Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “Coraline

Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman

Hansel-and-Gretel_Gaiman J.R.R. Tolkien memorably asserted that there is no such thing as writing “for children” and Maurice Sendak similarly scoffed that we shouldn’t shield young minds from the dark. It’s a sentiment that Neil Gaiman — one of the most enchanting and prolific writers of our time, a champion of the creative life, underappreciated artist, disciplined writer, and sage of literature — not only shares, in contemplating but also enacts beautifully in his work. More than a decade after his bewitching and widely beloved Coraline, Gaiman returns with another terrific embodiment of this ethos — his adaptation of the Brothers Grimm classic Hansel & Gretel (public library), illustrated by Italian graphic artist Lorenzo Mattotti, the talent behind Lou Reed’s adaptation of The Raven.

Hansel-and-Gretel_gaiman_2The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm have attracted a wealth of reimaginings over their long history, including interpretations as wide-ranging as those by David Hockney in 1970, Edward Gorey in 1973, and Philip Pullman in 2012. But Gaiman’s is decidedly singular — a mesmerizing rolling cadence of language propelling a story that speaks to the part of the soul that revels in darkness but is immutably drawn to the light, that listens for the peculiar crescendo where the song of the dream becomes indistinguishable from the scream of the nightmare

Hansel-and-Gretel_Gaiman_3With stark subtlety, Mattotti’s haunting visual interpretation amplifies the atmosphere that Gaiman so elegantly evokes. Gaiman says of the work:

“I think if you are protected from dark things then you have no protection of, knowledge of, or understanding of dark things when they show up. I think it is really important to show dark things to kids — and, in the showing, to also show that dark things can be beaten, that you have power. Tell them you can fight back, tell them you can win. Because you can — but you have to know that.

Hansel-and-gretel_Gaiman_4And for me, the thing that is so big and so important about the darkness is [that] it’s like in an inoculation… You are giving somebody darkness in a form that is not overwhelming — it’s understandable, they can envelop it, they can take it into themselves, they can cope with it.

And, it’s okay, it’s safe to tell you that story — as long as you tell them that you can be smart, and you can be brave, and you can be tricky, and you can be plucky, and you can keep going.”


A Tale Dark & Grimm – Henry Selick

Dark and Grimm_Adam GidwitzThe legendary Henry Selick will direct A Tale Dark & Grimm, a live action film based on the popular children’s book by author Adam Gidwitz, who put his own take on some of the Grimm Brothers’ more gruesome stories. Tale follows two unsuspecting children who run away from their own dark fairy tale in search of a better life only to find themselves amidst eight other tales just as fearsome.

Selick helmed the stop-motion classics The Nightmare Before ChristmasJames And The Giant Peach, and Coraline. Marissa McMahon of Kamala Films will finance the development and produce alongside FilmNation Entertainment’s Aaron Ryder and Karen Lunder. John W. Mann and Jon Gunn adapted the script.

“I remain completely enraptured by Adam Gidwitz’ marvelous book A Tale Dark & Grimm,” said Selick. “It’s a hilarious, deeply inventive tale about survival in the world of fairytales and what it takes to forgive one’s parents. So it’s a huge thrill to be joining the team of Kamala Films and FilmNation as the director of the film based on it. Between the great material and a team that really gets it, I hope to make something really special that lasts.”


The Boxtrolls – Trailer

“Families come in all shapes and sizes.” A teaser for the next stop-motion animated feature from Laika, the studio behind Coraline and ParaNorman. Based on Alan Snow’s novel Here Be Monsters!The Boxtrolls follows a boy named Eggs (Game of Thrones’ Isaac Hempstead Wright) who’s raised by an unconventional family of underground-dwelling creatures who live in cardboard boxes. Ben Kingsley voices the villainous Archibald Snatcher, on a quest to exterminate the Boxtrolls. Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi co-direct the pic. Focus opens The Boxtrolls September 26, 2014.


ParaNorman – Trailer

From the makers of Coraline comes ParaNorman, a stop motion, ghost-filled zombie comedy in 3D. Featuring the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, John Goodman, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Elaine Stritch, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jeff Garlin.

You don’t become a hero by being normal. The dead rise August 2012.