Although Jim is absolutely mired in deadlines and isn't supposed to do anything but draw for the next two to three months (fun, noh?), we snuck out late last night to see Coraline in 3-D! First, I've been dying to see it since. . . well, since loving the book PLUS loving Henry Selick's previous movies (Nightmare Before Christmas and James & the Giant Peach), and I've especially been anxious to see it since a friend took us on a tour of Laika Studios, right here in Portland, where the movie was made. (Here's that post.)
So at last we've seen it, and it is so beautiful and fun. Great story, GREAT art! I love that little blue-haired girl. I'm not a movie-merch buyer usually, but I'm pretty sure I'll buy a Coraline doll if they're cool, and they freaking should be, since the whole movie is made with dolls.
I reallllllly hope the movie does well this weekend. Doesn't it seem like a movie either lives or dies by its opening weekend these days? I know some films can transcend that fate and slowly build a fan-following, a la Slumdog Millionaire, but in this case, a big juicy box-office would be swell, because: we here in Portland would LOVE to see Laika Studios succeed. I want Portland to become a city of animators! HERE is a good article on the studio's background; one HERE on the current state of things, including rumors of a stop-motion zombie action/romance/comedy in the works! You may not know that Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, is the force behind Laika. He envisions a new campus in the Portland suburbs, supporting some 1000 jobs, making a movie a year, and that would really be GREAT for the city, and the whole movie-viewing world. Also: the kind of skill involved in making a movie like this does not just grow on trees. These are highly specialized skills. These people are artisans, and these movies -- made entirely by HAND -- have soul in the way that sometimes CG lacks. Not to bash CG; I love me some Pixar too. But I love the hand-made quality of stop-motion.
This is all by way of saying: Hey you! Go see Coraline! Bring all your friends!
It's available in 3D in some theaters, and is the first feature-length animated movie ever in 3D. It's not super-dramatic jump-out-at-you effects; there's mostly just this subtle depth and dimensionality to it that showcases the fact that, in fact, the movie IS 3-D -- filmed on real sets, with real puppets, etc. So you can see more what it was really like, making the movie.
Here's a weird little featurette of Neil Gaiman talking about "koumpounophobia" -- the fear of buttons:
Seriously, it's a real phobia, yo. See HERE.
On an unrelated note: IF YOU HAVE EVER DREAMED OF TURNING YOUR BLOG INTO A BOOK. . . Here's something for you. The book-making site Blurb has software that can "slurp" your blog and format it as a book and then print it! Pretty cool, huh? Not that I think this site needs to be immortalized on paper, but yours might. Plus, I just like the term "blog slurp."