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Coraline and Spirited away (spoilers both)
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Companion to owls
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Picture of cloverheart
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I just watched it again, and found so many similarities, I wanted to ask if anyone else noticed.

Both have a girl as main character, changing homes, both are bored and sort of upset... There's the tunnel/corridor, the evil witch, the parents in danger, the sudden burst of courage and determination to save them; both get to save others in the process of saving the parents, and an unexpected help (cat, Haku). They both have to save the parents by finding/recognising them, go back home through tunnel/corridor, parents don't remember a bit even though time HAS passed...
It was so similar it kept botherig me, making me wonder who had ripped off whom. Only then I remembered Coraline took 10 years to be finished, and the movie came out before Coraline did, so i'm at ease now. Smile

But, it's still curious. Does anyone know of similar tales with those same details?

 
Posts: 11802 | Location: home? | Registered: June 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I wouldn't really say that ˜Spirited Away' is a rip-off of the book. What's the word that I'm looking for here...oh yes...coincidence?
 
Posts: 12 | Location: Norwich, England | Registered: April 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nono, I didn't mean to say neither were a ripoff, because the bok was started before the movie was even thoguht off, but the movie came out before the book did (or at the same time more or less, but still it couldn't be ripoff).
I just noticed so many similarities ion form and tone, that I thought it was funny. I too think it's a coincidence, but maybe it was, there are some stories aout there similar, and it's some collective subconscious thing...

Like when Neil said he didn't think Harry Potter was a ripoff of Books of Magic, but that they both probably stole things form somewhere else (i don't remember the book or author).

 
Posts: 11802 | Location: home? | Registered: June 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Heh, sorry if my last post sounded a bit ˜meow'. I can see where you're coming from...but hey, these kinds of arguments never end. I have to agree with your comment on ˜Book's of Magic' and ˜Harry Potter' though, and funnily enough the similarities had never really struck me before. Hi, I'm dense by the way. Surely it must cheese of Gaiman a bit though, as now he'll never get a fad wad of green in his hand for a film version of the ˜Magic', as all the children will point and scream ˜Potter rip-off'.
 
Posts: 12 | Location: Norwich, England | Registered: April 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You might remember that Neil has been associated with Miyazaki's work in the past. (He wrote the English language narrative for Princess Mononoke.) I noticed the similarities between Spirited Away and Coraline as well. It could just be chalked up to being the works of similarly wonderful storytellers. =)
 
Posts: 2 | Location: California, USA | Registered: May 18, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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yes, Neil has been associated with Miyazaki, but since Coraline took a decade to make, that places it being started many years before Spirited Away was written
 
Posts: 13129 | Location: Tucson | Registered: June 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I found similarities as well.
For the same reasons you explained I don't think that neither Miyazaki nor Neil ripped off the other author's work.

Anyway, I've seen Spirited Away twice and I think it's beautiful

guts
 
Posts: 30 | Location: Milano, Italy | Registered: May 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I talked to Neil about this a little when I met him in January, because I always had a real feeling of having lived neverwhere before the first time that I read it, and he chalked it up to good/universal storytelling. And think that is what Gaiman is the master of. He pulls stories out of the universal consciousness that makes stories good, believable, touching and personal for everyone. So of course his stories are going to have similarities with other incredible storytellers' tales. Miyazaki pulls from the same place. I say let the serendipity have its play in the world, it makes the world so much more interesting.

Jeremy

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"Come over here to where When lingers." JCBush
 
Posts: 1955 | Location: France | Registered: December 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, absolutely.


I think everyone has his own 'Alice in wonderland'. Perhaps everyone is an 'Alice in wonderland', at least for one time. It could be a Coraline or a Chihiro, or anyone else. We recognize her and we can't not feel her inside us. She is part of what we are, or what we're supposed to be.
As said Jung (and Alan Moore!) everyone takes the ideas from the same world the others do. So that the ideas are often the same. Is the personality of the writer that changes the ideas in stories.
And that world is the same world where we meet our dreams.
But it's too late. My first day here. No paranoia. I'll go to meet Morpheus now. I hope not to take someone else's dream...

'night
didì

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Posts: 45 | Registered: May 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Incidentally, the Neil-Miyazaki connection goes a step further. Miyazaki's next project (for the summer of 2004, I think) is Howl's Moving Castle, which we all know is written by Diana Wynne Jones, Neil's good friend. I'm so glad he decided not to retire after Mononoke. =)
 
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I think what we're looking at here is classic Joseph Campbell stuff. Both stories contain the same images because out minds contain those same images. Even across cultures, we have these associations, these familiar and comforting themes. It's how they're played with that makes the drama.

"I used to be a respected Watcher, and now I'm a wounded dwarf with the mystic strength of a doily."
-Giles
 
Posts: 48708 | Location: Concord, NH, USA | Registered: July 20, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow! I never noticed the similarites. They do have many things in common. Though I must say, Coraline was my favorite of the two.

And speaking of similarites, Margaret Wise and Tracy Hickman's Drangonlance chronicles have uncanny mirrors to JR Tolkien's work.

Either way, I'm a fantasy literature freak.
 
Posts: 8 | Location: North Carolina, USA | Registered: September 28, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yeah I finished Coraline just before I got to see Spirited Away in the theaters. (Miyazaki on the big screen was simply awesome!) Anyways, Yes I did notice a passing resemblence between the two works. I can imagine what it'd be like for Chiciro to sit down to tea with Coraline, and they'd swap their stories, and the mice would come and play a tune or two, and the cat would sit in as well.

I do hope the Miyazaki-san and Neil Gaiman can colaborate again.

Better than Chicken?! YOU DAMN RIGHT!!!!!!!
http://walk.to/AP
 
Posts: 9 | Location: MO | Registered: June 12, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by clover:
But, it's still curious. Does anyone know of similar tales with those same details?



Bernard Rose's movie "Paperhouse" based on the childrens novel "Marianne Dreams" by Catherine Storr has SOME similarities with Coraline.

A young girl, a weird Parallel dream world made up only of an empty field and a 'paperhouse' (in the movie clearly inspired by that painting "Christinas World"). There's a boy the girl is trying to save. . . and at one point in the story a nightmarish version of the girls alcoholic father enters the world. Except he's blind - he's got no eyes. Also there IS a tunnel sort of - at one point the girl enters an old railway tunnel in the real world, falls asleep and enters the dream world of the house.

Along with "The Company of Wolves" I'd say that "Paperhouse" is probably the most 'Neil Gaiman-ish' fantasy movie out there.



Deservedly a "classic", 1 March, 2003
Reviewer: A reader from Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom
- "20 years after I first read this book, I *finally* tracked it down again. I remember being sufficiently scared at 11 that I couldn't read it at night. This time I finished it in an afternoon and the last 2 decades have taken nothing away from this superb book, indeed there are more subtleties now than on reading it as a child. It's clear that Marianne's dream world is a reflection - as dreams often are - of her fears and anxieties in real-life. She and Mark, the boy at the window, are both ill, and both almost fearful of leaving their sickbeds after months in them. In Mark's case, he is defeatist and "lazy" about getting well again, and believes there is no point in trying to walk, because he knows he won't be able to. All of this is conveyed to Marianne by a third party, her governess, since Mark and Marianne in real life have never met. Mark initially couldn't walk because of his illness - which corresponds to the lack of stairs in the dream house. When Marianne draws in the stairs (equal to Mark having the ability to walk in real-life, but not the inclination), Mark still refuses to use them. The evil boulders and menacing air, propelling them finally to try to leave the house, represent the medical opinion that if Mark and Marianne never try to get better, they will be sick for the rest of their lives: the boulders get closer and try to stop them leaving, but they must make the effort if they are finally to leave the house (dream) or sickbed (real life). Each dream sequence directly corresponds to what is going on in their real lives, and the escape to the safety of the tower and the sea symbolises their return to health - will they ever make it?

This book is eerie and menacing, and while I intend to watch the movie based on the book, PaperHouse, I'm a bit wary having read other reviews that seem to say the film has missed a large part of what the book is about and what it symbolises, and instead concentrates only on the horror aspect. "



Amazon.co.uk Review:
"To define the 1988 fantasy flick Paperhouse as a mere horror film would be an injustice--although this intelligent and thought-provoking British film is certainly scary in parts. In exploring the world of dreams, director Bernard Rose (Candyman) offers a far more elegant exposition of the subject than the Nightmare on Elm Street school of horror. Based on the novel Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr, Paperhouse offers a believable cause for its intensified dreamworld: Anna (Charlotte Burke) falls ill with glandular fever--a fever which will blur her understanding of reality and dreams. It is clear from the start that Anna has an overzealous imagination, holding onto her childhood games while her best friend becomes more interested in boys. Before her descent into illness Anna draws the Paperhouse of the title, and it is this house that dominates her dream world.
Although the acting is rather hammy and the scenes set in reality are tedious, the true beauty of the film comes from Production Designer Gemma Jackson and Cinematographer Mike Southon, whose talents emerge in the dream sequences. Clearly taking inspiration from the Surrealist movement, Jackson recreates a chilling version of Anna's drawing of the house, full of dark shadows and terrifying noises, that perhaps has more in common with Jan Svankmajer's macabre adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice than the innocent childhood offerings of Disney. Ultimately Paperhouse is an exploration of the traumatic transition into adulthood of a young girl on the cusp of her teenage years: at the start of the film Anna "hates boys", but by the end she is sharing her first kiss with Mark, her playmate in the dream world.

On the DVD With a 1.66:1 ratio format and Dolby Digital sound the stylistic brilliance of this movie is much easier to see and enjoy than in its previous incarnations on television and video. The special features leave a lot to be desired, though, offering only an unexciting original trailer and four filmographies for the director and the three main adult actresses." --Nikki Disney

---------------------------------------------------------

"How we were lied to by trailers back in the 80s. Paperhouse wasn't, isn't, and never will be the British answer to Nightmare On Elm Street we were all promised back in '88, but it is a cracking film. In fact, it's more of a children's story than anything else, only veering (effectively) into horror territory for one small segment.
The story concerns Anna - who after being subjected to the worst horror of all (being made to wait in the corridor by teacher) collapses at school. Mum rushes to pick her up (Dad's away in Mogadishu, of all places) but Anna tells her it was just a ruse to get out of school.
She gets taken back, but bunks off again - and once again collapses, this time in a disused railway tunnel, necessitating a huge police hunt. Each time she has collapsed she has dreamt of a house she drew at the beginning of the film - as she adds more to her picture, more things appear in her dreams - including a boy at the window, who tells her: "Go away, don't you understand? It's dangerous around here - dangerous!"
Despite this obvious unfriendliness, Anna decides to help anyway - and through her pictures gives the boy lots of toys to play with. She's diagnosed with glandular fever (hence the collapsing), and as the illness takes hold, the dreams become more vivid. She also learns of a disabled boy being looked after by her doctor, who she begins to realise is the boy in her dreams.
The horror comes when she decides to put her still absent dad in the picture, but doesn't like the way her drawing comes out and attempts to erase it. In her dreams he appears as a silhouette on the horizon, screaming: "Anna? Is that you? I'm BLIND!" and advances on the pair with a hammer.
What makes Paperhouse a cut above most kids' movies (and a lot of horrors) is its strangeness - the view from Anna's bedroom window is skewed, she can't rub out anything in her picture, and even the dustbinmen seem like a threat (nothing new there, then).
It also has a few genuine shocks, not least when dad leaps towards the camera from a previously inanimate photograph. And although it's eventually proved to be all in Anna's mind, Dad (played by Ben Cross) seems like a very real threat as he lurks in the shadows. ven hen he finally appears in real life you can't shake the feeling that he's about to whip out his hammer and start battering.
The dream house is also a triumph of design. All in all, Paperhouse is a great movie - a weird mixture of shocker and nostalgia that somehow pushes all the right buttons."


Paperhouse (1988)
Director: Bernard Rose Writer(s): Matthew Jacobs, Catherine Storr (novel Marianne Dreams)
Cast: Charlotte Burke - Anna Madden, Jane Bertish - Miss Vanstone, Samantha Cahill - Sharon, Glenne Headly - Kate Madden, Sarah Newbold - Karen, Anna's School friend, Gary Bleasdale - Policeman, Elliott Spiers - Marc, Gemma Jones - Dr. Sarah Nicols, Steve O'Donnell - Dustman (as Steven O'Donnell), Ben Cross - Dad Madden, Karen Gledhill - Nurse, Barbara Keogh - Hotel Receptionist

[This message was edited by mtxx on July 06, 2003 at 06:46 AM.]
 
Posts: 13534 | Location: Denmark | Registered: June 20, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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THe novel and the region 2 dvd are available at www.amazon.co.uk .

The American VHS tape is available at www.amazon.com

THe movie is also released on region 4 dvd. At the moment some copies are available at Z-shops at www.Amazon.com

- Michael
 
Posts: 13534 | Location: Denmark | Registered: June 20, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I never personally noticed the similarities between "Spirited Away" and "Coraline", but I suppose there is a link to the two. But I wouldn't dwell on it being theft or anything. The two are unliked enough as far as I'm concerned.
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: August 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So. . .I probably don't know what I'm talking about and I'm not an expert, but the Japanese way of telling stories often differs from the western way of doing so, Especially in Children's stories. I think most would agree that Neil has his own way of telling them too. In Japan, as well as in China and many other countries, stories are built and rebuilt, based on the foundations of the ones written long ago. Neither way include sugar coating anything. Like I said, I'm NOT an expert, but if you have read anything by Neil you'll know that he's a pretty bright guy, and one of the best things about reading his pieces is that you have to dig deeper and do a little research to understand every facet. And lets face it, who understands every facet? When I was 15 I felt like I should have read Sandman with a set of encyclopedias.
Spirited away was out over here (Japan) a long time before it came out in the states. I guess that makes it harder for me to link the two stories so.
It is kinda cool though thinking that all my students and the little kids running around here are into something closely related to something I'm so into (Neil's writing) and practically grew up with!
 
Posts: 9 | Location: Okinawa, Japan | Registered: March 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For a long time now I've been fascinated by a literary pattern I've come to call "homecoming." There are two forms of this. There's the classic or what I call the "Dorothy" pattern (though she's certainly not the first). Dorothy is unsatisfied with her life and dreams of the land over the rainbow. Weird stuff happens and there she is. Crazy adventures ensue (a dangerous witch, unlooked for help... sound familiar?) and she finds herself changing. Now in the classic form, Dorothy realizes home has everything she could ever want and returns safe and sound. I think a more modern form has emerged in Mr. Gaiman's previous novels, Neverwhere and Stardust, where similar psychotic events lead to changes in "Dorothy." However, now when Dorothy comes home she finds that Oz has changed her and she no longer can stay in Kansas. Exit Dorothy back to Oz (London below, Faerie, wherever). I was intrigued by Gaiman's return to the old pattern in Coraline. What I find even more interesting now that I'm reading this discussion is that the "There's no place like home" Dorothies (insert: Alice, Coraline, Chihiro) are all young girls. Neverwhere and Stardust featured young men, who though were no longer children, could hardly be called Men. Is this a comment on children's ability to accept and assimilate alternate realities into there normal world, or is it girls? Any thoughts?
 
Posts: 2 | Location: Bellingham, WA USA | Registered: August 12, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's another example of convergence:
A Game of You by Gaiman et al, and Bones of the Moon by Jonathan Carroll.

If I remember correctly, Mr. Gaiman had the story for A Game of You and decided to scrap it after reading Bones of the Moon. Mr. Carroll (another wonderful storyteller in his own right) read A Game of You and convinced Mr. Gaiman to publish it.

3.1415926535897932384626433
 
Posts: 2 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: February 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by bdckr:
If I remember correctly, Mr. Gaiman had the story for A Game of You and decided to scrap it after reading Bones of the Moon.


Actually what happened is that Neil sketched A Game of You, and then discovered Carroll's story, so he decided to leave A Game of You coz it was too close, but when he told Carroll about it, he said it was no reson not to write a story, and that it would be interesting what he could do with a similar idea.

Rozinante, your thoughts were very interesting. I think the difference is, in Neverwhere and Stardust, the other reality is, in a way, MORE real. Tristan come sfrom faery, after all, and Richard's life in London is quite dull and banal. So although they go into a dangeroues place, they also discover something that matters more, that is more close to them than the world they used to know.
As for Coraline, she steps into a nightmare reality, not even reality actually but just a nightmare period. And also I think both Richard and Tristan embark in a quest. Coraline just steps through a door, curious, exploring. She then has her quest, of course, but I think that's more of a side-effect.


Edit: Also, I don't think Coraline was looking for "somwhere else" in the same way as Dorothy. I think the fact she's bored and likes exploring has to do more with a kid's personality than with an actual discontentment with her lot.
 
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