Sunday, June 24, 2007

Amantha the Tiger

Have you seen the website for the upcoming movie adaptation of The Golden Compass? It's both shameless and charming - beautiful Flash artwork with a host of features introducing viewers to Lyra's world -- explaining the basics for those who haven't read the books, while also flirting with old fans. For instance, you can take a personality quiz - no different than the thousands of others to be found on the Net, really - and discover what daemon you would have, had you been born in Lyra's world. (A daemon is the external soul, the physical manifestation of a person's soul in the form of a companion or familiar animal. One of our villains, for those who might be new to Philip Pullman, has a golden monkey for a soul.) The beauty of it is that at the end of the quiz you meet your companion, who leaps onto the screen in lifelike photographic verisimilitude, breathtakingly beautiful - along with code that you can embed in another site in order to import your daemon to a blog or online profile. I am deeply flattered to find myself paired with a tiger. I think I actually have more in common with a tree kangaroo, but a tiger is wonderful. Anyway, take the quiz - it's a million times more charming than most such quizzes - and peek around the website. The site itself is dazzling, the trailer is impressive (though very shameless - you will see why), and this certainly has me looking forward to the first film at Christmas. That, and - Tom Stoppard is writing the screenplay. Or I may just be praising the site because I'm flattered at the tiger. Still: this looks to be an exciting film.

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