Coraline Wiki

Coraline is a 2009 American stop-motion animated film directed and written for the screen by Henry Selick based on the 2002 novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman.

Produced by Laika as its first feature film, Coraline stars the voices of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, John Hodgman, Robert Bailey Jr., and Ian McShane. The film follows a blue-haired girl named Coraline as she discovers a secret magical door that leads her to a parallel world of the real world with charming versions of her parents and everything around her. Soon after that, she became unaware of the alternate world due to having a dark and sinister secret.

Coraline Movie Logo

Awards and Notability[]

Coraline was well received by critics. As of April 2012, the film has an 89% "Certified Fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and an 80 out of 100 at Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews." David Edelstein said the film is "a bona fide fairy tale" that needed a "touch less entrancement and a touch more . . . story":

A. O. Scott of The New York Times called the film "exquisitely realized" with a "slower pace and a more contemplative tone than the novel. It is certainly exciting, but rather than race through ever noisier set pieces toward a hectic climax in the manner of so much animation aimed at kids, Coraline lingers in an atmosphere that is creepy, wonderfully strange and full of feeling."

Box Office[]

According to Paul Dergarabedian, a film business analyst with Media by Numbers, for the film to succeed it needed a box office comparable to Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which grossed $16 million its opening weekend and ended up making more than $192 million worldwide; prior to the film's release, Dergarabedian thought Laika "should be really pleased" if it made close to $10 million on its opening weekend.

In its US opening weekend, the film made $16.85 million, ranking third at the box office. It made $15 million on its second weekend, bringing its U.S. total up to $35.6 million, $25.5 million of which coming from 3D presentations. As of November 2009, the film had grossed $75,286,229 in the United States and Canada and $49,310,169 in other territories, making a total of $123,106,072 worldwide.

Plot Synopsis[]

Coraline Jones and her parents move into the Pink Palace Apartments in Ashland, Oregon from Pontiac, Michigan. A black cat spies on Coraline, who is wandering off with a branch as a dowsing rod. She eventually encounters an old well and a boy named Wyborn “Wybie” Lovat, who is the grandson of Coraline’s landlady. Coraline grows annoyed of Wybie’s stalking and the Cat. He reveals that the dowsing rod is actually poison oak before leaving when his grandmother calls out to him. The exposure to the oak left an itchy rash on Coraline’s hand.

Coraline returns home when the rain arrives. She grows bored of her new life, as her parents are too busy working on a gardening catalog to pay enough attention to her. Coraline also receives an old doll that resembles her from Wybie. Her father, Charlie Jones, suggests Coraline to explore their new home while they work. While exploring, Coraline comes across a tiny little door sealed off in the living room. She begs her mother, Mel Jones, to open the door for her, using a key with a button motif, only to find it blocked off by bricks.

That night, Coraline is disgusted by her father’s cooking and goes to bed early instead. She is later awakened by two mice, who lead her to the tiny door downstairs. The brick wall is replaced by a tunnel instead, leading to another door on the other side. Curious, Coraline crawls inside but finds herself returning to the same living room. In the kitchen, she meets a doppelgänger of her mother, who has buttons for eyes and nicknames herself, Coraline's “Other Mother”. The Other Mother sends Coraline to fetch the Other Father in his study for supper. Coraline meets the Other Father, who plays a song about her on the piano using mechanical hands to control his movement. The three of them then have a full course meal, complete with a gravy boat and a chandelier smoothie dispenser. The Other Parents explain how they’ve been waiting for her. Coraline becomes concerned when the Other Mother wants to play hide-and-seek in the rain, since her real mother hates rain and has no history of playing games with her daughter. Coraline is then sent off to a better version of her bedroom. The Other Mother places mud on her itchy hand before Coraline goes to sleep. The Other Mother and Father watch her saying they'll see her again soon.

Coraline wakes up in the real world the next day, as it was only a dream. She realizes the rash on her hand is gone and checks the tiny door, but it is still blocked off. At breakfast, Coraline explains her dream to her parents with her mother not believing her and her father being a bit skeptic. Under her mother's sarcastic suggestion, she visits the neighbors downstairs, two former burlesque actresses named April Spink and Miriam Forcible, to tell them about her dream. Along the way, Coraline meets her other neighbor, Sergei Alexander Bobinsky, who owns a mouse circus at his upstairs apartment. Before she goes to Spink and Forcible, Bobinsky gives her a message from his jumping mice, saying they are warning her not to go through the tiny door. During her visit in the basement apartment, Spink reads the tea leaves in Coraline's tea and tells her that she is in danger in her future. She also encounters Wybie and the Cat. Wybie explains how Mrs. Lovat used to have a twin sister and how she disappeared when they were young, considering her to be “stolen”. While Coraline is confused with the dangers her neighbors warned or told her about, she eventually pushes the warnings aside.

That night, Coraline leaves some pieces of cheddar at her bedroom door for the mice. They arrive for the bait shortly afterwards and Coraline follows them into the Other World for a second visit. She greets the Other Mother, who uses the cheddar for a dinner-breakfast meal she's preparing and asks Coraline to fetch the Other Father working in the garden. Coraline is amazed when the Other Father shows her the garden is shaped like herself. The three have their meal before the Other Wybie arrives, who has been silenced by the Other Mother for Coraline’s preference of him talking less. She sends the children off to see the Other Bobinsky’s mouse circus performance upstairs. After the show, Coraline is tucked into bed as the Other Mother, Father and Wybie watch her fall asleep.

Coraline wakes up in the real world again, much to her annoyance. She finds the cheddar gone, but the tiny door is now locked. Coraline then heads out to drop her father off at work and go shopping for school uniforms at a department store with her mother, who won’t buy her a pair of gloves she wants. On the way home, Mel explains how she found rat droppings near the tiny door, so she locked it. Coraline rejects the idea, believing the dreams aren’t dangerous. When they get home, Mel needs to continue grocery shopping, but promises to make it up to Coraline if things go well while she stays at home alone. After her mother leaves, Coraline uses the button key to unlock the door and finds the tunnel to the Other World, which reveals it is real along with everything else there.

She enters it the third time. The Other Mother is absent, but she left food and new clothes for Coraline and invites her to visit the Other Spink and Forcible downstairs for a performance. On her way there, Coraline encounters the Cat again, the same one from the real world who can traverse between both worlds and has the ability to speak in the Other World. He warns Coraline about how dangerous the Other World is, but she pushes it aside. She then watches the Other Spink and Forcible’s show with the Other Wybie. Both actresses failed their first performance and transform into skinny acrobatics during their second show. Afterwards, Coraline greets the Other Mother and Father, who are waiting for her outside. They offer her to stay in the Other World forever, on the condition that they sew buttons over her eyes. Horrified, Coraline goes to bed, but she wakes up in the Other World. She finds the doors to the living room locked and visits the Other Father, demanding to see the Other Mother. The Other Father is forced by his mechanical hands to remain silent after he told Coraline too much information they don't want her to know and Coraline retreats into the woods with the Cat by her side. While they walk, the Cat explains how the Other Mother wants something to eat, leaving Coraline shocked. They return to the Pink Palace Apartments, with Coraline realizing the Other World to be small. The Cat catches a circus mouse sounding an alarm and reveals it to be a sand-filled rat doll in disguise.

Coraline returns inside and uses a cane to open the living room's locked doors. The entire room has changed and its furniture have all been turned into bugs, with the Other Mother waiting inside while eating cocoa beetles. Coraline demands the Other Mother to let her go home, but she doesn’t cooperate. When Coraline refuses to apologize, the Other Mother turns into a monstrous witch and locks Coraline in a small room behind a mirror. There, she meets three ghost children, who call the Other Mother “The Beldam” and were her previous victims. They explain how the Beldam uses a doll resembling her current victim to spy on the Ghost Children's boring lives and luring them into the Other World with treasures, treats, and games to play. Giving them all they asked, with the Ghost Children wanting more, so they allowed the Beldam to sew the buttons over their eyes. As a result, she locked up the children and ate their lives. Coraline refuses to go down without a fight. The Three Ghost Children persuade Coraline to find their eyes during her escape, so their souls can be set free from the Beldam’s world, who took and hid their eyes. Coraline promised to find the eyes before she's being released from the mirror prison by the Other Wybie, whose mouth is being stitched into a forced smile until Coraline removes the strings from it. With his help, she was able to escape back to the real world.

Now at home, Coraline was unable to find her parents. She finds the real Wybie at her door instead and realizes the doll he left her belonged to his grandmother’s missing sister, the Sweet Ghost Girl whom Coraline met in the mirror prison. She tries to explain the whole situation to Wybie, but he doesn’t believe her. After chasing Wybie out, Coraline is still unable to find her parents when she sees the family car without them and visits Spink and Forcible. They give her an adder stone to help her find bad and lost things. She returns home and goes to sleep alone in her parents' bedroom until the Cat wakes her up. He leads her to the mirror in the hallway and it shows her a vision of her parents freezing in a snowy environment and writing “HELP US” in the reflection. With the Cat's guidance, Coraline also finds a doll of her parents and realizes the Beldam has kidnapped them. As a result, she burns the doll in the fireplace in the living room and decides to head back to the Other World to rescue her parents. Coraline encounters her mother, only for her to reveal herself as the Beldam in disguise. She locks the tiny door with the button key and swallows it to prevent Coraline from escaping.

The Beldam calls Coraline for breakfast. During the meal, Coraline proposes a game. If she can find the eyes of the Ghost Children and her parents, then the Beldam will set them all free. But if not, she will stay and allow the Beldam to sew buttons over her eyes. Coraline also demands for clues. The Beldam hints that the ghost eyes are hidden in each of the three wonders of the Other World. She refuses to tell Coraline a clue about her parents before disappearing. Coraline then visits the garden where she starts using the adder stone to find the ghost eyes and encounters the Other Father, now a pumpkin being controlled by his mechanical hands and mantis vehicle. He wishes not to hurt Coraline and manages to break the hands' control over him to give her the first ghost eye before drowning into the water under the bridge. Without the ghost eye, the garden environment begins decaying until it turns grey. The Ghost Boy praises Coraline for finding his eye, but he reminds her that the two other eyes are still missing. She visits the Other Spink and Forcible’s theater next. Inside, the button-eyed dogs are now bats while the Other Spink and Forcible are now taffy monsters. She manages to take the second ghost eye from their grasp, causing them, the button-eyed dogs and the theater to decay as well. The Tall Ghost Girl warns Coraline to hurry up since the Other Mother's web is unwinding, which she refers to the decays happening in the Other World. She then heads upstairs to the Other Bobinsky's mouse circus and finds the Other Wybie's clothes hanging as a flag, showing that the Other Mother had killed him after he helped Coraline escape. Inside the mouse circus, the lead rat from the Other Bobinsky, who is only made out of rats, manages to escape with the last ghost eye. Coraline throws her adder stone at to stop the lead rat to stop it from escaping, only for it to dodge the stone. She believes she has lost the game, but the Cat was able to catch the lead rat and retrieve the ghost eye for her. With all three ghost eyes in her possession, the entire Other World starts disappearing until the living room is the only place left. Coraline and the Cat encounter the Beldam in her true form, a humanoid-arachnid creature with fingers and spider legs made of needles. She reveals to have retrieved Coraline’s adder stone and tosses it into the fireplace. The Sweet Ghost Girl warns Coraline to be clever because even if she wins, the Beldam will never let her go. Using her wits, Coraline tricks the Other Mother into opening the tiny door and, with the Cat's help, finds her real parents trapped in a snow globe. As the Beldam gloats for winning, Coraline throws the Cat at her. He manages to rip out her button eyes, blinding her. The enraged witch turns the entire room into a giant spider web. Coraline manages to escape through the open door. With the help of the Ghost Children, she was able to close and lock the door, severing the Beldam’s right hand in the process. She quickly runs back to the real world and locks the door there on time. Her parents return home with no memory of what happened to them. The gardening catalog was a success, and the family went out to celebrate.

That night, Coraline’s parents tuck her into bed. Mel also gives her the gloves she wanted as a gift before leaving. Coraline greets the Cat at her window and apologizes for throwing him at the Beldam. She then goes to sleep with the Cat and dreams of meeting the Ghost Children. They thank her for freeing them but explain that she is still in danger, as the the Beldam will stop at nothing to find the key. Coraline wakes up and quickly heads toward the old well. Meanwhile, the Beldam’s severed hand manages to sneak into the real world and follows Coraline. It then tries to drag her and the key back to the door. Wybie steps in to save Coraline by destroying the hand with a boulder. The pair then throw the hand’s remains and the key down the well, ensuring that the Beldam will never be able to find the key again. Coraline and Wybie reconcile, and when they hear Mrs. Lovat calling out to him again, Coraline suggests she and Wybie can tell his grandmother the true story of her sister tomorrow at her house.

The next day, the Jones family and the neighbors are hosting a garden party. Wybie and his grandmother arrive as Coraline starts to tell Mrs. Lovat her story with Wybie while the Cat disappears behind the sign of the Pink Palace.


Coraline Jones[]

An eleven-year-old girl who moved from Pontiac, Michigan to Ashland, Oregon with her parents.

Melinda (Mel) Jones[]

The mother of Coraline Jones. She and her husband, Charlie Jones, are working on a gardening catalog and are too busy to pay much attention to their daughter.

Charlie Jones[]

The father of Coraline Jones. He and his wife, Melinda Jones, are working on a gardening catalog and are too busy to pay much attention to their daughter.

Wyborn “Wybie” Lovat[]

Coraline’s friend and the grandson of her landlady.

The Cat[]

A mysterious black cat who can traverse between both the real and Other Worlds. In the Other World, the Cat has the ability to speak and acts as Coraline’s guide throughout her journey.

April Spink[]

One of Coraline’s neighbors. A former burlesque actress who lives with Miriam Forcible in the lower Pink Palace Apartment.

Miriam Forcible[]

One of Coraline’s neighbors. A former burlesque actress who lives with April Spink in the lower Pink Palace Apartment.

Sergei Alexander Bobinsky[]

One of Coraline’s neighbors. A Russian performer who owns a mouse circus and lives in the upper Pink Palace Apartment.

Mrs. Lovat[]

Coraline’s landlady and Wybie’s grandmother. She originally had a twin sister, who mysteriously disappeared when they were children.

The Other Mother/The Beldam[]

An evil sorceress and ruler of the Other World. She feeds off of children’s souls after luring them away and her goal is to keep Coraline in her world forever when she moved to the Pink Palace Apartment with her parents.

The Other Father[]

A doppelgänger of Coraline’s real father, but with button eyes and is actually a pumpkin in disguise.

The Other Wybie[]

A doppelgänger of the real Wybie Lovat with button eyes. He has been silenced by The Beldam for Coraline’s preference.

The Other April Spink[]

A doppelgänger of the real April Spink, but with button eyes and is actually a green taffy monster in disguise.

The Other Miriam Forcible[]

A doppelgänger of the real Miriam Forcible, but with button eyes and is actually a pink taffy monster in disguise.

The Other Sergei Alexander Bobinsky[]

A doppelgänger of the real Sergei Alexander Bobinsky, but with button eyes and is actually made of rats.

Sweet Ghost Girl[]

Mrs. Lovat’s missing twin sister, one of the Three Ghost Children, and the Beldam’s recent victim.

Ghost Boy[]

A victim of The Beldam and one of the Three Ghost Children.

Tall Ghost Girl[]

A victim of The Beldam and one of the Three Ghost Children.


  • According to an interview with Dakota Fanning, Coraline was intended to be a live-action movie originally with her starring the role of Coraline, an idea she thought neat. It was then changed to animation, an idea she thought fun. But was ultimately decided to be a stop-motion animation with Dakota Fanning as Coraline's voice actor, which she thought different from what she's accustomed to.
  • The Other Father Song, played after the epilogue to the credits, was completely sung in Gibberish.
  • A promotional contest for the movie, allowing for the receiving of multiple special edition "Coraline Dunks," by Nike, could be won through a contest on the website for Coraline. There was a special, hidden phrase that was required to enter the contest which was featured after the end credits of the movie: "To those in the know: Jerk Wad"; the code word for entering the contest.
  • The Coraline movie production lasted one year and six months, following two years of preproduction.
  • At one hour and forty minutes long, the Coraline movie is the lengthiest stop-motion film to date and also the first stop-motion animated feature to be shot completely in 3-D.


Movie Posters[]