Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A Coraline Linkorama

Now with crackle-fresh Add On.

The newest animated feature in town rolls out Friday, so why not tiptoe through a few articles of lasting interest?

Henry speaks again, this time in a more interesting interview than TAG blog unspooled down below ...

Henry Selick: You know, I love stop-motion. I've done almost all the styles of animation: I was a 2D animator. I've done cutout animation. I did a CG short a few years ago, "Moongirl," for young kids. Stop-motion is what I keep coming back to, because it has a primal nature. It can never be perfect. There's always something like—[Points to the Coraline puppet on the table.] Coraline's sweater, you can notice here that it's sort of boiling. And that's because people are touching it and moving it for every frame. There's an undeniable reality that I don't think any of the other mediums give you. You know these things are real even if you don't know exactly how they move, how big they are.

Mr. Selick gives a second interview here about Coraline's early development:

... Initially I was actually following the book too closely. The screenplay wasn't working; it didn't feel like a movie. Neil [Gaiman] encouraged me to go off--to not show him everything and just do what I needed to do. That's when I set it in the U.S., because I was more comfortable writing American English than British English. I introduced this other character, Wybie, to give Coraline someone to go up against in the real world. I made lots and lots of other adjustments, and he responded so well that that just sort of encouraged further explorations. So I learned with Neil that it was better to go off and do a lot of work, and then check in with him from time to time ...

Teri Hatcher is pleased that her first animation voice-work was for a trippy stop-motion 'toon.

"I've always wanted to be in an animated movie, but I never dreamed that I would be in this level of artistry," Hatcher says ...

"Henry had such a beautiful, imaginative, visual thing happening in his mind, as to how the look of the film was going to be, that he really wanted the voices to behind it to be seamlessly real.

"So it ended up in a way being similar to what you would do with any acting job — that you would try to find the sort of motivations, needs, desires, the situations of who these three people were, and what they wanted and what they needed

Rotten Tomatoes catalogues the cascade of reviews for Coraline, and they are not half bad:

... [T]his is a marvelous family story, tapping into all sorts of childhood dreams and nightmares involving Mommy, monsters and heroic youngsters. Selick's imaginative sets and puppets are in perfect pitch with Gaiman's fantasy. The 3-D effects aren't overdone but are used intelligently to make this world come brilliantly to life. -- The Hollywood Reporter

Ain't It Cool News points out that the 3-D version of Coraline wasn't shot with a 3-D camera (which Selick also mentions in a linked interview up above):

... Henry mentioned at the Q&A an even more amazing aspect of the film. A single camera lens shot the film in 3D. For every frame of the film, two separate photos were taken, then interlaced later for the 3D. This way they could approximate our visual depth perception on a miniature scale, which no camera exists to do. So essentially, they shot the movie twice and there was no miraculous new 3D technology, they did it mathmatically and with precision of human effort. Pretty amazing if you ask me ....

The Boston Herald interviews Coraline author Neil Gaiman:

Gaiman says his stories follow G.K. Chesterton’s theory of fairy tales.

“They’re important not because they’re telling children about dragons, monsters and boogeymen,” he said. “The important thing is they tell children that dragons, monsters and the boogeymen can be defeated.

“ ‘Coraline’ is for brave little girls of all ages,” Gaiman said. “It doesn’t say bravery means not being scared either. There are not a lot of films with brave little girls. This is a film to take your daughter to, and that’s one of the things I’m most proud of with ‘Coraline.’ ”

So the publicity mill is grinding ... and we're doing our part. (For no particular reason, since we have no affiliation with the project. But hey. We are all part of the animation community, are we not?)

Add On: The L.A. TIMES puts up a fresh profile of Coraline and Mr. Selick here.


Anonymous said...

Between Caroline and the LightWave CORE announcement, this looks like a great week for animation. :^D

Anonymous said...

is it me or does Coraline seem like a really expensive personal film. I'll go see it but curious how it will be or do at the box office..

Chris Battle said...

I'd much rather see a well-funded personal film than a by-the-numbers money-grab any day!

Steve Hulett said...

I'll go see it but curious how it will be or do at the box office..

Wait until Sunday. Then you'll know.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Coraline, I made this:

If you don't know about the Coraline Mystery Boxes, google it.

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