Comics

Capone Talks with CORALINE Director and Wizard Master Henry Selick!!!

Published at: Feb. 2, 2009, 10:42 a.m. CST

Hey folks. Capone in Chicago here. When I think of Henry Selick directing a movie, I don't so much envision a man and his animators working tireless for months and years posing and re-posing tiny figures as part of the next great stop-motion feature, or coming up with ways to avoid using CGI to complete his vision and do as much as possible using practical, handmade techniques. No, when I think of Selick at work, I see a wizard concocting potions and chanting spells all in the name of making tiny dolls and animals and plants and other creatures come to life. All he has to do is point a camera at them and shoot. Seriously, after seeing works like THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, and his latest and greatest work CORALINE (which absolutely must be seen in 3-D), I don't see how mere humans can actually create something so lovely, fluid, scary, and wondrous without having some form of magic at their disposal. And here's what else I love about Selick, he seems to get the greatest thrill out of putting his child characters in mortal danger. I can appreciate that, and more importantly, so can kids who see his films. Sure they get scared, but they also get a great thrill watching characters they can relate to be put in great peril. Kids aren't as fragile as everything thinks, and they love a good scare as much as anyone, maybe even more so. I met with Henry here in Chicago a couple weeks back, and I was his first interview of the day. His assistant walked into the room with him with a very secure looking briefcase that seemed like it should have handcuffs attach to it. My heart started racing just a bit because I knew there was something special inside. Henry cracked it open, and inside the extremely well-padded case was an actual Coraline doll, one of the ones actually used in the film. I immediately noticed a black line that ran around her head and through her mouth. "Her faces come on and off to change expressions," Henry explained. Well, of course they do. She stood slightly less than a foot tall, and I started moving her arms, legs, fingers, clothes (she's was wearing the outfit made by her Other Mother in the film), even her blue hair was posable. I could almost feel the magician's dust rubbing off on my fingers as I handled this work of art. That moment is absolutely one of the highlights of my time doing this job. Then I placed Coraline on the table between Henry and me, and she stood their quietly watching our half-hour conversation. Enjoy…
Capone: Last night, I saw the film for the second time, and it struck me, especially looking at the Cat character, one of things that has been a real touchstone for computer animation is how realistic they can make hair look. That seemed to be a big landmark moment for Pixar and MONSTERS INC. But I always remember one of the real joys for me growing up watching stop-motion animation is that it doesn't look that real, going all the way back to the original KING KONG, where you see his hair shift from the animators touching him. I noticed that in the Cat as well. I love that. That's more charming than it looking real. Henry Selick: We like that. We have different names for that, but often we call it boiling, or chatter. Yeah, you see the hand of the artist right there, our reshaping and reposing of the creature. They have to touch the fur, and it gets to move a little bit. Capone: With Aardman's work to, you'd see the fingerprints in the clay. HS: Oh, yeah. Capone: I want to talk about the opening sequence, which for younger audiences is going to be the real proving group. You see a doll being basically gutted and restuffed, but it looks like a form of infant surgery or something. That's pretty severe and freaky. HS: You might be right. I felt like I needed to give a strong hint of what was to come, and not give away whose hands are doing this. It was a delicious scene to animate, and the animators really want to do stuff like that. It sets the bar at a certain level for creepiness and mystery. Capone: There were a few women in the audience last night who are big into crafting. There were a few even knitting during the movie, because they love the idea that the film is a celebration of all things handmade--thread, needles, buttons. Tell me about why you love that so much. HS: In the short novel, Neil Gaiman wrote a perfect story. In that realm, you can get away with insinuating things and you don't need to connect dots; that's just part of the form. In the film, I needed to understand how things connected and some of that backstory that you fill in does often seep into the movie. The things that ties it all together is the handmade quality of everything, that the Other Mother has made this Other World by hand. The buttons for eyes, well, they're living dolls. And in fact, we handmade the film--all the props, every tree, every leaf. It's the thread that holds everything together. And sewing seemed to make the most sense, although clearly not everything is sewn together, there may be other means of attaching things, but that's the backstory that enveloped the whole process. Capone: What is the "jerk wad" reference at the end of the credits. It said something like "For people in the know…" I thought I might be one of those people, but I guess not. HS: [laughs] The people we're working with to do the online campaign, there's a nice site, coraline.com. Capone: It's a beautiful, fun site. I've been playing with it for weeks. HS: Oh good. Well, there are a couple things to do on there, like putting button on your friends' eyes or your pets. They have a little contest, and the contest is where you win…something like the first 50 or 100 who have the right clue get a special pair of Coraline shoes, one of kind shoes. So Jerk Wad, as much as I can say, has something to do with that. But you're required to go to the movie to understand how. Jerk Wad just happens to be an expression I came up with when Coraline is really angry at Wybie and throwing her boots at him--of course in the Middle East, we know that would be a huge insult. And I just came up with something that sounded pretty nasty, but doesn't really mean anything. And they liked that expression Jerk Wad. Capone: One other thing I noticed was that Coraline's Other Father had MONKEY BONE slippers on. HS: You know, there are a few fans of the film, a small group, he happens to be one of them. [laughs] They are perhaps inspired by MONKEYBONE. Capone: Was this always intended to be a 3-D film, or did you consider it after you saw how successful the reissued 3-D version of NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS was playing? HS: We were already in actual production when that was being done. We had already gone that route, it goes back 20 years ago, I did a cheesy little 3-D video with this guy Lenny Lipton, he's the guy behind this modern 3-D revolution, and he's part of Real D. But I did something with him for View-Master--they thought they might get into 3-D videos at one point. You know View-Masters, right? Capone: Hell, yes. HS: Those things are still little miracles. I would just check in with Lenny every couple of years to see how it was developing. And as it was coming into cinema was when we got the funding and distribution for CORALINE. I'd pushed for it a few years earlier with out producer, Bill Mechanic, but it just wasn't viable. For two reasons, I was interested in it. In that, with stop motion, it's all real stuff. The experience of coming to visit us while we're making it is amazing, people love it. Maybe we don't have the best movie, but we sure have the best tour. [laughs] It captures the place, the feel, these things exist. So there's always been an interest in sharing that experience, and 3-D's the way. And then it naturally fit into the story. I didn't want to punch people in the eyes with the 3-D. I wanted to draw them into the Other World as Coraline does. While there's 3-D all the time, there's a stronger use of it in the Other World. But it opens into the space, rather than out. It's a more subtle equivalent of Dorothy going to Oz. Capone: There is one punch in the eye at the beginning with needle coming through the button hole right at the screen, and it gets a great reaction from the audience. HS: We have a few. That's the strongest one, but we do have a few. I didn't want to try to bring the whole 3-D experience out into your laps. That way those more gimmick moments have their value. Capone: I remember reading an interview with you five or six years ago, when you were still working on the script for CORALINE, and it sounded to me like you'd intended this to be live action with some animation mixed in. What changed? Or was that something you were never really intending on doing? HS: You'll get different answers from myself, from Neil and from Bill Mechanic on this one. By my version of history on this is, the first time I read the book, I could see the movie and stop motion is what I wanted it to be. I took it to Bill Mechanic, who I had a good relationship with--he'd been head of 20th Century Fox, he started his own independent company--he got it. I convinced him and Neil to let me write it, but Bill had a deal with Disney, and he was not allowed to do animation. So it was one of those, let's pretend it's a live-action film, and somehow or another I will eventually get it to where it's supposed to be. It just took a long time, and then CG films had become so huge. There was a lot of pressure to do it as a CG film, and that's where [lead animator] Travis Knight came in--he's one of the world's greatest animators of stop motion and CG--and the funding was through Laika Entertainment, which is sort of the old Will Vinton company transformed into this feature film company, with funding, for the most part through Nike. There was this moment when Travis said "If I'm going to animate on a feature, I want it to be stop motion." And we got to where we were supposed to be, and the 3-D was in the theaters, so all this delay seems like it was meant to be. Capone: I'm sure you get this question a lot, but how involved was Neil in this? HS: Neil's been fantastic. I couldn't imagine asking for a better partner in making this film. There was his incredible loyalty through the rough times, trying to find a way to get this movie up on its feet. We both understood and faced the dilemma of people saying it's too scary for kids, it's not scary enough for adults. Early on, though, we kind of figured out that working too closely together didn't work. I was in awe of his writing abilities, and my first script was too close to the book. I needed to go off and do a bunch of stuff on my own, and then do regular check-ins with Neil. The first draft sucked [laughs]. It was like taking the book and putting it through this crude machine to put it in screenplay form. And I just had to go off for almost a year to get a draft that I felt was working. I introduced another character, I made some changes, I didn't know if Neil would hate them or not. I set it in the U.S. because I was more comfortable with the dialogue. Lots of adjustments. But that's the draft Neil loved, and then there's been many drafts since. I send him the drafts, I'd send him character designs, but I would very rarely would I go to him with one thing. I'd rather present him with a body of work, and Neil would always have two or three notes; they were always right and they were always doable. And there's only one thing I didn't go along with, and I think he's okay with this now. He didn't like the cat's voice very much. At one point, if the cat had been kept as a British character, I would have cast Neil to do the cat. So I think I hurt his feelings a little, but in shifting the film to the U.S., that change had to happen. Capone: But Keith David has such a great voice. HS: It's great! You might tell Neil: it's okay; people love the cat. It works. Capone: Wybie is a character that is not in the book, and if I remember correctly the Other Mother was always sort of freaky looking, and you made her transformation more gradual, which makes much more sense visually. HS: Right. Yeah, Neil was incredibly supportive and he rolled with it. I'm pretty amazed at how supportive he was. And he made some important tweaks and suggestions. But mostly he was like, "I've got my book; you've got your movie. Let's see what you can do." Capone: One of the most rattling things about the film is that weird choir music. Did I see in the credits that you used a children's choir from Hungary? HS: The composer of the music was Bruno Coulais. Most Americans don't know his music yet, but they do know him if they ever saw WINGED MIGRATION. Capone: The documentary about birds? HS: Yeah. He's done a lot of European films. When I was searching for a composer, it was difficult. You just sample a whole lot of other movies. Things actually were too scary or too sweet and sugary, and Bruno is sort of in tune with what I call "true childhood," the true terrors and beauty and wonder, but the sort of childhood where if a kid comes across a dead animal, it pokes it with a stick. They want to understand. So he uses a lot of chorus, children's choirs, soloists. He recorded most of the orchestra in Budapest and a choir there, but also some soloists. And this is true, the main soloist, a young girl you hear singing in several parts of the film, her name is Coraline. Capone: I swear to you I noticed that in the credits. I thought it was another in-joke. HS: Bruno said that it's the rarest possible name for someone, but she's the lead soloist in the background. Capone: So what language are they singing in. To me it doesn't sound like a language I know. It sounds made up even. HS: [smiles big] It is! It's all nonsense words. You might hear a little accent, and you're not sure, but that's something Bruno likes to do. He uses sounds. It's all sung nonsense. Capone: That's remarkable. Last night at the screening, there were a lot of Goth kids, art students, and young animators who all wanted me to give you their cards, because they all want to work for you. Do get a lot of that when you make an appearance? HS: I just did a screening in New York, and the way the screening was held, they did invite a lot of students. There'd done an early screening--when there was only 20 minutes to show--a while back, and then some of those same students from NYU's School of Visual Arts were invited back. I take the cards. If we get another one of these going, there's always going to be some fresh talent needed or interns, things like that. There were some blue-haired girls too, kids into Goth and emo, what you might expect. Capone: And that goes all the way back to NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. The image of Jack from that film is a classic Goth image. You go into any comic book or collectors store, and you're going to find dozens of action figures and masks. HS: Yeah. There's a young woman who has got intense tattoos. I've met her a couple of times. When they first took NIGHTMARE and did a treatment to make it 3-D a couple years ago. And I went to the premiere with Tim [Burton] and Danny [Elfman], and there was a woman whose entire body was covered in tattoos, and she'd left a place for me to sign my name that would be tattooed on her leg, and she had Tim and Danny already. It's great to be part of anything that has a life beyond the first few weeks. Capone: And the Blu-ray has now come out, which you have to be happy with. HS: They did a nice job. I did some commentary, some interviews, but I didn't artistically shape it or anything. They really know what they're doing at Disney in that division. Capone: Are there things we're going to see in a high-def version that we didn't see on the screen or on the previous DVD releases? HS: It's hard for me to know because I know, even in the crudiest VHS tape version, what everything is. It's hard for me to know what you can't see. I think you'll find with Blu-Ray that it's a big boost for stop motion. If it was shot right in the first place, it just enriches what's already there. Capone: CORALINE is your first screenplay since your SLOW BOB short. How important was it for you to take control of this completely? HS: When you're a director, you usually end up doing some writing. Quite a lot of the memorable lines in NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS are mine. It's simply a case that when you do these animated films, you have your script, you might have songs, but as you storyboard it, it forces changes because you're editing the movie before you make it. So there is this need for rewrites, and sometimes you can't even get the original screenwriter because they're not available. Along the way, I've done a fair amount of writing and adjusting. In this case, I figured these chances don't come along every day to do these stop-motion features; the money goes to the CG. So this time, I wanted to do it…I don't know about "right," but I wanted to take control. I felt that I was certainly ready to be in charge of that step. Capone: Which means taking credit for mistakes as well as successes. HS: Right. I wanted to own it. I won't name names, but there have been some writers I've worked with in the past who…I saw things differently. And directors can certainly have an impact on that, but this is one where I wanted to own it, and if it fails, that sucks, but that's okay. Capone: In terms of your cast, I know that with most animation work, you record your cast members separately, but I can't imagine that you'd pass up the opportunity to record a reunited [Dawn] French & [Jennifer] Saunders at the same time. HS: And they were [laughs]. A little story about Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders is that originally they were cast to do the other's part. It was one of those things, and I asked one of their reps who did she think and how did it work, because originally Miss Spink was Dawn French, and Jennifer Saunders was doing Miss Forcible. So I was in London to record them for two days, and by the end of the first day I thought, "It's good, but it's not French & Saunders; it didn't happen. And I told my producer, "I'm going to ask them to switch parts." And she almost fainted, terrified. They were a little stunned for a split second, but they agreed it was worth a try. Within two minutes they realized it was a whole better thing. They're really funny, great to work with, and there are a lot of other actors that would not have been a flexible. Capone: That's great. We'll spread the word on that for sure. We're getting the cut sign. Thank you so much for chatting with us, and for bringing Coraline with you. You know, this just popped into my head, back at the end of 2007, I spoke with Wes Anderson, and he mentioned that for the animated film he's working on now, FANTASTIC MR. FOX, that he'd originally asked you to be a part of that. Obviously you were busy. HS: Yeah, he's doing stop motion. He's directing from Paris through his iPhone, shooting movies of himself as the characters for the animators to work with. Capone: It seems like it would have been a natural fit for the two of you, since you'd worked with him before [Henry created the rare fish species in THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU]. HS: Oh, I was very interested in doing it and working with him, but when CORALINE got green lit, I had to go with it. This is my baby. [laughs] -- Capone capone@aintitcoolmail.com



Readers Talkback

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  • Feb. 2, 2009, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Sounds awesome

    by starmand

    Can't wait to see Coraline. I love Gaiman's book and love Selick (those animals in The Life Aquatic kick ass).

  • Feb. 2, 2009, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Simply superb

    by mukhtabi

    And it clearly shows, like Stardust, that the way to adapt Gaiman literature is to treat in its own terms and realities. If someone should want to do, say Anansi Boys, I should hope they get actors who are carribean or are black and know from the carribean influences. Cannot wait for Neil Jordan's take on the graveyard book, should be excellent.

  • Feb. 2, 2009, 11:25 a.m. CST

    i'e heard BAD things

    by zom-bot.com

    from people actually involved in the making of this. like the first crew that is now not getting any credit for creation, and were sent movie theater gift certificates instead of being invited in the premeire screening- to the second crew that now is getting credit for the movie, to selick being an arrogant pain in the ass who ends up taking far more creative credit than he's actually due.

  • Feb. 2, 2009, 12:09 p.m. CST

    no questions about...

    by Docbrowneye

    how Henry Selick feels about all those useless emo/goth kids that don't even know who he is? Their favorite movie is NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, yet the majority of them think it's directed by Tim Burton. Infact, a question regarding the marketing for CORALINE would be good...they say "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS" but dont name him by name so it feels like they are trying to capitalize on consumers thinking its a Burton movie.

  • Feb. 2, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    The Fantastic Mr. Fox

    by indiebum

    I still have high hopes even though they aren't working together. Wes Anderson always gets the best!

  • Feb. 2, 2009, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Bet Henry Was Missing Portland

    by DOGSOUP

    No matter how awesome the locale is, and I'm sure he loved Chicago, all Portlanians adore Coming Home. He probably arrived in PDX thinking "Whew, time to get back to KEEPING PORTLAND WEIRD". In conclusion, Coraline: Instant Classic.

  • Feb. 2, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    coming up with ways to avoid using reporting

    by ArcadianDS

    They used CGI and a lot of it. Nice try, but Im sure that part of the agreement for the interview was that you weren't allowed to ask about CGI. It is ALL OVER this film. A real shame that AICN has to get in bed with these guys and simply ignore the elephant in the room in order to get these interviews.

  • Feb. 2, 2009, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Docbrowneye - your right

    by Mike_D

    In fact one of my buddies asked me a few weeks ago "Hey, isn't there a new stop motion movie coming out by Tim Burton?" I said "...not that I know of. As far as I know hes working on Alice in Wonderland."

  • Feb. 2, 2009, 4:43 p.m. CST

    It's not like..

    by Kankennon

    ...they're gonna market it as "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MONKEYBONE"

  • Feb. 2, 2009, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Lame

    by Stollentroll

    I kinda liked Corpse Bride and Christmas, but this just looks like more of the same.

  • Feb. 2, 2009, 6 p.m. CST

    Great interview

    by Brian

    Now I want to see this.

  • Feb. 2, 2009, 7:23 p.m. CST

    They used CGI all over it to remove wires, you bet

    by DOGSOUP

    But that's IT. ArcadianDS you're Soooo sure! Proof please? Oh you are just relying on your honed sense of trickery I gotcha. Heh, better have that checked out I think you're honed sense of trickery is on the fritz. Heeeeey, I have this bridge see, it's in Brooklyn and I can get you a great deal on it....

  • Feb. 2, 2009, 8:40 p.m. CST

    Stollentroll

    by Bagheera

    no.

  • Feb. 2, 2009, 10:20 p.m. CST

    This is a must see...

    by bandus

    I was lucky enough to see this early and let me tell you that it was amazing and something that I won't forget for awhile. I hope that it does well at the box office because it seemed like Henry poured his soul into this movie. That may seem like too much praise but you could tell that he and the team of artists wanting to wow you with just about everything.

  • Feb. 2, 2009, 11:26 p.m. CST

    I'm going to see Coraline 3D this weekend

    by Spifftacular Squirrel Girl

    I caught the making of Coraline on HBO the other night that was pretty fantastic. <p> And sadly there will probably be Coraline products taking up half of Hot Topic stores all over the place before years end.

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Dogsoup

    by Toonol

    Why do you mention Portland every chance you get? It's an ok town, but just a wannabe Seattle. Too many hippies.

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 1:57 a.m. CST

    Capone dissed Ardman

    by yodalovesyou

    Bitch! Is nothing sacred anymore??

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 2:06 a.m. CST

    capone didn't diss Aardman

    by drave117

    The fingerprints on the clay is not an insult. It's a deliberate style choice, and part of their charm. They even used CG to duplicate the fingerprints in Flushed Away, because it just didn't look right without them.

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 2:12 a.m. CST

    proof? are you serious??

    by ArcadianDS

    google it for yourself. All the promo shots of the dolls show huge seams across the faces and on the limbs like a Mr. Potato Head. Yet all the screen captured stills and promotional clips show NO SEAMS. Where'd they go? Did they use silly putty between each snapshot?

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 5:29 a.m. CST

    RE: Portland, and KEEPING IT WEIRD

    by DOGSOUP

    I just Love where I Live. I mean, it sounds like you haven't been here in ten years but I can tell you it's a lot different then Seattle. For one, the people are friendlier and more optimistic, the city is way more accessible, and recently there has been a tremendous surge in artistic activity that inspires the creatively inclined here to do what they do. The reason why I mention Portland so much here is because of how awesomely geeky ( and proud to be so) the city has become. What other city embraces itself as a great comic book city? Dark Horse Comics, Oni Press Comics, and Mike Mignola's eternal love (his wife made him move away because she hates rain) compliments the free-flowing beer and delicious and funky women. Chuck Palahniuk calls it home and Matt Groening named most of The Simpsons after street names and locales. If the United States was a big high school and every city was a student in it, Portland would be the hot punk rock chick with a pink mohawk and tattoos, smoking a huge joint in the girl's bathroom, a copy of Sam Kieth's Zero Girl trade paperback in her backpack, writing Heinlein quotes on the mirror in sharpie. AICN uses material from Cort and Fatboy often. I listened to them for years on KUFO the rock and metal station only because of their precise geek adoration. An early full cut of Watchmen was screened here months ago. Bottom line, I really only comment on KEEPING PORTLAND WEIRD on articles that directly relate to my city in some way. You've seen me comment on it before several times so therefore some product of this place has crossed your reality. ArcadianDS, Henry Selick already said CGI was used to remove lines and wires and THAT'S IT. All the movement, expressions, transitions, everything involving actually making puppets into characters was done by hand. Which is badass. In conclusion, you can get doughnuts (shaped like voodoo dolls, penises, covered in bacon or froot loops even), see a show, get legally married, learn swahili, and watch a contest seeing "How Many Doughnuts Can You Put on Your Cock?" at VooDoo Doughnuts who do their part to.....well...you know....

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 9:21 a.m. CST

    I've wondered since they've been broadcast

    by skimn

    Does Selick do the animated Puffs tissue commercials? The style, puppet design and animation look unmistakingly his.

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 11:26 a.m. CST

    I don't know...

    by wampa 1

    ...but it sure smells good!

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Pics of Rorschach Unmasked!

    by Lashlarue

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewj6b2QJ8lo

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    AMEN

    by I am the most horrible

    What DOGSOUP said.<p> I actually came to this TB to read what DOGSOUP had to say about this awesome city. Old reliable.<p> Toonol has never been to PDX. I'm sure of it. I'm not so sure Toonol is invited.<p> Portland doesn't wannabe Seattle. That comment makes me think Toonol hasn't been to Seattle either.<p> Anyways, thanks DOGSOUP for another PDX plug. The Chamber of Commerce and the Visitors Bureau all say the checks in the mail.

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    I Know A Girl Who Worked On This

    by Media Messiah

    We went to college together. Congratulations "C"!!!

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Because we don't suck Bales dick....

    by meta4

    Harry shut down the TB'S....look asshole why would you post a gossip item if you didn't want it talked about? You can stand on your soap box all you want asshole and scream at the top of your lungs that your "for the people" but in reality you want to be wanted and needed by an industry that could give two shits whether you live or you die. Yet those that really do care about you and care about your site who visit it EVERY god damned day get the shaft because we don't agree with your opinions. Look all I wanted to say is I AGREE with Bale on ripping the DP apart, why? Because YOU Harry Motherfuckin Knowles said the DP always does that shit to movies, much to the chagrin of it's cast and crew. Fucking loyalty my friend, somewhere along the way asshole you lost that.

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST

    CG in Coraline

    by Ultraman33

    Hey ArcadianDS, there is no elephant in the room. I worked on Coraline and yes, the seems on the faces were removed digitally. To accommodate the design of the face replacements, they made the head modular so they could interchange eye and mouth shapes. Henry actually wanted to leave the seems in, but it was ultimately decided it might be distracting to the audience. However, ALL of the animation in the film was done by hand/ in camera. You know that insane scene in the trailer with dozens of mice hopping around in unison: ALL ANIMATED BY HAND! There's no conspiracy to hide the use of CG in this film, it's just that compositing and seam removal are not really news worthy. These kinds of things are done on every film, but nobody talks about it because it's part of the illusion. It doesn't drive or affect the performance of the animator/actor. The film is a work of art that I'm very proud to have been a part of. A lot of people killed themselves to make a great film so go out and support it on Friday:)

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 4:55 p.m. CST

    i agree re. bale talkback

    by steele8280

    fair enough that Harry doesnt want this to be a gossip site (although there's plenty of gossip about movies, just not about the actors - I guess it depends on what kind of gossip it is) but if you post your thoughts then it's natural that everyone is going to want to post their thoughts, that are just as valid as his. No one is gossiping any more or less than you Harry, so let it be a lesson not to post those kinds of thoughts if you don't want a) people to share their opinion or b) getting pissed off at you for the fascist antics of shutting up their opinions. Here's hoping that T4 rocks!

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 5:29 p.m. CST

    yea its strange that they'll shutdown...

    by DrBrianOblivion

    a Tb where the subject is an emotionally unstable actor, but they'll leave one up like the Bill hicks TB where posters like nooneimportant is spouting off a tirade of racially charged comments. That just doesn't make any sense. And as far as the excuse of why we should feel sorry for him cause a young DP was tweaking the lights...give me a fucking break. What a pathetic excuse for a christian bale apologist.

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Coraline - from the mind of Tim Burt....er....

    by King Richard

    What a tool. "Quite a lot of the memorable lines in NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS are mine." Yeah, a lot of the ENTIRE movie was Tim Burton. Coraline looks amazing, but I have a hard time believing any of it will be Henry "MonkeyDouche" Selick's fault.

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Ultraman33

    by DOGSOUP

    Kudos sir for KEEPING PORTLAND WEIRD. Let's go to the Devil's Point and do some Stripperoke.

  • Feb. 3, 2009, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Can anyone remember what the article...

    by raw_bean

    ...was called where Harry debunked the use of CGI in this film? I'm trying to refer someone else to it who says the film was a blend of CGI and stop motion, and I'm finding it hard to find now without knowing when it was posted or what dumb title Harry gave the article. I've tried searching up to four weeks back for articles with 'coraline', 'selcik', 'stop motion', 'CGI' and 'mice' (since I remember Harry waffling on about the mice in the film) but no joy.

  • Feb. 4, 2009, 12:54 p.m. CST

    ultraman

    by ArcadianDS

    I'd accept your explanation were it not for the fact that everyone is throwing rosepetals at the feet of this film because it proports to be absolutely devoid of CGI - Harry even tried to bully this into anyone who dared suggest that some CGI exists in the film. You can't do CGI work to EVERY SINGLE FRAME OF THE ENTIRE FILM and then have articles from Harry telling us it isnt true - and then waffles from Quint praising the crew for "trying" to not use CGI.<p> Guess what - the Arizona Cardinals TRIED to win the Super Bowl. Lets give em a Lombardi Trophy for trying, shall we?<p> Its only an issue because I dont appreciate it when someone tries to sell me something with half-truths and broad stroke declarations that upon closer examination, turn out to be less than advertised.

  • Feb. 4, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    and furthermore

    by ArcadianDS

    If there exists any suspicions in my mind, however unfounded, that a studio bought update space on AICN as a promotional effort, I wont see the film and I'll talk trash about it whenever I can.<p> It is my opinion that AICN sold promo time for this movie, and just like those clever herbal supplement 'articles' in New Yorker Magazine, they try to pass them off as actual news content. I dont like it when someone tries to fool me into being their customer. I RARELY come back around to them after that.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST

    zom-bot.com

    by Rupee88

    Selick gets no credit for Nightmare Before Christmas by many people...they give all the credit to Tim Burton who deserves little to none. So I don't blame him for trying to take his due credit on this one.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST

    you can believe there is no CGI in this film...

    by Rupee88

    ...because the people marketing it and trying to make money from it say so...and I have a bridge to sell a few of you as well..

  • Feb. 10, 2009, 6:09 a.m. CST

    CGI in the film.

    by Hamtaro Hentai

    Who. Fucking. Cares!?! It's an amazing film, a modern classic. We can argue about nuts and bolts all day, gee that sounds like a perfect use of time to me. If there was some cleanup CGI work, or even some parts where CGI was needed (the snow globe, the rain in the window, heck I don't know how they did that, nor is that a big deal for me) The thing still looks handmade all the way though. Great story, great animation, great writing, and the movie never once underestimates the audience which is a surprisingly valuable commodity these days. And wether or not CGI was used some, the lion's share was done by hand. Thank you Henry Selick for giving me a movie that still has me thinking 4 days later. And I liked Monkeybone.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Unbelievable

    by eggart

    This talkback reads like a list of people to ban.

  • Feb. 27, 2009, 12:29 a.m. CST

    BALE

    by thebearovingian

    Node 39976<p>BALE