LAIKA Animation Studio

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LAIKA Animation Studio

Postby TheButcher on Sun Nov 27, 2005 7:18 pm

www.animated-news.com interviews Henry Selick!

Henry Selick, famed stop-motion director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, recently took time out of his busy schedule to talk with Animated News about his new short Moongirl and some of his past and future projects. Henry has worked on projects as diverse as Pillsbury Doughboy commercials and the stop-motion sea life effects in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and continues to push the boundaries of stop-motion animation as well as making recent forays into the world of computer animation.

Any thoughts on your time at Disney in the late 1970s/early 80s?

While the studio was stagnating a bit then, I received incredible help in learning to animate and draw and tell stories from Eric Larsen, “one of the nine old men," and Glen Keane. It's where I met Tim Burton, Rick Heinrichs, Jorgen Klubien. I worked with Brad Bird, John Musker, Dan Haskett, Bill and Sue Kroyer, Ed Gombert, Andy Gaskill and a host of other talented folks who have remained friends.

Slow Bob In The Lower Dimensions - still any plans to develop into a series?

No current plans, I'm afraid, though there are lots of interesting fans of my old short.

Any interesting stories on the Pillsbury Doughboy?

I don't know his true origins. I know that when I was hired to direct a bunch of Doughboy commercials back in 1989, I received the top-secret Doughboy "kit," a little suitcase that contained one of the original stop-motion puppet bodies and heads. The body was made of an incredibly toxic material so we made a whole new kit of body and heads. And from the small team of puppet makers, animators, armature makers, etc. I put together to do these spots came the core group of Skellington Studios.

What are your thoughts now on MonkeyBone?

While there are some fans of the film, they are in the minority and the majority of viewers (both public and critics) disliked the film to the point of anger. Now, I do like the idea of shaking up an audience with a subversive comedy. But the price paid in my career has been substantial. Lessons learned are: 1. I need to stay the hell away from live-action and Hollywood and; 2. Don't challenge the audience too much unless you're doing it on a really low budget.

How did you feel about taking over Vinton especially coming in after the man himself had been "let go"?

The Vinton Studios changed hands before I got here. And, while I feel bad that Will lost his own company, it was not my doing. And I was not hired to become the new Will Vinton; he is an inimitable talent and major contributor to stop-motion animation. Vinton Studios was Will's company; LAIKA INC. (the new name here) is not my studio. I|'m a hired gun, a key creative (but not the key creative) who was hired to direct the short Moongirl and develop features.

How do you feel about CGI, having augmented stop-motion effects with some CGI and now directing a full CG short and upcoming feature?

I found working on my new all-CG short Moongirl very frustrating at times. But that's because the CG culture and vocabulary and processes took a while to get used to. CG clearly has taken effects in live-action films to places that stop-motion could never really go in terms of worlds created and the seamless blending of so many visual layers. I'm surprised that, so far, most of the CG animated features all look the same when there's so much room for visual invention in the medium. I'm really impressed with the two big stop-mo features Curse of the Were-Rabbit (I loved this film) and Corpse Bride (technically the slickest stop-motion ever done) though sadly disappointed that they haven't delivered the box office dollars that even mediocre CG features have delivered. As far as the technique of my new feature, Coraline, well, it could just as well tilt to all-stop-motion versus all-CG or a combo of both. We're running tests and crunching numbers.

Can you tell us a little about the origin, the genesis, of Moongirl?

There had been a contest at the studio for a short film idea and Mike Berger, a CG modeler here, had come up with the core concept of a girl who operates the moon. His idea was chosen by Phil Knight, and, after pitching my take of what I would do with it, I was hired to direct the short. I spent a while going down blind alleys before I had a script that seemed to work. The main thing I was going for was creating a new myth for kids with an almost Twilight Zone twist at the end, where a bigger story emerges from the parts you've seen. The whole lightning-bugs-being-magical element was from my childhood memories of the deep South, where I spent part of my summers as a kid with my mother's parents and my cousins, aunts and uncles and storytellers.

Was there ever any consideration given to producing it as a stop motion short, or was it going to be CGI from the outset?

No, it was always going to be CG, the first project to be run through a new CG pipeline that was under construction.

Was its recent screening with The Nightmare Before Christmas the only way it could be seen theatrically?

Howard Green, head of Studio Communications at Disney and an old friend, suggested running the short with the Nightmare Halloween re-release. While a few studios and distributors have expressed interest in Moongirl, decisions have not been made. It's possible it could premiere on TV or be attached to a nationally-released feature. (Editor's note: The news has just been released that Moongirl will be shown at the Los Angeles International Children's Film Festival on Dec. 10.)

Will it ever be available on DVD?

Moongirl, a kid's book based on the short, will be published by Candlewick Press next year. I wrote the text and Peter Chung and Courtney Booker, two of the key artists on the film, illustrated it. And included in the book will be a DVD of the short.

Did Joe Ranft have any involvement? If he wasn't involved with Moongirl do you have any last words about him? I remember you talking about him during the panel discussion.

Joe had a tiny bit of involvement near the end of Moongirl. He viewed a work-in-progress copy of the film and gave us a few suggestions. He seemed to like the film a lot. He was the best combination of brilliant storyteller and human I've ever known. He was a huge contributor to The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach and I don't think Pixar would be where they are without him. He was a sweet giant, level-headed then goofy, wanting to learn more, know more about everyone, drawing out the best in those around him in their work.

Can you tell us a little about Coraline?

Coraline, which I've adapted from Neil Gaiman's novel (meaning I wrote a screenplay based on the book) is in preproduction right now. It's the story of a not-happy-enough girl, smart and brave but very bored, who discovers a better version of her life through a secret door in the old house she and her parents have just moved into. She meets her "other" mother and father; improved versions of the real ones except they have black button eyes. This other version of her life seems like a kid's paradise with great food, magical shows, living gardens, etc. But there's a big price to pay if Coraline wants to stay there. We currently have started storyboarding and art directing the film and have signed Dakota Fanning to do the lead voice. They Might Be Giants are doing a handful of original songs for us. It's not clear if it will be CG or Stop-Motion or a combo of the two at this point. It's a great project and, working on it here at LAIKA reminds me of early days at Skellington Productions where Nightmare Before Christmas was made.


IMDB's Coraline page.

http://www.neilgaiman.com/index.asp

http://www.mousecircus.com/coraline/flash/coraline.html

Coraline @ amazon.com
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Postby Ribbons on Sun Nov 27, 2005 11:21 pm

Thanks for the info. I've been wondering what's been going on with Coraline. The Moongirl bit sounds interesting too.
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Postby Ribbons on Tue Dec 25, 2007 5:29 am

It looks like that adaptation of Coraline is finally happening. Here's a small clip from the film (which may take a while to load):

http://www.neilgaiman.com/mediafiles/exclusive/Video/Coraline/sneak.mov

The character design looks a little different than I expected, and the animation seems a tad choppy compared to newer (expensiver) fare like The Corpse Bride, but I liked the book quite a bit and am still pretty interested in seeing how this turns out.
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Postby Evil Hobbit on Tue Dec 25, 2007 6:31 am

I love how her hips move when she walks. There's a nice weird edge to it. Somehow the atmosphere reminds me a bit of the Zelda games when you enter a fairy cave. Ambient sounds and then a weird giggling tone of speech.
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Postby Ribbons on Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:44 pm

CORALINE TEASER

Looks sweet.
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Postby Evil Hobbit on Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:04 am

That looks absolutely brilliant!
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Re: Coraline - Gaiman/Selick

Postby Raziel on Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:38 pm

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Re: Coraline - Gaiman/Selick

Postby TheButcher on Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:50 pm

Take a look behind the scenes of Coraline from Rotten Tomatoes.
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Re: Coraline - Gaiman/Selick

Postby TheButcher on Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:42 pm

From Newsarama: Henry Selick, 2 - Coraline
Click here for Part One, in which The Nightmare Before Christmas was covered.

If you were to ask Henry Selick if he’s learned one important lesson in his three decades as an animator, it’s this.

“When possible always work with geniuses like Tim Burton.,” he advises, “who are not only creatively inspiring but in his case, also have the clout to protect the film from the studio system.”

One could say the same thing about who Selick is working with now. As everyone now knows, even Disney who put this telephone conference together, Selick has been hard at work on an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s bedtime story Coraline (also recently adapted as a graphic novel by P. Craig Russell). Selick himself is reported to have said he wouldn’t have done the conference if he couldn’t plug the movie, which is being produced by Laika, not Disney.

“The movie version of Coraline is very faithful to the tone and the spirit of the book,” he admits. “In the translation from book to film there are adjustments to story and character that have to be made. The main thing I always felt was I could not disappoint the readers of the book, and though some details have been changed and as well as the order of the sequences, I feel we will be successful. We will complete animation on Coraline in about 6 weeks and plan a February release of ‘09.

“I think that both Tim and Neil are extremely imaginative and real creators. In Tim's case he is a visual artist so the look of the film came from his sensibilities. Neil is not a visual artist, so I created the visual look of Coraline. As far as sensibilities, I think there is a little more whimsy in Tim's work, a little more sweet with the sours, comfort with the scary, but I'd probably exclude Sweeney Todd. Neil goes a little darker, primal like a Grimm’s fairytale. It’s a dark perfect modern fairytale that concerns itself with a primal thought every child considers; I wish I had other parents.

“That, and the button eyes.

“You build on what you know, so there is no doubt that some similarities between the two projects. I also have many of the original Nightmare team members working on Coraline. We've all grown and the visual aesthetic is ultimately a very different one. You'll see great animation like Nightmare, like a cousin of Nightmare. More like a second cousin. The last thing I'd want to do would be to try to rip off a classic film I directed.”

One thing that will be different about Coraline is the technology involved. Called ‘stereoscopic’ it will use a new shooting system that will greatly enhance the three-dimensional aspects of stop-motion animation.

“Shooting stereoscopically just gives you more of what is there,” says Selick, “just a little more sense of the reality of this medium, it does not live in the computer nor is it a series of drawings, it's an actual real set and puppets. Mainly it is the ability to capture images in a computer while you shoot. When we did Nightmare we could capture 2 images total. Now you can shoot the whole scene and play it back while you animate. This assists the animator but actually slows down the process because they keep checking it every time they shoot a new frame. Computers have slowed down what is already a time consuming process.”

This discussion about technology then moved things back to putting out Nightmare on Blu-Ray. Selick acknowledged the precautions he and Burton took when shooting the original are really going to pay off with this new release.

“The fact is the film was originally shot in 35mm film,” he said, “each image is pristine with no blur, so the source material is already high def, more so than a standard film. So the mastering is less of a challenge. Some of the details that may become apparent in Blu-ray are that we tried to add texture to all the characters and backgrounds as if they were an engraving. For example you'll see that Jack's stripes on his suit are hand drawn, and the hills behind also have hand made textures built into them. Additional details would be things like the leaves that Sallie is stuffed with, the bugs inside Oogie Boogie. Look into the shadow areas, there are hidden details there that have never shown up on previous DVD but will show up on the Blu-ray.”

Which in turn led back to the enduring appeal of the movie and the stop motion process.

“It is simply the fact that what were shooting really exits,” said Selick. “So you get immediate feedback and can make adjustments accordingly. I'd actually done stop motion prior to working on The Fox and the Hound, including some life size figures for an independent film of mine. While I enjoyed 2d animation while working at Disney, stop motion had a more visceral charge to it and was therefore where I was always going to end up.”

Besides, Selick admits there’s more than a bit of him in the movie itself.

“The character I'm closest to is Jack Skellington,” he said, “because as a director you often have to act out various characters for your animators, since I resemble Jack Skellington more than the other characters, I think more of my gestures got into Jack.”

As for his future? It sounds like Selick is going to be busy for some time to come.

“Sure I'd love to do a short film for Caroline Thompson's company,” he said. “She did a great job shaping the film's story from Danny's songs. There have been discussions over the years about a possible sequel [to Nightmare]. When those discussions came up about 7 years ago it was unsettling that it was suggested this time it would have to be done in CG. I'm glad that did not happen. As far as coming up ideas for a sequel, you have to admit there are a lot of other great holidays for Jack Skellington to take over.”

That would be cause for celebrating, wouldn’t it? Personally, wouldn’t you love to see what Jack would do to the Easter Bunny.


From Latino Review:
Coraline Set Visit Report & Exclusive Pic!
A Sneak Peek At Coraline
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick

Postby TheButcher on Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:46 pm

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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby Ribbons on Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:25 am

Holy shit, trailer!
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby so sorry on Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:31 am

Ribbons wrote:Holy shit, trailer!



:shock:

Jeebus, I think I'm going to have nightmares about that!
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby Seppuku on Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:42 am

Ribbons wrote:Holy shit, trailer!


Looking about as good as you can expect, short of locking Dave McKean in a tiny room and forcing him to spend 20 years of his life handpainting every frame (that's against the law, right?).
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:24 pm

Ribbons wrote:Holy shit, trailer!

*claps hands and laughs like a loon* YAY!
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby Nachokoolaid on Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:34 pm

That looks really cool, but I'm actually a bit disappointed. Not because I think this will suck. I actually think it's quite cool and it will be good. But McKean's images were so striking and horrifying that this really can't compare. But it looks like a damn good animated film.
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby Ribbons on Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:46 pm

The official site has gone live, with 26 alphabet-themed posters like this one here:

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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby Seppuku on Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:57 pm

Also, here's the first review I've seen online. And it doesn't look pretty. I quote:
Gaspode wrote:Coraline has just pipped Battlefield Earth as the worst movie I've ever seen.
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby so sorry on Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:02 pm

Seppuku wrote:Also, here's the first review I've seen online. And it doesn't look pretty. I quote:
Gaspode wrote:Coraline has just pipped Battlefield Earth as the worst movie I've ever seen.



Yikes. Somebody must have pissed in that dude's Wheaties before he went to see it. From the trailer, it doesn't look all that hot, but ranking it below Battlefield Earth?
That guy's got issues...
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby Seppuku on Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:11 pm

so sorry wrote:
Seppuku wrote:Also, here's the first review I've seen online. And it doesn't look pretty. I quote:
Gaspode wrote:Coraline has just pipped Battlefield Earth as the worst movie I've ever seen.



Yikes. Somebody must have pissed in that dude's Wheaties before he went to see it. From the trailer, it doesn't look all that hot, but ranking it below Battlefield Earth?
That guy's got issues...


:twisted: Sorry , that was me ripping into worst reviewer ever, Jondough. Gaspode apparently really enjoyed it. It was worth it to see you get all hot and bothered like that, though. Me-ow!
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby so sorry on Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:25 pm

Seppuku wrote:
so sorry wrote:
Seppuku wrote:Also, here's the first review I've seen online. And it doesn't look pretty. I quote:
Gaspode wrote:Coraline has just pipped Battlefield Earth as the worst movie I've ever seen.



Yikes. Somebody must have pissed in that dude's Wheaties before he went to see it. From the trailer, it doesn't look all that hot, but ranking it below Battlefield Earth?
That guy's got issues...


:twisted: Sorry , that was me ripping into worst reviewer ever, Jondough. Gaspode apparently really enjoyed it. It was worth it to see you get all hot and bothered like that, though. Me-ow!



Umm, err, I knew that. YEah, I was just playing along with you little game. Yeah, that's the ticket. :oops:
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby Maui on Sat Dec 27, 2008 3:20 pm

I've read Gaiman's novella and it's pretty much an Alice in Wonderland goes Goth type story. We've seen this done many times (The Alice in Wonderland bit), I doubt anyone can do it as brilliantly as "Spirited Away". However, I am a fan of Burton's animation and this does look incredibly promising. I hope the voice casting will hold their end of the bargain. I'm a little hesitant with Teri Hatcher being the voice of the evil, button eyed Mom!

I also think the hand running through the house is a bit of a rip-off from "The Addams family" (see Thing), but that's just my take.
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby monorail77 on Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:10 am

Maui wrote:I've read Gaiman's novella and it's pretty much an Alice in Wonderland goes Goth type story. We've seen this done many times (The Alice in Wonderland bit), I doubt anyone can do it as brilliantly as "Spirited Away". However, I am a fan of Burton's animation and this does look incredibly promising. I hope the voice casting will hold their end of the bargain. I'm a little hesitant with Teri Hatcher being the voice of the evil, button eyed Mom!

I also think the hand running through the house is a bit of a rip-off from "The Addams family" (see Thing), but that's just my take.

I think you mean Selick's animation?

But anyway, saw the trailer tonight and it looks pretty sweet. But it also looks not for kids. Am I right about this? My nine year old daughter really wants to see it.
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby Maui on Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:31 am

monorail77 wrote:I think you mean Selick's animation?

But anyway, saw the trailer tonight and it looks pretty sweet. But it also looks not for kids. Am I right about this? My nine year old daughter really wants to see it.



Yeah, I'm having a Sr. moment. This is what happens when you read up on "9" and "Alice in Wonderland" then go directly to the Coraline thread.

I'm going to watch "James and the Giant Peach" now. ;)
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby KlaatuBaradaNichto on Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:16 pm

It looks like Gaiman is having a bad flashback to his Scientology auditing, holding the old tin cans and getting his brain zapped.... no wonder they have button eyes. Scientology zombies.
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby Nachokoolaid on Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:22 am

I watched all those clips that the main page had up, and this really looks fantastic. I really think this is going to blow people away in 3D, since it's made using actual 3-dimentional sets. Moreso than something like Beowulf, which was already pretty cool.
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:15 pm

I got a chance to see this in 3D.

A wonderful film. I rated it VERY GOOD in my film journal. I highly recommend this film. It is not a light and fun kids film. So do not expect that. It is dark, but not so dark that you can't take the youngsters.
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby Ribbons on Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:12 am

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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby monorail77 on Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:45 am

Ribbons wrote:NEW TRAILER


Man, that looks great and super creepy. I think I'll have to preview this one before taking my kids. Might be too much.

I love the music in that trailer. I wonder if its from the score?
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:56 am

monorail77 wrote:
Ribbons wrote:NEW TRAILER


Man, that looks great and super creepy. I think I'll have to preview this one before taking my kids. Might be too much.

I love the music in that trailer. I wonder if its from the score?


It is. Love this film to death.

And yes, that score is from the film.
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:18 pm

That new trailer kinda gave me the heebies and the jeebies. Can't wait to see the film.
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Re: CORALINE - Gaiman/Selick (Now w/ Trailer!)

Postby MonkeyM666 on Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:54 am

This looks pretty sweet... I just happened upon the trailer today while looking for some other stuff.

Quite interesting.
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Re: CORALINE

Postby Ribbons on Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:42 am

BUMP

So this is getting some pretty legit reviews; 89% fresh over at Rotten Tomatoes.

Any Zoners planning on seeing this over the weekend?
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Re: CORALINE

Postby The Vicar on Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:44 am

Tomorrow morning. I am concerned that Jillian might be able to hack the level of "horror" in this film.
But she caught the making - of thingy on HBO and loved everything she saw.
So she's going. And she'd bloody well better like it too.
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Re: CORALINE

Postby Leckomaniac on Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:53 am

Ribbons wrote:BUMP

So this is getting some pretty legit reviews; 89% fresh over at Rotten Tomatoes.

Any Zoners planning on seeing this over the weekend?


Psh, my thoughts weren't "legit" enough for you Ribbons?

Well, I say good day to you sir.









...I said good day!
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Re: CORALINE

Postby Ribbons on Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:28 am

The Vicar wrote:Tomorrow morning. I am concerned that Jillian might be able to hack the level of "horror" in this film.
But she caught the making - of thingy on HBO and loved everything she saw.
So she's going. And she'd bloody well better like it too.


I grok you man, I totally grok you.

And no Lecko; good day to YOU, sir!
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Re: CORALINE

Postby The Vicar on Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:33 pm

Ribbons wrote:
The Vicar wrote:Tomorrow morning. I am concerned that Jillian might be able to hack the level of "horror" in this film.
But she caught the making - of thingy on HBO and loved everything she saw.
So she's going. And she'd bloody well better like it too.


I grok you man, I totally grok you.


Not on the first date, dude.....
.
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Re: CORALINE

Postby stereosforgeeks on Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:58 am

Besides some major pacing issues (as in the beginning lingered too much and the end felt too rushed) this was a great movie.

I absolutely loved the mice circus and the opera sisters stage show.

One thing that stuck out was that some of the phrasing the script used felt like it would be above the heads of most kids.

Creepy weird and all around fun.
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Re: CORALINE

Postby bastard_robo on Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:39 pm

I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVED this movie. Just very weird and refreshing! I do agree that the pacing in the beginning was a little off, but it finds its footing very quickly. There was a LOT of stuff in this film that goes over the heads of kids, and the theater I was in, you could cut the tension in the air during the Sisters Performance. There were a lot of kids and their parents in there and I don't think they knew what they were watching with nearly nude elderly women dancing and swinging around.

The 3D aspect was fine. Not as stand out as BEOWULF was (that being the last 3D movie I saw) but it did give it a great sense of depth though which was nice, but didn't make or break the film.

A definite must see though.
Last edited by bastard_robo on Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CORALINE

Postby Maui on Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:57 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. The mice circus and the old gals swinging from the ceiling were definitely a highlight for me as well. 3D effects were extremely cool (see garden scene). The score was amazing. Voice casting was impressive - I had my reservations with Teri Hatcher, but she did a splendid job as the evil, button eyed Mom, as did Dakota Fanning (Coraline) and Ian McShane (Mr. Bobinsky).

I was curious as to why the film felt it needed Wyborn, the film only character. In the novella, it's Coraline's story and journey, she does it alone (with some assistance from the cat). I just didn't feel his character was necessary or added anything special to the story.

Good fun indeed.
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Re: CORALINE

Postby Nachokoolaid on Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:42 pm

As much as I would normally agree with you, I think I disagree. I think that Wybie helped explain some things to the audience and it seemed like his scenes were the "action" scenes. They seemed to offer some warmth to a picture that has a strong feeling of lonliness. If you think about it, things are pretty bleak after she goes to the other side for the second time.

I've posted about this in my movie journal. I gave it a 6/10. I thought the 3D was amazing. The depth that was present here really aided the overall effect. However, the pacing was truly off, as mentioned previously. The actresses show really was the highlight though. Great writing and execution in the animation. Really, I think the movie is worth seeing for that scene alone.

However, there were some scenes from the book that I thought were actually quite terrifying that seemed a little bland here. When the rats were actually embodying Bobinsky, I pictured that a totally different and much more terrifying way. The way Selick chose to show it was almost playful.

I had heard that there were some genuine scares, but I really didn't agree with that. To me, the creepiest parts were perhaps the opening credits and Bobinsky's warning involving his mice talking about Coraline. The use of solid white instead of solid black at the end of the film as the Belle Dame's world is unraveling also seemed like a misstep to me.

I'm doing a lot of bitching here. I liked the film. But I definitely think that there were some missed chances here and there was a lot more potential. I think it could have been an instant classic, and instead it's just an entertaining afternoon at the theatre.
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Re: CORALINE

Postby Maui on Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:05 pm

The pacing was off I couldn't agree with you more.

When we first see Wybie's character, which is at the very beginning, I though who the heck is this?? I don't remember reading about this kid. One of the major themes you get from Gaiman's novella, is that Coraline is on her own through all of these predicaments - no one ever comes to her rescue, she perseveres and conquers without anyone's help. I liked that. She has feelings of isolation - parents are ignoring her, she has no friends, she really has no one except the singing sisters and the mice tamer. Also, she is the one at the end that sets up the trap, again demonstrating to us (the reader/audience) that this young girl really has balls and can do it alone. I didn't like Wybie in there helping her. So this is just my personal take on it being the independent person that I am :lol: and felt the movie would have moved along swimmingly without this character.

I get what you are saying though, to add some warmth to the film they created this Wybie character, someone that she could befriend and support her. So that's fine - I just felt that it wasn't necessary from an adult's point of view but for the young kids, it was probably necessary to soften the corners.
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Re: CORALINE

Postby Nachokoolaid on Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:25 pm

Maybe that's the difference in a female and male reading. To me, it always seemed like that cat was saving her ass. :lol:
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Re: CORALINE

Postby Maui on Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:37 pm

Nachokoolaid wrote:Maybe that's the difference in a female and male reading. To me, it always seemed like that cat was saving her ass. :lol:


:lol:

No, you are right, the cat was instrumental in helping Coraline AND the cat was in the novella.
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Re: Laika

Postby TheButcher on Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:40 pm

Laika puts Brit book 'Goblins' in pipeline - 'Coraline' studio sets 'Mr. Fox' animation director to helm
Josh L. Dickey wrote:Stop-motion animation upstart Laika Studios, makers of "Coraline" and the late-summer release "Paranorman," have optioned "Goblins," an adaptation of a British novelist Philip Reeve's book that Marc Gustafson (animation director on "Fantastic Mr. Fox") is set to direct.

The 3D, stop-motion animation pic will tell the story of a Skarper, a clever young goblin who lives among his ill-mannered bretheren in an ancient castle. Only he understands that an ancient evil is rising that will bring all manner of monsters and mythical creatures into an epic magical conflict.

The Portland, Ore.-based studio optioned Reeve's novel, which was published in the U.K. earlier this month and hits the U.S. next year.

"Goblins is a fantasy with bite," said Laika prexy & CEO Travis Knight. "In the hands of Laika's freakishly talented artists and guided by the ineffably gifted Mark Gustafson, it will make a strange, stirring, and altogether beautiful film."

Reeve is represented by The Law Agency in London; Gustafson by The Gotham Group in Los Angeles.


Animator LAIKA Gobbles ‘Goblins’
Portland, OR; April 18, 2012) - LAIKA has optioned Goblins, the Scholastic novel from award-winning novelist Philip Reeve (Mortal Engines) which will be published in the UK on April 5, 2012, and in the US in Fall, 2013 and has signed Emmy®, Annie®, and CLIO® Award-winning director Mark Gustafson (The PJs, Animation Director on The Fantastic Mr. Fox) to direct the 3D, stop-motion animated film. The announcement was made today by Travis Knight, President & CEO of the Portland, Oregon-based animation studio. LAIKA produced the Oscar® and BAFTA® nominated feature film Coraline, and is currently in production on the 3D, stop-motion feature ParaNorman.

Goblins, set in an extraordinary world of brilliantly original monsters and magical creatures, tells the story of riotous, ill-mannered, and all-around bloodthirsty goblins who live in the gigantic ruins of Clovenstone Castle, and spend their time mindlessly fighting, looting, and menacing neighboring villages. Only clever young Skarper understands that an ancient and powerful magic created by a vanquished sorcerer is rising again. Soon giants, cloudmaidens, swamp monsters, treewarriors, rampaging goblins and hapless humans will be swept into a fabulous magical conflict that will determine the fate of their world, and delight discerning audiences of all ages.

“Goblins is a fantasy with bite,” said Travis Knight. “It practically shimmers with verve, caustic humor, and piercing wit. Philip Reeve has pulled off a helluva feat, masterfully crafting a sly send-up of classic fantasy archetypes and adventures while lovingly honoring their underlying forms. Goblins is a thrilling, high energy swashbuckler teeming with wonderful surprises; at once hilarious and twisted, sincere and endearing. In the hands of LAIKA’s freakishly talented artists and guided by the ineffably gifted Mark Gustafson, it will make a strange, stirring, and altogether beautiful film.”

“I am delighted that LAIKA has optioned Goblins,” said Philip Reeve. “I love the look and feel that they achieved in films like Coraline and Moongirl, and I think the studio’s distinctive approach, led by the deft directing hand of Mark Gustafson, will be the perfect way to bring Clovenstone and its goblins to life.”

“Goblins is a fantastic book, full of action, humor, charm and surprising characters,” said Mark Gustafson. “Philip Reeves has done a wonderful job of turning a familiar genre on its ear and creating a beautifully intricate universe unlike anything I’ve seen before. I’m personally thrilled to have the opportunity to work with my amazingly talented colleagues at LAIKA to realize the world of Goblins.”

Philip Reeve is represented by Philippa Milnes-Smith of The Law Agency in London; Mark Gustafson by The Gotham Group in Los Angeles.

About Philip Reeve:

Philip Reeve was born in Brighton and worked in a book shop for many years before becoming a full-time illustrator and then turning to writing. His first novel, Mortal Engines, won the Nestlé Smarties Gold Award (2002) and was shortlisted for both the Branford Boase Award and the Whitbread Children’s Book Award. He has since won many more awards and accolades for his works including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize in 2006 for A Darkling Plain and the 2008 CILIP Carnegie Medal for Here Lies Author. He lives in Dartmoor, England with his wife and son, Sam.

About Mark Gustafson:

Mark Gustafson has received much praise for his wit, comedic timing and a seamless ability to blend stop-motion, CG and live-action. Mark was Supervising Director of the two-time Emmy® award-winning primetime, stop-motion series,The PJs, produced in partnership with Eddie Murphy and Imagine Entertainment, for which he garnered an Annie Award® for Outstanding Directing in an Animated Television Production.

Mark has directed some of most recognized animated commercials in the business during his long association with LAIKA/house, the commercial division of LAIKA, including spots or series for the NFL on Fox, ESPN, Coca-Cola, Levi’s, Planters, Ben & Jerry’s. Most recently he worked with acclaimed director Wes Anderson on SONY “Made of Imagination” campaign, which is airing internationally. His 1996 Nissan Toys ad set to Van Halen’s “You Really Got Me” won a Gold Clio at Cannes and was hailed by Entertainment Weekly as among the “50 Greatest Commercials of All Time.”

From 2007 through 2009, Gustafson was Animation Director on the feature film The Fantastic Mr. Fox which was nominated for an Oscar® in the best-animated film category.
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