Back to Back Neil Gaiman : Stardust and Coraline

neilgaimanI am not sure when was the first time I heard Gaiman’s name but I do remember the first review I read, it was Graveyard Book in both TBM’s blog (50 Years Project) and Caroline’s blog (Beauty is a Sleeping Cat). They were having a readalong. I really enjoyed their review/discussion but still at that point even though I am curious but NOT curious enough.

And then I was quite surprise to find his name as the writer of The Doctor’s Wife, Doctor Who’s Series 6 episode 4. His episode was really good. I like the connection he made between The Doctor and his TARDIS. Upon seeing that, I became more curious on Neil Gaiman…or as Alice would say curiouser and curiouser. Neil Gaiman also writes last week’s episode of Doctor Who called Nightmare in Silver (Haven’t seen it yet)

Then I asked someone who also loves Stephen King as much as I am whether he has ever read Gaiman’s book and he told me that Gaiman is one of his favorite authors.

So…I finally bought American Gods (will read it after I finished my Stephen King’s book) and found 2 movies based on his books…in short, 1 one them blew my mind while the other was just a fun watch.

Stardust (2007)

Stardust_promo_posterImagine how you feel when everyone wants a piece of your heart….LITERALLY.

Stardust is a PURE fairy tale where it all ends happily ever after…something fun to watch but hardly memorable because there are just SOOOOOO many fairy tales like this. I am glad I watched this after I have become so curious on Neil Gaiman, otherwise I might have said no thanks to his books.

The world was divided into two, the real world and the world full of magic, the only thing separating the worlds was a not so high wall. There was a gap in the wall. A man from the real world passed it through and fell in love with a woman from the magical world. A child was born and lived in the real world. The child’s name was Tristan (Charlie Cox). A star fell on the magical world and Tristan promised the girl he loved to bring the fallen star for her. Tristan found the star who happened to be a girl.

Apparently, the heart of a fallen star could give eternal live. Tristan wanted to bring Yvaine – the fallen star (Claire Danes) to his loved one, a powerful witch, Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer ) and the future king wanted her heart so that they could live forever. So, Tristan and Yvaine tried to escape them. And to no one’s surprise they fell in love.

I think you can see it clearly that I am not too keen of this kind of story…a story where I can see all in just ten minutes or in other word totally predictable. However, I wouldn’t say I didn’t have fun 😉

I enjoy watching it because I like the cast. There are many British celebrities I know plus the stunning Michelle Pfeiffer…to be honest though she is much older than Claire Danes, she is by far more beautiful than Claire. By the way, my favorite comedian, Noel Fielding was supposed to play as Prince Quintus (the ghost) but was ill on the production and replaced by Adam Buxton…too bad, it would add extra fun to see him there 😉

I don’t know about the book, it might be better than the movie but I think I will pass on the book and read Gaiman’s other books.

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Michael Dreyer, Neil Gaiman, Matthew Vaughn
Screenwriter: Jane Goldman, Matthew VaughnNarrated by
Starring: Ian McKellen (Narator), Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Ricky Gervais, Jason Flemying, Mark Strong, Rupert Everett, Peter O’Toole, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, Adam Buxton, David Walliams.
Rating:  2,5 stars

Coraline (2007)


I grew up in the bizarre and unpredictable world of Japanese animation therefore none of the predictable Hollywood animation has ever amazed me…till Coraline.

Every time someone mentioned how he/she loves Pixar or Dreamwork or Disney, I always ended up saying “yeah they’re okay”…my friend even said that she was quite surprised I watched Hollywood animation when I was watching Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, I reminded her that I still watch Hollywood animation but NONE has awed me the way Japanese animation had (such as Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke or even Blood-The Last Vampire). I know…I am a tough crowd when it comes to animation.

Coraline is fantastic!! I love everything about it, it was a 100 minutes of great imagination. How I love to read the book now.

Coraline and her family had just moved in to an old house. Coraline’s parents were very busy and had no time for her…she hated it. A doll that looked like her was given to her. The doll somehow showed her a small door that led to another world, a world where everything and everyone were a lot better than in her real world. But as the old saying, be careful for what you wish for because her perfect new world was NOT as perfect as she thought.

That’s all I can say about the story because writing more means more spoiler and I think everyone should not be spoiled when it comes to a great movie.

What I like the most in Coraline is how vast the imagination is. It’s a wonder to see many things transformed to another thing and even though I can guess how it might end but throughout but the way to get there is unpredictable. And that is the kind of journey I love. I know I will see this animation again soon. The animation is also amazing, a feast to the eyes. And don’t forget the scoring…Coraline has marvelous scoring and a great closing theme.

In short, Coraline has fantastic story, beautiful animation and great music.

“Coraline [was] a huge risk. But these days in animation, the safest bet is to take a risk.”

~Henry Selick,

And I say…DO take a risk like the Japanese animators always did!!

Director: Henry Selick
Producers: Henry Selick, Claire Jennings
Screenwriter: Henry Selick
Music: Bruno Coulais
Starring: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, John Hodgman, Ian McShane
Rating: 5 stars

15 thoughts on “Back to Back Neil Gaiman : Stardust and Coraline

  1. I’ve read and watched Stardust, the book is a bot better than the movie but I would say it’s Gaiman’s weakest work. I have Coraline here but not read it and also not seen the movie as I wanted to read the book first. It sounds really, really good. It should be a quick read, only 100 pages or so.
    Not everyone likes American Gods. I haven’t read it yet.
    In any case, he is highly creative, even if something he does is not something I like, I still enjoy the passion behind it.

    1. Ah I see…so I guess I am going to skip Stardust for sure.

      Coraline is a thin book? Wow, I thought it would be thicker because of all the imagination in it was so detail. I honestly think it’s really good, the best Hollywood animation I have ever seen so far.

      Gaiman’s book is a bit difficult to find 😦 I have searched in several bookstores and finally found it in one store and not all of them are there. I was planning to buy The Graveyard Book but they don’t have it so I choose American Gods, I hope it’ll be a good one.

  2. I really enjoyed reading Stardust, but I haven’t seen the movie. What I like best about the book is the simple telling of the fairy tale. It’s just a sweet, uncomplicated story. As for Coraline I haven’t read or seen it. I have a feeling after reading this review I will bump them both up my lists. And thanks for mentioning my blog. I hope you have been well.

    1. Maybe reading it is better than watching it…I mean there is always extra feeling to something we read. I did enjoy the movie but not sure it’ll be something I remember in few years from now.
      Do tell me if you have seen Coraline 🙂 I like it a lot…both the story and the animation…awesome movie. I am going to see if I can find the book.

  3. I came to Gaiman through his work on the Sandman graphic novels which are great. I have American Gods but I haven’t read it yet… Like you, I prefer Coraline to Stardust. Both are very intelligent and witty but I prefer the darker elements in the former. I liked it so much I watched it twice in a row!

    Oh wow, you like Blood: The Last Vampire? Me too. Have you seen Blood +?

    1. I have heard of that sandman, I am going to read American Gods first and then decide whether I want to read his other works of not based on that book.

      Coraline is brilliant! Although I like Stardust I don’t find it that witty tho…the two are in different league to me.

      Of course…I rarely like Vampire movies but Blood make new kind of vampire and I like its eerie feeling. No, I haven’t seen Blood + 😦 couldn’t find it yet. I have seen the live action version…not that good.

      1. I was so disappointed with the movie version. I was excited about seeing it and my expectations were at reasonable levels. I went into the cinema with my Blood+ t-shirt and explained to anybody who asked just what the series was. The film was so dull and the character relationships poorly done!

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