Everything about Coraline is a delight, from the story to the movie adaptation to its promotion.
Coraline is a spooky tale about a girl who finds a doorway into an alternative universe inhabited by strange and sometimes terrifying creatures, like a man made of rats and a couple who look just like her parents but who have shiny black buttons for eyes. Although the content seems a bit gruesome, the book is targeted to 9-12 year old readers. I read the story when it was first published in 2002 and was delighted by the imaginative creepiness of it, on par with Nightmare Before Christmas or Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events books.
Now the story of Coraline has been made into a “stop-motion horror fantasy” movie from the director of Nightmare Before Christmas and starring the voices of Dakota Fanning as Coraline and Teri Hatcher as Coraline’s mom and Other Mother. The promotion of the movie includes the standard fare: TV commercials, an interactive website, and a collection of accompanying merchandise on Amazon.com.
But the best promotion elements are less mainstream and celebrate the enigma and intrigue of the story: 50 mysterious boxes that were sent to bloggers and Coraline keys that have been placed in public areas in New York and Chicago (the keys have gotten attention on Craigslist and listings on eBay). You can follow the posts made by the bloggers who received boxes here.