Coraline: From the Page to the Screen

In light of the new movie “Coraline,” directed and written by Henry Selick, whom you might know as the Director of the Nightmare Before Christmas, I decided to read the book before I saw the movie. The only thing that I knew about the book prior to reading it was that it was written by Neil Gaiman (Stardust, Sandman) and that Coraline enters another world and becomes trapped there. After reading it, Coraline quickly became my favorite of Gaiman’s work.

The story will be liked by fans of “Alice in Wonderland,” the “Nightmare Before Christmas”, “Pan’s Labynrinth” and “Spirited Away.” Coraline really is a tale about wanting something more, then realizing that what you have is the best thing you could possibly imagine. The book is also full of creepy imagery that left me turning the pages to find out what happens to Coraline next.

For those of you that are curious, here’s a quick synopsis of the storyline, without spoilers of course. Coraline, a self-proclaimed explorer and adventurer, moves into a flat in an old house with her parents. After hours of boredom and no attention from her work-at-home parents, Coraline decides to explore the house, where she finds a door to a world exactly like her own. Only, this world is better. It has toys to play with, dress-up clothes, pairs of her favorite Wellington boots in every color, and her parents want to spend time with her! But, there is something wrong with her “other mother.” She is just a bit too loving. She also has some weird habits like eating black beetles for breakfast. What happens to Coraline next is up for you, the reader, to find out.

The movie that premieres on February 6 is also something of a wonder in itself. It is completely stop-motion animation, like the Nightmare Before Christmas. Stop-motion is a type of animation where the characters are made entirely by clay, cloth and beads with a camera capturing each individual movement the characters make. Other examples of this include “Wallace and Gromit,” and “Chicken Run.” What’s interesting about Coraline the movie is that it is the first stop motion made for 3-D imaging. So, the movie will feel like you walk in the set with Coraline as the movie progresses.

To see some cool featurettes about the film, check out:

If you’re interested in reading the book, you can find it at our library, once I return it, of course, at a local bookstore, or on Amazon. There are also new editions of the book especially made for the movie, so fans of Gaiman may want to grab a copy.