This is a treasure chest from the good folks at Laika, the creators of the film Coraline. Based on the novella by Neil Gaiman, Coraline is an animated stop-motion delight hitting theatres in February 2009. Put that on your calenders now, because it's going to be good!
A photo of the box in better lighting. It's about 2" by 12".
I apologize now for the blurry photos; I have very unsteady hands, I fear. I may try to take better photos later this week, but I know you wanted to see this box as soon as possible! I couldn't wait to tear into it!
#5 of 50.
Only 50 boxes like this one were created! I'm dying to see the rest of them; at the bottom of the page I've linked the boxes 'discovered' so far. As of this report, four other recipients have posted their boxes online.
My mother always told me the first thing you should do when opening a gift is read the card, so I opened up the envelope (very carefully, so I wouldn't ruin the seal) to read the note.
Quote above the seal:
"The Other Mother looked healthier than before: there was a little blush to her cheeks and her hair was wriggling like snakes on a warm day."
- Chapt. VIII
The text of the letter is as follows:
SINCE ANCIENT TIMES, STRANGERS WHO WORK ON FEATURE FILMS HAVE SENT STRANGERS WITH GREAT WEBSITES MYSTERIOUS GIFTS IN THE HOPE THAT THEY CAN CONNECT OVER A MUTUAL INTEREST AND COME TO LOVE EACH OTHER. SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT RECEIVING RANDOM GIFTS FROM STRANGERS IN THE MAIL IS ILLICIT. NOT WHEN THE GIFTS ARE AWESOME, RIGHT?
INSIDE THIS OLD BOX IS A ONE-OF-A-KIND COLLECTION WE'VE AMASSED AND CATALOGED WITH YOU AND YOU ALONE IN MIND.
WHY? WE AT LAIKA ARE NEARING COMPLETION OF CORALINE, OUR FIRST FULL-LENGTH ANIMATED FILM. FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS, 351 OF THE WORLD'S ODDEST AND MOST TALENTED ANIMATORS, ARTISANS, AND PUPPET FABRICATORS HAVE BEEN HAND-MAKING ONE MOVIE. LED BY HENRY SELICK, THE DIRECTOR OF THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS AND JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, THIS TEAM HAS CREATED THE FIRST STOP-MOTION FEATURE SHOT IN 3D. BASED ON THE BELOVED BEST-SELLING CHILDREN'S CLASSIC BY NEIL GAIMAN, CORALINE IS A FAIRY-TALE NIGHTMARE STEEPED IN CLASSIC STORYTELLING, CRAFTSMANSHIP, AND THE OLD-FASHIONED ART OF MOVIEMAKING MAGIC. THAT MEANS EVERYTHING IS HANDMADE. EVERY LEAF, DRAWER PULL, AND ROAST TURKEY. EVEN THE RUSTY SHOWER WATER.
THE PLAIN TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS, WE ARE PRETTY OBSESSED WITH NEIL GAIMAN. LIKE YOU. NO SHAME THERE. THAT'S WHY WE ADMIRE FASHION-PIRANHA. IT'S WISE. IT'S SENSITIVE. WE LIKE YOUR POINT OF VIEW AND THAT'S WHY WE'RE WRITING YOU. IT CARRIES BEHIND IT A REAL SENSE OF THOUGHTFULNESS TOWARD THE TENETS OF STORYTELLING THAT WE AND NEIL SHARE. NEIL'S BEEN TO THE SET OF OUR MOVIE AND EACH VISIT HAS BEEN INSPIRING. WE'VE TRIED VERY HARD TO KEEP TRUE TO HIS MAGICAL VISION. PLEASE KEEP UP THE SUPER WORK. WE'LL BE READING.
CORALINE IS COMING OUT THIS FEBRUARY. IF WE HAVE GUESSED CORRECTLY THAT YOU ARE A CURIOUS PERSON WITH ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, PERHAPS YOU'LL LOOK FOR MORE COOL THINGS ABOUT THIS FILM. THIS IS NOT A SECRET WE HOPE YOU WON'T WANT TO SHARE. ANDSO, WE SAY THANKYOU FOR YOUR TIME, ENJOY, AND HELLO.
THE CORALINE TEAM
BUILDING MOVIES BY HAND IN PORTLAND, OREGON
(983 MILES FROM HOLLYWOOD)
Inside the box
What the french toast are those blobby things? Is this perhaps the thought in your head? It was definitely my reaction when I opened the box, so I poked the one furthest to the left. It was rather squishy and foamy. These are the torsos of the Other Mother! The wavy bit on the top is the collar of her dress, and on each side there's a hole in the body to attach the arms. When you think about it, what a perfect thing to send me. How could a Fashion Piranha NOT love dismembered torsos and fabric swatches?
These plain torsos seem fresh out of the mold - the one on the right hasn't be trimmed of leftover material. It is not as delightfully squishy as the lighter-colored torso.
Checks never go out of style.
The checkered pattern is just painted onto the torso, and on the left are some fabric swatches that helped inspire the pattern. The smaller pieces of cloth are slightly shiny because of their satin weave. (Oh trivia.)
A production still from the movie.
One of the torsos in action!
The key to the kingdom.
At the bottom of the box was a small, old-fashioned key with a tag attached. It is this key that I pass on to you! Go to Coraline.com and enter the password "puppetlove" to watch a short video of Henry Selick describing the relationship between the puppets and the film creators. There are several more passwords which will let you see a variety of vignettes:
"sweaterxxs" is my favorite by far - it focuses on the knitted garments Coraline and other characters wear. Each one is created by hand using the tiniest little knitting needles!
Thank you for exploring my box with me! Each one is different, so be sure to check them all out!
#2 - Sara @ Diary of a Fangirl (fandom/fangirl blog)
#3 - Carl @ Stainless Steel Droppings (Books + personal journal)
#5 - Suzi @ Fashionista Piranha (book blog)
#6 - Wendy @ WendyKnits (knitting blog)
#7 - Lauren @ Knitters for Neil on Ravelry (knitting group)
#8 - Amy @ Knitty Blog (knitting blog)
#9 - Mike @ Darkmatters (art blog)
#10 - M Flem Jr. @ StopMotion Magic (art/film blog)
#11 - Emmy @ Emmyymme (stop motion animation)
#13 - Peter @ Slashfilm.com (film blog)
#14 - Eve @ Geeksofdoom.com (comic books blog)
#15 - Charley @ Lines and Colors (visual arts blog)
#22 - John @ Toycutter.com (custom/cool toys blog)
#23 - ToyrsREvil (toy community)
#24 - Despoiler @ Despoiler.org ("anonymous posting of information" blog)
#29 - Bonnie @ Heroine Sheik (sex/gender/tech/culture/vid. games blog)
#33 - Cleolinda (personal blog)
#34 - Miss Addams @ VampireFreaks (must register to view pictures)
#37 - Stephen @ AnimationArchive.org (animation museum/blog)
#39 - zero @ Halloweentown (pics don't work for me; I hope they do for you) (Nightmare Before Christmas forum)
#46 - Brazillia @ The Kreep (Gothic poetry/illustration)
First time visitors to Fashionista Piranha, welcome!