“You probably think this world is a dream come true, but you’re wrong!”– Cat
The film Coraline came from a dark fantasy children’s novel written by Neil Gaiman, a British author, published in 2002 by Bloomsbury and Harper Collins. When Gaiman was first writing the story, the main characters name came from a typo in the name “Caroline” creating the character Coraline which we know today. The novel was adopted into a stop motion animated film in 2009 directed by Henry Selick.
In the beginning of the film a pair of metallic hands summons a doll from a void and reassembles it into a new doll that has blue hair and a yellow raincoat with galoshes then sends it back into the void.
Coraline Jones, an eleven-year-old girl from Pontiac, Michigan arrives at the Pink Palace Apartments in Oregon. The Pink Palace is a dilapidated Victorian house that has been divided into three different apartments and is surrounded by a forest. Which is explored by Coraline, while her parents are assisting the movers, she takes a stick and uses it as a dowsing rod which guides her to a trail beyond the house. Here she meets Wybie, a bicyclist wearing a skull-painted helmet, he tells her that his grandma owns the Pink Palace, and he is not even allowed to go near it and can’t tell her why.
When she gets back to the house to attempts to gain the attention of her parents, but they are hard at work finishing up a gardening catalogue and her father tells her to go count all the windows, doors, and everything that is blue. Coraline does so and on this grim adventure she finds a small door covered by wallpaper. After begging her mom to unlock the door, she does with a black skeleton key with a button on the end, only to find that it has been bricked up.
In the middle of the night, she is woken up by the squeaking of mice and follows them all the way to the little door. She opens the door to find a colorful passage to another door. She crawls through and emerges out to a place that looks the exact same as where she came from, however everything is cheerful and brightly colored. She smells something cooking and goes to investigate, she finds her mother cooking in the kitchen, but she has buttons for eyes.
Her other mother tells her to go get her other father because supper is ready. Coraline finds her other father in his study he plays her a song on the piano about her eyes. Then they sit down for dinner and the food was everything that Coraline could have asked for. The other parents put her to bed, and she woke up in actual room.
She tells her parents about the dream and they tell her to go tell the ladies downstairs about the dream on the way there she is distracted by a bunch of mail for Mr.B who live upstairs, and is training jumping mice to be in a circus. After she delivers the mail, Mr. B was told by the mice to warn her not to go through the little door.
Then she talks to the ladies downstairs, Miss Spink and Miss Forcible who read her tea leaves and tell her two different interpretation. She leaves and finds Wybie, who gives her a doll that looks exactly like her.
Coraline wakes up again and goes through the little door to find a Wybie that can’t speak, Mr.B with an actual jumping mice circus, the cat from the same world that can talk, and Miss Spink and Miss Forcible who are younger and can put on an incredible show. The other mother tells her she can stay with them forever if the she can sew buttons into her eyes.
Coraline freaks out and goes to bed only to wake up in the same place. She finds out the truth from the ghost children, that the other mother is a “Belle Dame” and creates a perfect world in order to lure children to their deaths. Coraline leaves and finds out that her parents are missing.
So she returns to the belle dame and asks her to play a game where she has to find the eyes of the ghost children as well as her parents then she can be set free but if she can’t, she will let the other mother sew buttons in her eyes.
Does Coraline find the eyes of the ghost children and save her parent? Watch Coraline to find out!
I honesty love this film with it’s stop motion, creepy aesthetic, and mystery. It is everything a horror/thriller lover would need.
I rate Coraline 10 Button eyes out of 10– Lauren Ratchford