Coraline and Neil Gaiman

CoralineThis is Neil Gaiman week for me. I’m audiobook-ing his The Graveyard Book (excellent so far) and we just watched Coraline, based on his book.

First, Coraline. This is a Henry Selick movie, so if you’ve seen The Nightmare Before Christmas or James and the Giant Peach, you know the look/feel. It’s a movie that doesn’t reveal all the secrets of its world. A world that could house a million other stories, of which our story tellers have chosen the one about Coraline. Pan’s Labyrinth or PJ Hogan’s Peter Pan come to mind.

It’s a story of the neglected little girl Coraline, who finds her other mother in an alternate other world behind a small locked door in her house. Her other mother, and her other father, seem perfect– they give her almost too much of all the things she craves from her real parents. Of course, they are not as they seem. For one, they have buttons instead of eyes.

Neil Gaiman and Henry Selick are made for each other– I would love to see Gaiman’s Sandman or The Graveyard Book animated in a similar fashion. The background music, by Bruno Coulais, is especially good: listen to the track Exploration here.

I’ll review his The Graveyard Book when I’m done– it’s a riff on Kipling’s Jungle Book, substituting ghosts and other spooky types for animals. But it’s a lot more than that. I’m more than halfway through, and I’m having a lot of fun.

Oh, and Gaiman’s an excellent audiobook reader. He’s perfect for his material.

I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan. The Sandman series is probably my favorite series of graphic novels. Good Omens and American Gods are great. But more recently, I’ve discovered that he has a really fan-friendly online presence. He answers reader questions on his blog, quite regularly. And he’s a avid twitterer. And he looks like Sandman.


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