You may or may not remember my determination to see the Coraline musical. Seeing it didn’t quell my gooey feelings: it was weird and exuberant. Design, performances, and music were all amazing. I’d have liked less maximalist narration, but I am required by contract with myself to find one thing I would’ve changed in anything I see or read, ever. If you’re in NYC before July 5th, go. Getting Sunday matinee $20-under-30 tickets was my most laidback “rush” experience to date. (I walked up the box office and showed ID two hours before the show. It was slightly disappointing.)
Afterwards I became obsessed with the idea that I recognized the creepy songs the rats do from somewhere. You can hear one here. My hypothesis was that the movie version was very similar due to some combination of the specificity of Gaiman’s description and a generally recognized idea of how rats sing. The book has them using “high, whispery voices” and adds, “It wasn’t a pretty song. Coraline was sure she’d heard it before, or something like it, although she was unable to remember exactly where.” So there was some mimesis going on, but after I looked that up, I spent an inordinate amount of time finding out that there actually were no rat songs in the movie, that the version I remembered was from the audiobook, that it was not just similar to but exactly the same as the musical version, and that that was because Stephin Merritt wrote it originally. I don’t remember listening to the audiobook, though. Spooky.
Unrelated Stephin Merritt bonus: All My Little Words covered with a Game Boy.