February 6, 2009 0 By Fans
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CoralineCoralineStill of Ian McShane in CoralineCoralineStill of John Hodgson in CoralineStill of Henry Selick in Coraline


An adventurous girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.

Release Year: 2009

Rating: 7.7/10 (61,993 voted)

Critic's Score: 80/100

Henry Selick

Stars: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman

When Coraline moves to an old house, she feels bored and neglected by her parents. She finds a hidden door with a bricked up passage. During the night, she crosses the passage and finds a parallel world where everybody has buttons instead of eyes, with caring parents and all her dreams coming true. When the Other Mother invites Coraline to stay in her world forever, the girl refuses and finds that the alternate reality where she is trapped is only a trick to lure her.

Writers: Henry Selick, Neil Gaiman


Dakota Fanning

Coraline Jones


Teri Hatcher

Mel Jones
Other Mother


Jennifer Saunders

Miss April Spink
Other Spink


Dawn French

Miss Miriam Forcible
Other Forcible


Keith David

The Cat


John Hodgman

Charlie Jones
Other Father


Robert Bailey Jr.

Wyborne 'Wybie' Lovat


Ian McShane

Mr. Sergei Alexander Bobinsky
Other Bobinsky


Aankha Neal

Sweet Ghost Girl


George Selick

Ghost Boy


Hannah Kaiser

Tall Ghost Girl


Harry Selick

Photo Friend


Marina Budovsky

Photo Friend


Emerson Hatcher

Magic Dragonfly


Jerome Ranft



Oh. My. God.


Official Website:
Official site [France] |
Official site [Japan] |

Release Date: 6 February 2009

Filming Locations: Portland, Oregon, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $60,000,000


Opening Weekend: $16,849,646
(8 February 2009)
(2299 Screens)

Gross: $75,280,058
(28 June 2009)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


In Quebec, the French version features the voices of Catherine Brunet, Geneviève Brouillette and Jean-Michel Anctil.


Revealing mistakes:
(At 49:52) During the Other Forcible's trapeze act when she says "In action like an angel" the lines where the puppet's head comes apart are clearly visible.


[first lines]

Coraline Jones:
[after hearing a creature while exploring the hills]
Hello? Who's there?

User Review

Great, the village stalker … Coraline

Rating: 8/10

OK America, before you go blindly into an animated film with your young
children, why don't you do a little research on what they are about to
witness. A PG rating and stop-motion animated aesthetic do not always
make a child-friendly adventure. Based upon the horror novella by
acclaimed author Neil Gaiman, Henry Selick's Coraline is chockfull of
heavy material, dark story threads, and bleak possibilities. For a guy
like me, those things equal undivided success; for a child aged ten,
those things equal nightmare filled evenings and parents writing angry
letters to Focus Features for subjecting their children to lewd and
horrific imagery. Well guess what parents? No one is to blame but you.
I'm not saying keep all youngsters away, but do use some discretion on
whether your son or daughter can handle the fantastical elements. This
is very much Alice in Wonderland displayed in all its non-Disney
possibilities. A cautionary tale on being careful what you wish for,
our heroine must discover the difference between a world of people
neglecting her and that of people doing all they can so that they may
give her all she could ever want in the future. Life is not about
getting it all right now, but instead a slow and steady climb built on
love and trust, one whose benefits far outweigh the whirlwind romance
that is never truly as it seems.

Remember folks, this is a story that won the 2002 Bram Stoker Award for
Best Work for Young Readers; it's not all sing-songy like Selick's
masterpiece A Nightmare Before Christmas. With that said, however, it
is very, very good in a very, very different way. Be prepared for a
methodically and deliberately paced story. More psychological terror
than jump out at you scares, the tale of Coraline escaping into a
parallel world, perfectly mirrored of her own only inhabited by
animated dolls, is one of enlightenment and discovery of what love
truly means. Do we all want the parents that dote on us? The guardians
that will do what we want and when we want it? Of course we do. But
that idyllic utopia doesn't exist, especially in the times for which we
live today. Children need to be raised and supported and that takes
money and a lot of hard work. What may seem like neglect in the eyes of
a child is really two people doing all they can, sacrificing their
time, in order to give him/her a chance at success. Only when Coraline
sees the manipulation and truth behind the "kindness" her Other-Mother
gives her does she realize what she has back at home.

What we are shown is a world through a tiny door in the wall of an old
triple-segmented home. There are stories about this door used to
explain the disappearances of some local children, including the sister
of loudmouthed and shy Wybie Lovat's grandmother. Only a weathered
black cat appears to know what is going on, what the too good to be
true farce beyond the door is actually masking behind it. This cat can
travel between worlds and therefore knows it all, allowing him to warn
Coraline by orchestrating events via those she encounters. A
disgruntled child is easily malleable and fooled when doted upon and
given sweets and a smile. The mantra "never talk to strangers" is never
more applicable than it is here. With something a tad off-kilter in the
fantasy world, Coraline finds herself shaking it off and relishing the
opportunity to experience all that she had dreamed of, not knowing that
if her parents succeed with their new gardening catalog, those dreams
will be fulfilled in reality. Patience is a virtue and youngsters
unfortunately don't learn that fact until they are all grown up,
finding ways to apologize to their parents for being such confused and
naïve monsters.

With some very nice voicework—Dakota Fanning shines as our titular
heroine; Keith David's baritone brings the cat's mixture of foreboding
and help to life and Robert Bailey Jr. gets the nervous tick and
stammer on the nose for Wybie, (short for WhyBorn, now that's a name
you hope your parents never considered)—you do find yourself enveloped
in this world. A rare thing for an animated film to begin with a cast
listing, it thankfully doesn't detract from the escapism by making you
think of the actor rather than the character. This fact works best with
the mother, played by Teri Hatcher. I would never have been able to
pick her voice out, but that just enhances it all the more, breathing
life into the stop-motion clay form on screen, becoming the wolf in
sheep's clothing villain necessary for it all to work.

Definitely soak in the aesthetic and intelligent storytelling as
Coraline is for a thoughtful audience willing to delve deep into
metaphors and hidden meaning. There is no "approved for your Attention
Deficit Disorder child" stamp of approval here. In much the opposite
direction, don't be surprised if your child hates you for making them
sit through it. However, it is a tale that will resonate for a portion
of the public, hitting on their own feelings of selfishness and wanting
the spoils without the work. When your child is intellectually mature
enough to handle a rich and deep story, you as a parent will know. When
he or she can see a couple of big-bosomed, large older women dressed as
mermaids with pasties and not laugh or get uncomfortable, that is when
you should let them see Coraline. It is ultimately a film for all ages;
one that shows you as adults how it all will get better—junior will one
day understand the sacrifices you are making—and you children a
fantastical world to escape to with consequences that will shake you
into the realization of what you have right in front of you at home.