater when I saw it, it was all Gaiman, Burton, and Selick fans. I felt like I was either at Comic-Con or Lollapalooza. The guy next to me asked me if I wanted to cosplay “Vampire: The Masquerade” after the movie but my wife and I politely declined. Here are some predictions: “Coraline” will become a classic children’s movie. It does what all classic children’s stories do: It tells the story with strong characters, creeps you out, and doesn’t condescend. It will also be nominated for an academy award. It may even be the best 3D movie ever made. You will enjoy every moment of this movie. But seeing it in 3D may just blow your mind.