Of Movies and Button Eyes: Coraline

It’s time, Snarklings, for the Lady of the Manners to flail her hands in excitement. Why, you may ask? Because the movie for Coraline arrives in theatres on February 6th!

You do know about Coraline, don’t you, Snarklings? The wonderful book by Neil Gaiman about a young girl who walks through a secret door in her new home, into an alternate, more magical version of her life, complete with Other versions of her parents. But the magic takes a turn for the sinister, and Coraline must rely on her determination and bravery to get back home.

Coraline has been one of the Lady of the Manners’ favorite books since she first read it in 2002. As a matter of fact, the Lady of the Manners has wanted to dress up as the Other Mother for some Halloween for ages and ages, but couldn’t figure out how to create sfx prosthetics to give herself button eyes. But now, thanks to the Coraline site, the Lady of the Manners can at least see what those button eyes would look like.

The Lady of the Manners, with button eyes.

(Make your own portrait with button eyes at this handy clicky-link.)

But it’s not just the fact that Coraline is a darkly-charming story by Neil Gaiman that has the Lady of the Manners all aflutter in anticipation of the movie. Snarklings, Oh no. Coraline is directed by Henry Selick, that fantastic visionary that directed The Nightmare Before Christmas. (Snarklings, you did know Henry Selick was the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, didn’t you? The story was the brainchild of Tim Burton, but that Henry Selick brought it to life on the screen.)

Here, look at a trailer:

Now, if you Snarklings browse the same sorts of websites and blogs that the Lady of the Manners does, you probably have seen oodles of posts about the upcoming Coraline movie. So why is the Lady of the Manners joining the flurry of … oh fine, let’s call it “buzz” about Coraline? Well, the delightful Mr. Gaiman explained it best in one of his blog posts:

” It’s a film without a big name star, handmade in Portland by a first time studio: it’s not a film that the world is holding its breath for — mostly, the world doesn’t really even know it exists. The filmmakers have one crack at getting people in to see it on its first week of release, and only one, because, while it will undoubtedly go on to live forever on DVD format (and whatever comes after that), possibly even go on to Nightmare Before Christmas-like longevity, the perception of whether it was a success or a failure is mostly all about how it does when it goes out there on Feb 6th.

I’m proud of what Henry and his astonishing team did, and want as many people to see it as possible.

The reviews will help, but I’m not sure that reviews make as big a difference as simply advertising and letting people know something’s out there.”

That, Snarklings, is why the Lady of the Manners is encouraging all of you to go see Coraline over the weekend of February 6-8th, if you possibly can. It’s a delightful book, and everything the Lady of the Manners has obsessively tracked down and watched over and over seen shows that the movie is going to be just as delightful. So go see it.

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