Monday, February 16, 2009

Feed A Local Animator...Go See Coraline.

Once upon a time, there was a man named Will Vinton. He liked to make cartoons out of clay and became modestly successful at it.






Exhibit A.




Across town there was another man named Phil Knight. He liked to run. In shoes. In really really expensive shoes. Especially because he made the shoes and became overly successful at it.




Exhibit B.


Phil had a son who liked what Will did and wanted to do it too. In an overly simplified and not at all objective version of an otherwise long and more complicated version of the story - Phil got his son secured in a position under Will as an animator...and then performed what was known in the olden times as a "hostile takeover".

Ouch.

Thus dieth Will Vinton Studios and thereafter riseth Laika from its ashes. Or something.

What was to come after was a series of M&M commercials and some whisperings about a movie directed by the man who made Nightmare Before Christmas from the only Neil Gaiman book I ever read...Coraline.

It was too much to hope for, really - the coolness of stop-motion animation combined with the spookiness of Neil Gaiman's writing was more than I could even hope for. I was sure it would have to disappoint.

Then years passed and I forgot all about it.

Suddenly Terry Hatcher is in my city. And I'm all..."get out". What that means is, the movie is made. And it's been released. And so have all the artists who MOVED to this city to work for Laika in making it. Most of them were laid off until Knight could determine whether or not there was a market for this type of filmmaking. Despite the fact that it took us three tries of being turned away at the window before finally seeing the movie...this is apparently still up for debate.

But I don't agree. I'd say the fact that we got assaulted with an Ice Age 3 preview, is a pointed way of reminding us that there's a market for any and all things animated. But that stop-motion is more valuable, as it's a crossover.

Pixar, no matter what Brendan says, is NOT a crossover. Or if it is, it's a selective crossover. Case in point:

Credits end. I take my Gryffendor slipper socks off and replace them with my slip on shoes. Brendan gathers our contraband (non-regulation candies and pop cans):

Me: That was awesome. I'd take that kind of animation and story over Wall-E any day. It's much more visually intruiging.
Brendan: There's no comparison. I think there were several slow moments in this.
Me: See, and I think Wall-E was one really long slow moment.
Brendan: What?! Wall-E was much more.......
~Argument continues all the way to the parking lot~

Anyway, my chickadees...you be the judge. Go see Coraline and tell me if you don't get wrapped up in the magic of what clay can do more than the standard of Pixar's computer animated routine. Even if you don't fall in love with it, you'll have the satisfaction and moral self righteousness of knowing that you helped feed a starving artist.

But whatever you do...stay the hell out of crawlspaces. I don't know how many times I have to warn people but no one ever listens! What's WRONG with you people!?

12 keep(s) me blogging:

Gorilla Bananas said...

So what? You're saying it's better than supermarionation? It sounds like a hoax to me, anyone knows things made of clay can't move.

Sarah said...

I can't wait to see it. But I'll have to 'cause I hate movie theaters...
You don't have to warn me about crawlspaces though. They're where the bad things lurk.

Tiny Sneezer said...

I am commenting not because I have seen Coraline, but because I LOVE WALL-E - It's a great movie with a great story and a lot of layers. What's the matter with you?

Robert the Skeptic said...

Someday, everything will be animated and you will never need to leave your home. Your animated look-sorta-alike will go to work and the grocery store. It won't be all bad...you'll be able to fly. But where will the sound effects come from?

Twinkie said...

I couldn't get past the first fifteen minutes of Wall-E therefore I must have missed how amazing this movie was. Because... I COULDN'T GET PAST THE FIRST FIFTEEN MINUTES OF NOTHING.INTERESTING.HAPPENING.

Rachel said...

I havnt seen Wall-E yet. I have no plans to ever see it. Anthropomorphic robots bore me.

I want to see coraline, but have to wait for either an open captioned showing or DVD.

The Future said...

I will reserve my comments regarding either of these movies since I've not seen them, however, I'm sincerely hopeful that Coraline does not in any way resemble the recent grotesque tractor commercial full of clay people. I thought that set this type of animation way back to the dark ages. Creepy, and not in a good way. Creepy in a could have been made by a 5 year old but someone actually spent money on it way.

Brendan said...

I didn't say there was no comparison! And you make it seem like I didn't think Coraline was great. I thought Coraline was great! Go see Coraline.

But WALL-E was better than approximately half the Harry Potter books and all but one of the movies, Gryffindor sock-wearer.

Mary Witzl said...

Now I've got to go see this. Everyone who has gone to see it has come back with such "Oh my God am I ever glad I saw that" fervor that I feel I am missing out. You've got my expectations way up there, I warn you.

I thought Wall-E was sort of sweet. And I couldn't believe I was actually rooting for machines.

Jill said...

Have you ever seen a Neil Gaiman photo on the back of one of his books? The dude is seriously hot. You don't see that very often with sci-fi writers. Just thought I would point that out....

christypdx said...

Haven't seen Coraline, and know a few folks at Laika (shouts out to Alise and Myra) and will def see it soon, so I can join the fun at cocktail parties. Having said that, I'm inclined to state that: 1) I love Tim Burton so will undoubtedly love Coraline; 2) Wall-e was the BEST movie last year hands down. And, I saw more than just chick flicks missee. 3) Not sure if you saw Coraline in 3D or not, but I hear it's totally worth the extra $3-$5 for the experience. Cheers.

Jackie said...

I did love WALL-E a lot, but I really, really enjoyed Coraline. Loved the book and thought they did a solid job translating it to a movie, even with the addition of characters and little changes here and there.
My husband hadn't read the book and thought there were some slow parts toward the beginning, but he also really enjoyed it.
We also saw it in 3D which was just unbelievable.
Oh and Terri Hatcher was GREAT.