Fantastic Mr. Fox And Coraline Talents Uniting For Goblins Movie

Phillip Reeve posted some excerpts from the reviews of his new book, Goblins, to his blog. Amongst the genuine reactions, he included some apparently from the goblin characters in his story. Here’s a couple.

MoRe thAn wun HUNDRID sheets of Top-kwolitee Bumwipe! Perfickt for aLL your pooing nEEds.

Soft, Strong, and very, very long.

So, there’s probably a lot of toilet humour in it.

Something to look forward to in the imminent feature film version.

Goblins is now set to become a stop-motion movie from Laika, the studio responsible for Coraline, and latterly ParaNorman. The director, they say, will be Mark Gustafson, the animation director on The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

With ParaNorman still it remains to be seen how well Laika can do without Coraline director Henry Selick, but they certainly have a lot of skilled craftspeople on the payroll. I’m sure their films will at least look and feel wonderful.

Reeve posted to his blog about the origins of the Goblins story. It’s a good way to set things up, rather than a generic plot blurb, so here’s an excerpt:

One of the things that always troubled me about The Lord of the Rings, even as a boy, was the way that all the orcs and goblins are evil. All of them? It seemed a bit unfair to me: surely there must be some who were just fighting in the armies of the Dark Lord because they’d been conscripted, and would have preferred to lead a quiet life somewhere given half the chance. Even Sam, when we were half way through LOTR, wondered why Sauron wanted to take over Middle Earth. There is no reason, of course; that’s just what Dark Lords do, but I thought it might be fun to write about a goblin who starts to ask the same question, and that gave me the idea for the hero of this book, who is a goblin named Skarper.

In the first version, Skarper and his goblin tribe lived in a cave on top of a mountain, and when Skarper was thrown out he set off to seek his fortune and met an ill-assorted bunch of companions who wandered around… and around… and around… Eventually I realised that what this story lacked was one of those PLOTS you hear so much about, so I decided that they were all heading for a sinister ruined fortress which had once been home to an evil enchanter called the Lych Lord.

And he goes on, too, giving context for the bumwipe gags and setting up more characters, more adventure, and lots of images that could make for splendid cinema.

Here’s hoping.

Reeve’s Goblins is available in the UK now, with a US publication date in the distant, 2013-shaped future. Importers, get importing. Or maybe they’ll let you buy it from the UK Kindle Store even if you’re in the US.

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