Thursday, December 2, 2010

Detroit Zoo Snow Globe Part 1

The Detroit Zoo Snow Globe has become a fan favorite. The Detroit Zoo had not previously released a snow globe similar to the one seen in Coraline, but due its popularity, they are now and they are available in either the gift shop or by phone (248) 541-5717 ext. 3274). Here is an interesting article about creating the snow globe.
The Detroit Zoo Snow Globe isn't identical to the screen used prop, so I think I am going to make one for myself. I will pick up a 'Make-your-own-snow-globe' kit, sculpt the bears and fountain, mold it, cast it, paint it, and slap it together. Should make for an interesting new project. The prop does appear
to have subtle differences between each scale the globe was made in. The larger globe has more detail then the smaller one obviously. So I will have to take some creative license in re-creating it. Progress pics as I go (Probably wont be soon). Maybe someday my wife and I will visit the Detroit Zoo and re-create the picture of Coraline and her family in front of the fountain.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Coraline at PDX

My wife and I where traveling this year to Mississippi for Thanksgiving to visit her grandparents for my first time. We flew out of Portland Airport. After passing through security, we grabbed a cup of coffee at the coffee shop there, and immediately to the right was a display about 3D innovation. It covered the beginnings of 3D, to how it is today. Included in the display were 3D photos and even 3D prototyping using 3D printers. It was pretty cool in of it self, but as I was about to walk away, I looked back and something caught my eye. I walked back to the display, and at the very end, hiding in the dark was a puppet and set from the Movie Coraline. In fact, it was Coraline in her 'shopping' outfit, the cat, and the ¼ scale of the Other Garden that I am sure was used in the scene where Coraline and the Other-Father are flying over the garden. I cannot believe that I almost missed it. It was honestly the highlight of my trip. I didn’t have my camera handy at the time, but I made sure to take pictures when we got back. I could have stood there for hours looking at it, but I could tell my wife wanted to leave. It was a real treat to see these in person.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Angel Taxidermy Scotty Dogs

Inspired by my previous posts, I went back to try to ID the Angel winged Scotty dogs. We see two walls, each holding three shelves with three dogs on each shelf, for a total of eighteen dogs. The top row, the dogs are facing right, on second row they are facing left, and the bottom row they are facing right again. There is also a consistency of appearance of each row. The top row shows the dogs with their tongues sticking out, second row the dogs appear to be praying, and the third row the dogs have harps as well as reddish-orange noses.The dogs that have been ID'd are (in no particular order) Hamish III, Hamish IV, Hamish VI, Hamish VII, Hamish VIII, Hamish IX, Angus II, Angus III, Angus IV, Angus V, Angus VII, Angus IX, Jock I, Jock II, Jock III, Jock IV, and Jock's second cousin thrice (twice?) removed. Assuming there are six dogs for each name, then I am missing a Jock to complete my total. I would need some Hi-res images to see if I can ID where each dog is located on the selves themselves.
I first assumed that each row was all one dog. In other words, the top row is Hamish, the second row is Angus and the third row is Jock. However, close-up they appear to be mismatched. There could be a Jock, Hamish and Angus on each row (more likely the case).
If the number of each dog is any correlation to how many dogs they owned, then I can only assume that the current dogs are Angus X, Hamish X, and Jock X. If this is true, then where are the other nine dogs? Maybe someone who worked on Coraline would know.

I have since gone back to look at my Blu-Ray to see if I could make out which dogs were on which shelves. My conclusion is when we see the Close up shots of Hamish II, Angus IX, and Jock III, that they must have been filmed separately, as they don't have any correlation with the above image of the right wall.
With that said, on the Right Wall, Top row, going left to right are yet unknown. Second row going left to right are Jock I, Hamish ?, Angus V. Third row, going left to right is Angus IX, Hamish VI, Hamish VIII.
Now, what is interesting, is when we see a closer shot of this wall, the dogs are different.
Third row going left to right are Jock III, Angus III, & Jock IV. Confusing I know.
My theory, is that there were two different sets of the basement made, filmed at different locations, and each set the dogs were in a different order. Or, we are seeing a flipped negative to match the direction of the characters, and are actually seeing the right wall in some shots, and the left wall in others. My other thought is the set could have been reconstructed at a later time and the dogs were put in the wrong order for the pick up shots. Whatever the reason, they are not consistent. On a fun note, while I was watching the dogs during this scene, you can see Jock IV move a couple of times.

Original Coraline Movie Puppets

I did a quick search on the website to see if they had anymore Coraline props. They had/have a few signed items, a pair of Nike Dunks ($400), and some more puppets. Included is another Other-Scotty dog, a Other-Jumping mouse and a second Taxidermy Scotty Dog Hamish VIII.

It is really neat, if nothing else, to see some close up photos of each of the puppets. I enjoy studying the details that the artists put into each puppet, hopefully to try to re-create it for myself. I'll have to go back to the film for reference on each of the Eighteen Taxidermy Angel Scotty Dogs.

Now, on the other-jumping mouse puppet, that is what I call a "custom base". I have seen this base a couple times for other jumping-mice props that have gone up for sale in the past. There was even a custom base made for the Coraline puppet too, if I am not mistaken. It would certainly add to the collectability to the Scotty Dogs if they too had a fancy base like the mice.

Photos from Profiles in History

Original Scotty Dog Props on Auction

Original Other-Scotty Dog puppet, "...constructed of foam with miniature button eyes and red ribbon collar. Measures 4 ½ in. tall..." sold for $2750. The 'custom' base looks like a block of wood that you can find in any craft store, painted black. So I am not sure what part of it is custom. I would love to own an original prop or puppet from the film. To check out the Auction yourself, see Profiles in History.

The second is the Taxidermy Angus IX "...constructed of foam with resin harp and wings of gold paper. He wears a gold trimmed sweater of white yarn. Measures 4 ¼ in. tall..." sold for $2,500. Another great prop that I would love to own. Check out Profiles in History for the Auction.
Angus the IX is one of the stuffed scotty dogs we see clearly on film twice, and each time, it is a different dog(?). The first time we see Angus IX is in the provided screen shot. Note the differences: first, the dog is facing the opposite direction, second is the redish-orange nose, third is the one on screen is praying, when the one in the Auction has a Harp. However, while the close up shots where most likely done at a different time, when the camera pulls back and we see the wall of dogs, the Auction Angus IX is clearly seen in the bottom row, on the left. Unfortunately the puppet has suffered the loss of its halo.

There is also going to be an upcoming Auction for a Collection of Corpse Bride Puppets.

photos from Profiles in History

Thursday, March 25, 2010

NECA Authentic Movie Prop Replica Little Me

It's finally here! The 'Little Me' Coraline doll from NECA. It was available for pre-order last July, but its release date kept getting pushed further and further back. But the wait is finally over. Now I am going to have to pick up another one.

Little me certainly looks great. She is a good height and the quality is really well done. The black dress as well as her orange striped undershirt is pretty spot on with the original doll. Her rain coat is the most obvious difference. The way it sits, the shade of yellow and even the texture is a bit off. It does have some 'weathering' to the coat to make it a bit dirty, but all and all it works fine.
Her striped stockings look good. I cannot tell what is more screen accurate as there were three different sizes of the Little Me Dolls made for the film and they all look a little different themselves (Check out Paloma Soledad's site for pictures). Otherwise I would say that the white band of the black and white stripes is a bit thin comparatively to the film. But that's being nit picky.
Here hair looks really good. I think they even went as far as to match the blue and black lines in her hair to the original. Her face is hard and textured. The paint job is a little bit off. She is missing a freckle on each cheek. Her lips should be a little more left, and not so centered. The stitching along her mouth was only on the opening sequence doll and should have a little more detail and paint.
The dragonfly hair clip looks right, but would also need to be repainted to provide a little more detail. I have not taken her off her back board yet, but I do believe that she is wired in side to make her posable. Oh, and the black stitch lines are missing from her boots. But for $24.99, ($31.94 shipped) it is well worth it for any Coraline fan. I would say, don't buy her off eBay for $33.00 plus shipping, not when you can get her for less at

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nightmare Before Christmas Town

I cannot believe I have never seen these till now! Hawthorne Village has come out with a limited number of houses from The Nightmare before Christmas! I love walking in those stores during Christmas time and seeing all the little towns that light up and think to myself, "gosh, those are so cool, I would really like to have a set for myself someday". However, I could never find a set that I really liked for the price. Until now. I am ordering the Christmas Town set first, then the Halloween Town, then the train set. In about two or more years and after $2000, I should have the complete set! My first and second shipment has already arrived. As far as my personal review, I would say they are really neat. They do need a little more touch up on the paint job to get it a little more accurate to the screen version. Some details are also missing here and there, plus the addition of all the wreaths, but all and all, I love it.