coraline! February 6, 2009

I was so lucky to get to attend the world premiere of Coraline last night here in Portland!

Coraline premiere!

It was absolutely amazing, to say the least. I was so captivated by the gorgeously hand-crafted details… some of our friends worked on the film as stop-motion animators and artists, and they and everyone else at Laika produced an astonishingly lovely piece of art. Here are my photos from last night’s premiere and the afterparty. I could have taken a million more and I’m sure that there are some fantastic ones out there, I will link to any that I find!

Coraline premiere!

We got Portland International Film Festival tickets and a Coraline-button key to get into the afterparty. Hmm, it looks so familiar…

Coraline premiere - the ticket and key to the after-party

Coraline premiere!

Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher walked the red carpet, which was quite a scene for this town.

Coraline premiere!

Afterwards, we got to hang out there too!

Coraline premiere!

After the film, we walked over to the art museum for the afterparty. Laika brought some of the sets from the movie over, so everyone got to marvel over them in person. Each detail, each motion the film captured… everything we saw on the screen was painstakingly hand-crafted, and it was such a vivid reminder of the intensely focused artistry involved when we got a peek at the real pieces they created.

Here’s the garden set… it was amazing to see how small and intricate it was in real life, after seeing it so gorgeously huge an hour earlier.

Coraline premiere - the garden set at the after-party

One of the eyes, surrounded by flowers and fanciness:

Coraline premiere - the garden set at the after-party

The Pink Palace was the showpiece of the ballroom, just luminous and incredible, surrounded by hundreds of glowing stars.

Coraline premiere - the house set at the after-party

Laika even brought some of their workshops over to the party, hosted by the super-talented art stars who worked on it all. I loved the hair station, which had all kinds of incredible crafty things to look at.

Coraline premiere - the hair design workshop at the after-party

Coraline premiere - the hair design workshop at the after-party

Suzanne Moulton, the lead designer in the hair department, showed me some of her favorites from the collection!

Coraline premiere - Suzanne Moulton at the after-party

Our friend Cynthia Star worked on creating and painting the characters — awesome.

Coraline premiere - Cynthia Star of the art department at the after-party

Coraline premiere - Coraline and Wybie at the after-party

Coraline premiere - one of the handmade pieces at the after-party!

There were all kinds of cool detailed tie-ins swirling around. The handmade Coraline boxes folks got looked awesome, I’ve seen them pop up on people’s blogs and flickrs over the last few months and was super impressed. We left the party with a souvenir of a creepily other-mother chocolate neatly tucked into a box. And one of our friends who animated for the film got this amazing pair of custom Coraline Dunks… so cool.

Coraline dunks

I won’t give any story details away and spoil things for you, but here’s what I’ll say:

1. Go see this beautiful movie!

2. If you can, see it in 3D. It’s even more amazing.

3. DO NOT go late. Trust me, you don’t want to miss the absolutely amazing opening credits, especially if you are crafty. They are just about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, and I would love to see them five or six more times, or to be honest, five or six dozen times.

I am so proud that our friends were part of this beautiful film! Andrew has worked in the film industry for years, and it was so wonderful to see this jewel of a movie, made right here — seeing the credits roll at the end spotlighting folks we know and their years of work was so cool. I just loved it.

Okay, I have used up my year’s allotment of amazings and awesomes but it was well worth it! If when you see it, I would love to hear what you think, too.