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 Despoiler » My Funny Coraline

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My Funny Coraline

Posted by SpaceBass on November 17th, 2008 filed in tips, trailheads


Sometimes when the internets sends you packages, it does them up right. Nothing is more exciting than a mystery box full of mystery, unless maybe it’s full of mysterious WMDs or something but that’s sorta more intense than it is exciting. One such package dropped on our front stoop this weekend. The former kind, not the deadly latter.

Mystery Box
Mystery Box Full of Mystery

And while there may have been no deadly latter, there certainly was a droll letter.

Letter Excerpt
Letter Excerpt

Box Contents
Box Contents

You guessed correctly, true-believers! This sucker is electrical! No wait, it’s made of wood and cloth and paper and stuff but there is electricity in the air! The movie is Coraline, based on the children’s book by geek hero, Neil Gaiman, and it’s directed by the charming bloke who made The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach! This is so gonna rule.

Mystery Key of Mystery

One of the items in the lid of the box sends us to coraline.com, where we’re prompted for the key that was helpfully provided. Entering “stopmotion” reveals a behind-the-scenes video look at production of the upcoming feature. The site also lets you sign up for updates by providing an email address and opting for voice and text message contacts through your cell phone. Are you brave enough? We’re not but we’re just that foolhardy anyway.

More photos of the box contents after the jump, including the full text of the letter. Enjoy!

Transcription of the Letter follows. Click here for the Full Image or here for the Huge Version.

Dear Despoiler,

Since ancient times, strangers who work on feature films have sent strangers with great websites mysterious gifts in the hope that they can connect over a mutual interest and come to love each other. Some people think that receiving random gifts from strangers in the mail is illicit. Not when the gifts are awesome. Right?

Inside this old box is a one-of-a-kind collection we’ve amassed and cataloged with you and you alone in mind.

Why? We at Laika are nearing completion of Coraline, our first full-length animated film. For the last three years, 351 of the world’s oddest and most talented animators, artisans, and puppet fabricators have been hand-making one movie. Led by Henry Selick, the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, this team has created the first stop-motion feature shot in 3D. Based on teh beloved best-selling children’s classic by Neil Gaiman, Coraline is a fairy-tale nightmare steeped in classic storytelling, craftsmanship, and the old-fashioned art ofmoviemaking magic. That means everything is handmade. Every leaf, drawer pull, and roast turkey. Even the rusty shower water.

The plain truth of the matter is, we are pretty obsessed with mysterious storytelling. Like you. That’s why we admire Despoiler.org. We like your devotion to discovery. And share your cross-all-bounds approach to following the trail from beginning to end. Enjoy the hunt. The braver you are, the more you’ll see. Please keep up the super work. We’ll be reading.

Coraline is coming out this February. If we have guessed correctly that you are a curious person with access tot he internet, perhaps you’ll look for more cool things about this film. This is not a secret we hope you won’t want to share. And so, we say thank you for your time, enjoy, and hello.

The Coraline Team

Building movies by hand in Portland, Oregon (983 miles from Hollywood)

Hooray, Portland!

Box Side
Box Side – “The braver you are the more you’ll see.”

Handmade in Oregon 24/50
Handmade in Oregon 24/50

Inside the Box
Inside the Box

Box Lid
Box Lid

The envelope on the left with the wax seal contained the letter transcribed and pictured above. We carefully slit the top of the envelope to retrieve the letter without destroying the seal.

Henry Selick's Signature
Henry Selick’s Signature

Looking Stone
Looking Stone

Chapter 11
Chapter 11 Excerpt – Click for Huge Version

49 Responses to “My Funny Coraline”

  1. Rick Boyer Says:

    Nice writing style. I look forward to reading more in the future.

  2. Michelle Senderhauf Says:

    Oh My God! Super Coolness!!!!

  3. Ouroboros Says:

    That is so awesome!

  4. krystyn Says:

    Wow. Color me totally green with envy. That is one gorgeous box. Nicely done, Coraline people. Nicely done.

  5. faetea Says:

    I’ve been curious about this movie. The book is good. I didn’t know they were making the movie in stop motion. I’m excited now.

  6. ARG Netcast, Episode 68: Now We’re On To Something | ARG Netcasts Says:

    [...] San Francisco, a Harvard blogger claims that my.BarackObama.com is the game of the year, Sean gets very cool swag, and FIVE AWESOME EMAILS for our “Let’s Make an ARG” [...]

  7. Michael Andersen Says:

    After watching the video, one of the links leads back to enter new keys, presumably to unlock additional content — seems like it’d be worth scouring the net to find the other 49.

  8. SpaceBass Says:

    You could also try BUTTONEYES, if this wholly random dude is to be believed.

  9. drizjr Says:

    Other passwords found at http://micechat.com/forums/blogs/orbitalpunk/852-coraline-vignettes.html

  10. Coraline Site Up » Drawn! The Illustration and Cartooning Blog Says:

    [...] up-coming stop-motion feature produced entirely at LAIKA. First of all, check out the mystery packages they sent out to various members of the press. You’ll notice from that post a password to enter once you’re on the film’s site. [...]

  11. Coraline Site Up | Sugar Mob Says:

    [...] up-coming stop-motion feature produced entirely at LAIKA. First of all, check out the mystery packages they sent out to various members of the press. You’ll notice from that post a password to enter once you’re on the film’s site. [...]

  12. ‘Coraline’, tráiler y acertijos online Says:

    [...] como no se lo han currado lo suficiente, atentos a los gift packs que están enviando a la prensa… ¡que [...]

  13. audra Says:

    wow, so breathtaking. after seeing the preview at Neil’s book tour, i have never been more excited to see a film.

    i can’t sit still!


    [...] promocionar Coraline, enviaron a los medios de comunicación una misteriosa caja de madera que contenía información, fotos y lo más importante: una llave con una clave secreta para entrar [...]

  15. I’m Only Mostly Dead « 1416 and Counting Says:

    [...] Take note, viral marketers of movies, because this is wise:   Check out what Cleolinda and Despoiler got for Coraline.   Now that is a ton of awesome and a half.    (Me?  Envious.  Of [...]

  16. La palabra clave es “stopmotion” « La buhardilla Says:

    [...] de lo hermoso de todo el proyecto. Han enviado a varios miembros de la prensa por correo unos misteriosos paquetes. Se trata de una edición limitada de cajas hechas a mano que contienen, entre otras cosas como una [...]

  17. ממלכת ארנבי הפלסטיק » ארכיון הבלוג » עוד עדכוני קורליין Says:

    [...] – אחד מהם הוא stopmotion – באדיבות הבלוגר despoiler, שזכה לקבל מתנה מדהימה מ-Laika,עוד אחד הוא buttoneye, באדיבות ניל גיימן. וב-Drawn! אספו [...]

  18. the scramble » Blog Archive » stop motion: a dream. Says:

    [...] Coraline. I was tinkering on the internets and found out that the film makers have sent out special hand-made press boxes to the media with promotional contents about the film. Inside was a password that one can use to [...]

  19. fisticuffs Says:

    Also try the passkey “buttoneyes.” Good stuff.

  20. fisticuffs Says:

    Duh. missed the above comment about BUTTONEYES. Enjoy, tho.

  21. his only proof for the existence of God was music « Flower Child of Doom Says:

    [...] http://www.despoiler.org/2008/11/17/my-funny-coraline/ [...]

  22. Nellita Says:

    I love this!!!

  23. bonus monday « couch sleeping beauty Says:

    [...] you, i can’t wait for coraline to come out next year february. check more out the cool chest despoiler got to promote the show and its official website coraline.com which you can enter two keywords that [...]

  24. A Magic Box From The Makers of Coraline | /Film Says:

    [...] I’m not sure where the other 49 boxes will turn up, and so far it seems very random. I’ve found photos on Toycutter and despoiler. [...]

  25. allen mezquida Says:

    Two questions:
    1) What’s your address so I can send you cool gifts to write about my animated short films?
    2) How can I get your job?

    Thanks man.

  26. SpaceBass Says:

    Dear Allen:

    1) Check our contact page.
    2) Send us your resume and $100,000 USD in gold doubloons (non-refundable).

    In other news, evidence of other packages is starting to spring up around the interwebs. Each box seems pretty unique aside from the form letters. Let’s collect some links (remember, there are likely 50 boxes).

    No. 13PUPPETLOVE at Slashfilm
    No. 22BUTTONEYES at Superpunch
    No. 33BUTTONEYES at Occupation: Girl

  27. Suzi Says:

    Box #5 has shown up here with me:

  28. Coraline: nieuwe trailer en 50 magic boxes | Animatie Says:

    [...] Piranha #13 – Peter @ Slashfilm.com #14 – Eve @ Geeksofdoom.com #22 – John @ Toycutter.com #24 – Despoiler @ Despoiler.org #33 – Cleolinda Dit bericht [...]

  29. Angel Lahoo Says:

    WOW¡¡¡ I love caroline

  30. Marketing Roadmaps » Blogger Relations done right Says:

    [...] Read about it here: A little nail polish, a bit of Coraline and an email from Neil Gaiman and here: My funny Coraline. [...]

  31. SpaceBass Says:

    No. 2BUTTONEYES at Kiss the Librarian.
    No. 6SWEATERXXS at Wendy Knits

  32. A little nail polish, a bit of Coraline and an email from Neil Gaiman « Diary of a Fangirl Says:

    [...] #5 – Fashion Piranha #6 – Wendy Knits #13 – SlashFilm #14 – Geeks of Doom #22 – Toycutter #24 – Despoiler #33 – Cleolinda Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Neil Gaiman is a god (duh)SQEEEEE! [...]

  33. SpaceBass Says:

    No. 29OBSCURED?! but soon to be posted (we assume) at Heroine Sheik.

  34. Em Says:

    Box 11 showed up here with me…

  35. Stephen Worth Says:

    Box 37 arrived at the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive…


    We’re opening it tonight.

  36. Samurai in New York » Blog Archive » More On Our Coraline Suitcase… Says:

    [...] OneBox TwoBox FiveBox SixBox ElevenBox ThirteenBox FourteenBox Twenty-TwoBox Twenty-FourBox Twenty-NineBox [...]

  37. Stephen Worth Says:

    13 boxes so far…


  38. Stephen Worth Says:

    We got the sewing kit with the button eyes and a big scrapbook!

  39. SpaceBass Says:

    If you signed up for Cell phone updates, you might have just gotten a text like us to try the code OTHERWORLD. Neat!

  40. The Kreep Says:

    No. 46


    in e†ernity
    Brazillia R. Kreep

  41. Carl V. Says:

    That is too terribly cool. I recently posted about mine if you are interested:


  42. [Coraline] Coraline’s Mystery Packages - in your basement Says:

    [...] Geeksofdoom.com #15 – Charley @ Lines and Colors #22 – John @ Toycutter.com #23 – ToyrsREvil #24 – Despoiler @ Despoiler.org #29 – Bonnie @ Heroine Sheik #33 – Cleolinda #34 – Miss Addams @ VampireFreaks #37 – Stephen @ [...]

  43. Woo Says:

    I’m so jealous I want to vomit. OMG!

  44. SNEAKERMAN416 Says:

    Anybody have any news on the password/secret to get the Coraline Dunks??

  45. Stephanie Says:

    Where do you send the box to!?? I’m aching to find out. I’ve really loved Coraline since it first came out, and I meet the requirements for this, I just don’t know where to send the stupid box TO! Please tell me!!! I reaaaallly want this :”(

  46. Coraline Mystery Box Roundup Says:

    [...] Box Twenty-Four: Despoiler"We are pretty obsessed with mysterious storytelling. Like you. That’s why we admire Despoiler. We like your devotion to discovery. And share your cross-all-bounds approach to following the trail from beginning to end. Enjoy the hunt. The braver you are, the more you’ll see." [...]

  47. Joy Tricks » Blog Archive » Coraline release today Says:

    [...] No. 24 – Despoiler [...]

  48. Cory O'Brien Says:

    These boxes were a FANTASTIC way to market a film, and when you also consider the fact that they made custom Nikes, trash bag street art, augmented reality mirrors, and a whole lot more, it’s no wonder there’s so much buzz surrounding this movie! Congrats on getting a box, and if you ever want a place to store it… ;)


  49. LAIKA & Wieden+Kennedy sittin’ in a tree … M-A-R-K-E-T-I-N-G | Fresh Says:

    [...] keys attached to tags with “Coraline dot com” and a password (photo on the left from Despoiler). Of course the bloggers posted photos of their mailed treasures so pretty soon the passwords were [...]

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