No, it’s not the missed opportunity that’s currently being sold on the bookshelves. If you’ve had the unfortunate opportunity to thumb through that book, you would’ve surmised that the only artist that worked on pre-production for Coraline was Japanese illustrator Tadahiro Uesugi. While we know that Tadahiro’s work is brilliant, the ‘visual companion’ is a complete slap in the face to all the other artists who worked on the production. Have no fear, though. The best way to see pre-production art of Coraline is to view it online. Here, I’ve created a nice tour of sorts for you (click on each name for much more art):
First up, early character and conceptual work by Dan Krall. Ronald Searle is definitely an influence:
Next, we visit Chris Appelhans for some visual development and color studies. The artists’ were definitely using Tadahiro as a point of reference:
More visual development, color studies, & props by Jon Klassen. Beautiful work, with a great sense of space and color:
Now, check out the fantastic character designs by Shane Prigmore:
More great character development by Shannon Tindle:
Stef Choi also did some early concept sketches. Check out the cute, little garden characters. Here’s a shot of Coraline & her mom:
Finally, gorgeous sculptures of all the Coraline puppets by Damon Bard. Be sure to check out all his galleries while you’re visiting his site. Incredibly talented guy:
In fact, there was a great deal of other incredibly talented people who worked on the film, but were never mentioned in the book. Vera Brosgol, Graham Annable, and Andy Schuhler, among others. (UPDATE: Katy Wu is another vis-dev artist.) Shane Prigmore does a great job listing more of the artists responsible for the look & style of the film. Be sure and check out all their hard work.
Hope you enjoyed the tour. Come back again soon.