I can't believe I saw Neil Gaiman in person twice this week! I almost feel like we're best buddies now :D
I went to see the premiere of Coraline at the James International Film Festival (although it won't be out here till MAY!) and it was a-w-e-s-o-m-e. I loved it loved it loved it! Although my favourite quote in the book,
"If you stay here you can have whatever you want."
Coraline sighed "You don't understand, do you?" she said. "I don't want whatever I want! Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted? Just like that, and it didn't mean anything. What then?"
has been cut. In the film Coraline only says "You don't get it, do you?" leaving it a bit vague.
But other than that...wow! I can't wait to see it again. There were major changes, the biggest of all the addition of a boy who helps her considerably and gives Coraline a doll who looks exactly like her. There isn't a doll in the book, right? Then some of the scenes at the end were very different. But I loved that Neil Gaiman, at the Q&A after the film, revealed that Henry Selick's originally sent him a script that was too similar to the book, so Neil Gaiman told him he should try and make it more his, make some changes so that it would be an original and enjoyable movie by Henry Selick, and not just a book put into motion. There! Finally someone who doesn't think that the quality of a movie derived from a book is to be judged by whether it follows the book line by line or not! A movie is a movie and it should follow certain cinematographic rules, it must work visually. It's artistically impossible, I think, to produce a movie that recreates the book exactly without making any kind of change. It would be boring, and not just for those who have read the book. I never liked the Harry Potter movies for this very reason.
In the case of Coraline, I thought it was a wonderful piece of entertainment. I didn't think it was as scary as the press is depicting it, although I'm sure Neil Gaiman wouldn't be happy to hear it:P I just think there are a lot of scarier movies out there for kids, Spiderwick Chronicles for one. Or the aforementioned Harry Potter.
What came across strongly was the amount of love and care that the creators put into it. As Gaiman said in his introduction, everything that's in the film has been made by hand. And it still exists. The clothes were knitted by an amazing micro-knitter woman, Athea Crome. The music composed by Bruno Colais was mesmerising, so much that I'm seriously thinking I should get the soundtrack. For now, I'll just play the website's music over and over. And the animation was unbelievable! I know it's supposed to scare you away from buttons forever, but it made me want to sew my own Coraline doll with button eyes straight away, instead! Nobody can make me be scared of buttons, I love them too much. Now I only need to learn how to sew!
One of the best thing about the film was the colours. Pastel shades of purple, turquoise and green, with some very vivid reds and blues, that I find irresistible. Coraline's parents are gardening writers, and in the other world they have this magnificent garden filled with cherry blossoms, and magic flowers. That garden alone is something to see.
Then there's Coraline's clothes...aww I wished I had a blue star jumper too...
Oh wait, I can make it!(click on the drawer on the left to download the pattern). Seriously, I didn't know about this till I typed in "Coraline star jumper" in google few minutes ago and I found this!
I could go on and on about Coraline.I haven't even mentioned the acrobatic mice and their choreographies, or the 3D effects....
So, I'll leave you with my two pictures of buttoned eyes. I can't decide with one is creepier. The one where I smile and you can see the creepy teeth, or the serious one. I look like a ghost in both, anyway.
Have you buttoned your eyes yet?