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Promotional image for the film.

Coraline is a 2009 stop-motion animated fantasy film based on Neil Gaiman's 2002 novel of the same name. It was produced by Laika and Pandemonium and distributed by Focus Features. It is the first film to be produced by Laika.


In an alternate world, an unseen witch designs a doll to resemble a young girl before casting it off to the human world. The girl, Coraline Jones, has just moved into an old mansion called the Pink Palace, which had been divided into three apartments and is also home to Mr. Bobinsky, an acrobat and supposed mouse trainer, and retired actresses Miss Spink and Miss Forcible. Coraline's parents, Mel and Charlie, currently catalog plants and are thus unable to spend time with Coraline, who finds the mansion frustrating. While searching for the water well she meets the landlady's grandson Wyborne "Wybie" Lovat and his companion, a black cat, but is frustrated by him and ignores him.

Coraline notices a small door in the mansion and convinces her mother to open it, but finds it blocked off by bricks. However, she re-opens the door during the night while following a small mouse and discovers it unblocked. Entering into the door, she discovers the Other World, an alternate world where all the inhabitants have buttons in place of eyes. The Other Mother and Other Father, idealized versions of her real parents, do their best to impress and appeal to Coraline. Coraline falls asleep in the Other World, but awakens in the real world. Mel and Charlie disbelieve Coraline's claims of her visit to the Other World. After encountering the tenants in the Pink Palace and having another encounter with Wybie, Coraline visits the Other World a second time, where she befriends a mute Other Wybie and is entertained by the Other Bobinsky, an actual mouse trainer.

Coraline gets upset at Mel when she refuses to buy her new mittens, and thus enters the Other World during the day. During her third visit, Coraline is confronted by the cat, who warns her of the dangers of the Other World, but she ignores him. She attends a play where she is captivated by the Other Spink and Other Forcible, who are not retired. Upon returning to the Other Mother and Other Father, the two ask Coraline to remain in their world forever. However, Coraline refuses when the Other Mother informs her that to stay, she must have buttons sewn into her eyes. Realizing the true danger in the Other World, Coraline struggles to fall asleep, expecting to wake up in the real world. However, when she awakens, she finds herself to still be in the Other World. Coraline encounters the Other Father, who appears gloomy instead of usually being cheerful.

Coraline finally confronts the Other Mother and demands to be returned to her real parents. However, the Other Mother transforms into a taller version of herself and traps Coraline in a mirror. There, Coraline discovers a trio of ghost children, who reveal themselves to be previous victims to the Other Mother who stayed in her world, had buttons sewn into their eyes, and were devoured by her. They ask Coraline to find their eyes so they may be set free. Coraline is then rescued by the Other Wybie and escapes into the real world, only to discover that the Other Mother has abducted her parents.

Coraline ventures into the Other World and challenges the Other Mother: if Coraline can find her parents and the eyes of the ghost children, the Other Mother will free everyone she has trapped, but if Coraline loses, she will remain in the Other World and have buttons sewn in her eyes. The Other Mother accepts the challenge and vanishes. Coraline, using a seeing stone given to her by Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, manages to recover all three ghost eyes guarded by the Other Mother's creations, aided by the cat. However, when she returns to the Other Mother, who has unveiled her true form as a spider-like witch with sewing needles for hands, the Other Mother reminds her that she has yet to find her parents. Coraline finds her parents trapped in a snow globe and tricks the Other Mother into opening the door to the real world. The cat tears the Other Mother's button eyes out and Coraline manages to escape into the real world, severing the Other Mother's hand in the process.

Coraline's parents, upon being freed, appear to have no memory of their abduction. Coraline is warned by the ghost children that the Other Mother will try to take the key to the Other World to open the door, so Coraline decides to drop the key into the water well. However, she is attacked by the Other Mother's severed hand, who tries to steal the key, but Wybie, who had been warned by the cat, intervenes and destroys the hand with a rock. The two deposit the key and the remains of the hand in the well. Coraline's parents finish their work and are able to spend time with Coraline. Having previously discovered one of the ghost children to be the sister of the landlady, Coraline intends to tell the landlady of her adventures as well as her sister's disappearance. The film closes with the cat staring at the audience and disappearing behind a sign.


  • Dakota Fanning as Coraline Jones, an 11 year old adventurous girl.
  • Teri Hatcher as Mel Jones, Coraline's mother/Beldam, the creator of the Other World who spends most of the film under the guise of the Other Mother.
  • John Hodgman as Charlie Jones, Coraline's father/Other Father, a doppleganger of Charlie created by the Beldam.
  • Keith David as The Cat, a mysterious black cat who accompanies Coraline on her adventures.
  • Robert Bailey Jr. as Wyborne "Wybie" Lovat, the grandson of the local landlady.
  • Jennifer Saunders as Miss April Spink, a retired actress/Other Spink, a doppleganger of Miss Spink created by the Beldam.
  • Dawn French as Miss Miriam Forcible, a retired actress/Other Forcible, a doppleganger of Miss Forcible created by the Beldam.
  • Ian McShane as Mr. Bobinsky, a Russian acrobat/Other Bobinsky, a doppleganger of Mr. Bobinsky created by the Beldam.
  • Aankha Neal as Sweet Ghost Girl, one of the three ghost children captured by the Beldam.
  • George Selick as Ghost Boy, one of the three ghost children captured by the Beldam.
  • Hannah Kaiser as Tall Ghost Girl, one of the three ghost children captured by the Beldam.

See also

External links