Tuesday, July 1, 2008


A film that I’ve been waiting on for quite a while now has finally been scheduled. Hoorah!
I’ve been waiting for it since it was bringing together two terribly talented fellows, Neil Gaiman and Henry Selick.
That film, if you haven’t already guessed, is Coraline.
I mean, one of Gaiman’s darkest pieces disguised as book for all ages, adapted for the big screen by the man who directed not just The Nightmare Before Christmas, but also the underrated James and the Giant Peach and Monkeybone.
Where do I sign up?

Scheduled for an Oscar-qualifying run late this year, Coraline will get a wide theatrical release on February 6, 2009.
It will be the first feature for Laika, an animation studio based in Portland, Oregon, which specializes in both CG and stop-motion feature films.
Laika (for which Selick is supervising director) is backed by Nike founder Phil Knight, who is estimated to be a billionaire nearly eight times over.
That much green is fueling not just Coraline, but also a number of other potential titles, including Here Be Monsters!, based on the Alan Snow books; Paranorman, by Coraline story chief Chris Butler, whose logline involves, “…a small town under a secret curse. Only a 13-year-old boy can keep the town from being overrun by zombies, but no one will listen to him”; and another original story concerning the origins of Halloween, by Selick and Open Season writer/producer, John Carls.

According to Laika VP of development acquisitions, Fiona Kenshole, Laika’s position in the burgeoning field of animated features puts it “…to the left of Pixar and to the right of Nightmare Before Christmas.”
That sounds like just the shot in the arm animation needs with the frightening preponderance of CG cartoons featuring cutesy talking animals gamboling about in achingly familiar fish-out-of-water plots.
Best of luck, Laika!
May the Nike swoosh be with you…

Parting shot: Among the voice talents for Coraline are Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Ian McShane, and the brilliant Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French as Miss Forcible and Miss Spink.
I say again, “Hurrah!”

(Coraline OS’s courtesy of moviesbythebook.com and dakotafanning.free.fr.)

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