Saturday, November 24, 2007

Spiderwick from Page to Screen

Well, in the opinion of my seven-year-old son, the Spiderwick books by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi aren't making the transition from page to screen quite fast enough. The petulant refrain as we toured the wonderful Spiderwick exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum in Hadley, Mass., was "Do we really have to wait until FEBRUARY?!?!"

The exhibit features a reproduction of DiTerlizzi's desk, complete with a stag beetle under glass and a little champagne cork and wire chair sized for a brownie; character development sketches by the animators at Industrial Light and Magic; 3D animation maquettes of the characters; wonderful props from Arthur Spiderwick's secret study, and the magpie-ish nest of the house brownie Thimbletack, with its thimbles (of course), buttons, and a andelabra fashioned of a birthday candle. There is a whole wall of Thimbletacks, like mutant wombats, menacing leprechauns, strange pookahish things caught halfway between human and animal. There are even some hanging cages from the goblin-camp scene. I had already been looking forward to Spiderwick on the big screen, but after we'd toured the exhibit a couple of times, I had two thoughts.

Don't the prop people and set-dressers at Paramount Pictures have a great job, and how can I get it? Really, who wouldn't want to prowl antique shops to furnish the Spiderwick mansion?


Do we REALLY have to wait until freaking FEBRUARY?!?!?!??

Alas, Budza, we do. But we have the new Beyond Spiderwick book, The Nixie's Song. And when we're done with that, I'm getting my hands on some Arthur Rackham. It's been too long since I've enjoyed his sensibility in the original.

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