Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Art of Coraline

The Cartoon Art Museum is currently presenting a small exhibit of art work & models from the production of the new 3D animated movie Coraline. I would recommend seeing this after you see the movie at the Metreon. It's interesting to see how the character designs evolved. Coraline's father in particular started out looking quite different.

The must stunning item on display is the spindly model for the evil version of Coraline's mother. On examining it closely, I noticed a fantastic detail I totally missed when I saw the movie: Her bony hands are made of sewing needles. Impressive in an entirely different way is the small knit sweater for Coraline. A video at the back of the gallery offers a glimpse of how it was made using knitting needles that look like fine sewing needles themselves.

I only wish that the signage could have been more informative. Especially in regards to the models, it's not clear what we're looking at. Some of the models are obviously prototypes, but others look like they could be the actual puppets used during production. The art work is all labeled as "Digital Print", meaning that they are not originals. Or perhaps all the artwork done at Laika is digital, even the preliminary drawings?

Despite what the museum Website says, this exhibit has been extended through 2/22.

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