Monday, 25 May 2009

Read the book

As well as seeing Sickert In Venice yesterday, we also went to see Coraline (in 3D). I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had seen the trailer and was a bit concerned that it looked a bit too conventional for such a weird story. My opinion was pretty much the same after seeing the movie.

Not that we didn't enjoy it or it wasn't well done and didn't have some great things about it. It just wasn't creepy enough. It wasn't weird enough.

Anyway it gives me another opportunity to send anyone who reads this back to Neil Gaiman's book, which is a much more sinister creature. Go and see the movie if you haven't already.

It's fun.

But don't miss out on reading the book.


  1. I know lots of people who worked on the movie and many of them would agree with you (I worked in the animation feature industry with them a while back). They are incredibly proud of their craftsmanship and of the finished product, but agree that there is a certain amount of 'slickness' that perhaps doesn't fit with the original story. I think the pressure of creating a financially successful mainstream film almost always outweighs the desire to create films that capture that dark feeling that makes a book like Coraline. There are some exceptions, but I'd say not too many of them. It's a shame the money hasn't got more courage!

  2. It is a shame, isn't it? It felt like the hand of marketing men was in evidence - particularly in the adding of a boy character (because boys won't want to see a movie with only a girl in it, will they?). And perhaps it just isn't as scary to have a puppet with buttons for eyes. That particular threat for Coraline does not seem as horrible as in the book. Let's face it - if it was it would have to be an adult movie.

    Oh - and I just checked your profile and I'm touched that the children were so creeped out by my book. That's what I like to hear!

  3. Creeped out they were, and yet begging for more! We've just started the Black Ship to sate their desire for being terrified. Our new favourite game is to predict what grisly twist will happen in each tale; it really grabs their imaginations and they are worryingly graphic and twisted. Most of these kids are not natural readers but the scary tales have really grabbed them in a way they probably haven't experienced with literature before. Thanks for keeping us entertained and inspired!

  4. I've read the book and seen the film, and think they are both excellent in their own right.

    My opinion is that the book could never be done total justice in film format; there are some brilliantly ambiguous visualisations in the book that - in my opinion - could not translate to film successfully. I agree it would have to be for an older audience if the film stayed more true to the film

    I was very impressed with the 3D effects throughout the film. Indeed I sat with my jaw open for pretty much the whole time! On a slightly negative note, I wasn't impressed with Teri Hatcher's voice work as both the mother and 'other mother', but that's probably me just being fussy.

    Now then, when are we going to see your tales of terror leaping onto our screens? :-)

  5. Ah - we have a debate forming here. Excellent!

    Firstly Leroy - thanks for the kind words about the books and hope you enjoy the Black Ship. Creepy stories are a great way to get kids reading and writing I think.

    As for Coraline, Little Mike - I didn't hate it. Far from it. It was enjoyable. I just think an opportunity to do something more edgy was missed. But it was a long way from the worst children's book adaptation I have seen. A long way!

    Having said that, I would be very happy if someone made that good a job of anything I'd written. I would love to have my work translated to the big (or small) screen.

  6. I didn't read Coraline, but "The Graveyard Book" is amazing! I think you'll enjoy it too :)


  7. Hi Frini. I haven't read The Graveyard Book yet. It does sound good though. Maybe I ought to get someone at Bloomsbury to give me a copy!