(with thanks to Chris Taormina): FilminFocus, an editorial site on film culture recently launched by Focus Features, has published an article on the upcoming animated adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novella Coraline, which was adapted into a graphic novel by Craig Russell.
The article, Coraline and the other Imaginary Worlds, offers an overview of the world of Coraline and other famous dreamscapes such as Alice in Wonderland and Narnia.
The site also includes an overview of Neil’s career, drawn largely from various interviews.
In Coraline, the eponymous heroine discovers a new world by accident. Having just moved into a new house in a new neighbuorhood, the inquisitive 12-year old girl is hungry for adventure and friendship — neither of which her busy self-employed parents can give her. All they have time for is work, leaving Coraline free to explore her curious new home, which contains in one room a strange doorway whose entryway is bricked up. Late at night, she returns to find the brick wall gone and in its place an open portal to another world, a universe that seems almost a reflection of her own.
Produced by Laika Entertainment, director and screen writer Henry Selick’s new 3-D stop-motion animated feature based on Coraline is due for release in February 2009 in the US. Dakota Fanning provides the voice of Coraline who encounters oddball counterparts of her real friends and family such as the morbidly funny Miss Forcible (Jennifer Saunders) and Miss Spink (Dawn French), and a counterfeit mother (Teri Hatcher) who attempts to keep her.
Ultimately, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home.
Selick (whose credits include James and the Giant Peach and Monkeybone) was in New York recvently with footage of the film and gave a brief Q&A, alongside producer Bill Mechanic, lead animator Travis Knight and costar Ian McShane, as reported on ComicMix.
Selick mentioned how well he and Gaiman communicated often and positively on the project and that Gaiman was often on the set and all of his notes were “easy to fix and completely justifiable”.
Gaiman himself has described the film as “3-D stop-motion extravaganza”.
“It’s the biggest, most strange, expressive, peculiar, enormous stop-motion film I think that’s ever been made,” Gaiman told Wired.com in a video interview. “Everything is created, everything is handmade.”
D3Publisher will release a video game based on the film for Nintendo DS, Wii and Playstation 2 consoles, scheduled to be released on 27th January, in close proximity to the film’s theatrical release in the US. A musical is also on the way.