Saturday night the boyfriend and I went to see a little piece of stop-motion genius, Henry Selick's Coraline. If you've seen James and The Giant Peach or The Nightmare Before Christmas, you are familiar with Selick's work. Coraline was three years in the making, employing dozens of artisans, artists and crafters (like Althea Crome, who knitted Coraline's tiny sweaters and gloves on needles smaller than toothpicks) to create the wondrous world of a curious girl and her mysterious neighbors.
Coraline is gorgeously made, and meets my main criteria for any film: a good story, well told. I think it is being marketed as a kid's film, and while there certainly were a lot of kids at the showing we went to, there were plenty of adults, and everyone was equally mesmerized by the spectacle Selick and his team have created. But the thing that made me squeal like a little girl was Mr. Bobinsky's Mouse Circus. See, when I was a child I had this thing about mice, this secret belief that behind the walls they lived a Borrower's life, wearing tiny clothes, sleeping in little beds made from matchboxes, dining at spool tables, tooling around in toy cars, Stuart Little-style. As an adult, I may or may not have let that belief...um... go (and this despite having once owned an old house that had many a mouse trap to catch the little buggers before they could do too much damage). Mr. Bobinsky's mice wear cute little red band uniforms, play tiny musical instruments, and put on a circus performance with military precision. There's a secret behind their showmanship that I won't give away here (go see the movie), but they are just adorable and must be forgiven for their role in any deceit. Plus if you ask them nicely they will spell your name with their tails (click the pic below to make your own).
Screenshots from the Coraline website.