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Fridge: Coraline
Fridge Brilliance
  • The little circus ball that the mice use in the Other world? That's the sweet ghost girl's soul.
  • Mister Bobinsky sports a badge from the Chernobyl cleanup. Which is why he's blue. Selick himself states on the DVD commentary that he also likes to spend time outdoors and exercise, and it's winter... also a reason why he's blue. And possibly why he's so "eccentric" if you're bitter enough not to believe in the mice.
  • The Other Mother doesn't sport a neckbrace from the Jones' car crash in the real world. Brings a deeper meaning to "Everything's right in this world, kiddo."
    • In addition, this may also justify Mrs. Jones's behaviour towards Coraline and her husband in the beginning - not only is she facing job stress, but she's in pain. Later on, when she's under less stress, the pain is easing up, allowing her to realize that she's been a bit of a jerk towards Coraline, and is legitimately wanting to make it up to her.
  • The Other Mother becomes thinner each time Coraline visits. She is starving.
  • Ever notice how Wybie never stands up straight? He has scoliosis. Curvature of the spine. The Other Wybie doesn't have this, which either meant Coraline was irritated at this or was a bit more worried about him then she led him to believe.
  • Contrast the song Coraline's dad sang during dinner with the Other Father's song. The real one is horribly overworked. Coraline would like more of his weird little songs but he never has time anymore. Awwww.
    • There are lots of little things that reflect the specialness of their relationship. Coraline's crooked nose mirrors her dad's, and his favorite color is blue.
  • Mel's (Coraline's mother) favorite snowglobe is the one from the Detroit Zoo. The only photo showing the family together and happy was taken at the Detroit Zoo.
  • If you pause the movie when Wybie shows Coraline the picture of his Gramma and her sister, you can see that his Grandma's sister , the Cute Ghost Girl, is slouching in a curve, and looking at the camera bashfully. Just like Wybie - he takes after her!
  • When Ms. Forcible is reading Coraline's tea leaves, she sees a hand-like shape, but Ms. Spink turns it upside down and insists it's a giraffe. They're both right - not only is a stuffed giraffe one of the toys we see in Coraline's room in the Other Mother's house, but the shape Ms. Spink sees also resembles the Other Mother's severed, claw-like hand.
    • The "handsome beast" could mean the cat. Although it isn't particularly tall... the voice actor, Keith David, certainly is.
  • The opening credits, with the Coraline Doll being sewn out of some other doll? It's the doll of the Cute Ghost Girl, Wybie's great aunt. And the doll's being sewn up by a being carefully kept off camera, save the hands. Those metal hands. You know, like the ones the Other Mother has?
    • And it's reversible, too, with different skin-tone sides, and customizable hair and of course eyes. She uses the same doll for every child she entraps, and it simply returns to her when it's done to be redesigned into the next child. It's like a Satanic version of Build-a-Bear Workshop.
    • Related, look at the spinning wheel and thread that also appears during the making of the Coraline doll. That's spider silk!
  • Literally everything from the real apartment has an otherworld counterpart. Yes, everything. Even the VW Beetle.
  • The Other Mother never eats. While the other father's plate is always piled with food, the other mother's plate is always empty at meal times.
    • Very subtle way of showing the Other Mother cannot sustain herself on her own creations and that they're at most an illusion. She can only feed on the love of others.
  • The Other Mother's final form resembles a spider. Several species of spiders are known to eat their offspring.
    • "That's ridiculous. Mothers don't eat... daughters..."
    • And then, of course, there's trap door spiders, which pull their prey through self-built trap doors that blend in with their surroundings...
    • On that note, in the film at least, the Other Mother straps the Other Father to a giant praying mantis. Female praying mantises are famous for eating their own mates, as are some female spiders.
  • For a while, it seemed off that Coraline had a rash from the Poison Oak branch on only one hand, but in the scene where Wybie shakes her hand, he accidentally smeared mud on the unaffected hand.
  • Listen to the song the Other Father sings. Really listen to the lyrics. He's trying to warn her about what will happen if she continues coming to the other world.
  • The movie changes from Coraline having to save the souls of the children to having to save their eyes. Seems like a minor change, maybe to keep religion out of the issue, right? Well, consider that some believe that one's eyes are a reflection/gateway to their soul. Also keep in mind, the Other Mother replaces eyes with buttons. And the implication is agreeing to give up one's eyes for buttons is the equivalent of selling your soul to the Other Mother!
  • During Other Spink and Other Forcible's presentation for Coraline, their button eyes are white. Remember how the real Spink and Forcible argued about being blind? However, when they strip and become younger, their button eyes are black.
  • The Other Mother swears by her right hand that she'll allow Coraline to leave... and that's exactly what she loses trying to keep Coraline in the Other House.
  • The Other Mother ended up being a Giant Spider. The holes in the button eyes can be looked at as eyes themselves. So she has multiple eyes!
    • And 4 holes in each button make 8 eyes, same as spiders have.
  • The Other Mother hates cats. Take a good look at her face in her final form. Just how do you think she got all those scratches?
    • Also, a lot of cats like to catch and eat spiders if they find them...
  • The bat forms of Ms. Forcible and Ms. Spink's dogs don't make any sense until you realize that their dead real-word counterparts also have wings
  • Why are the Others Wybie and Father helping Coraline and not anything/anyone else? Because, everything in the Other World was made to entertain Coraline and nothing more—except for Other Father and Other Wybie, who were created to love her and be her friend.
  • The Other Father calls the Other Mother "Mother." It's not just because the Other Mother means to replace Coraline's real mother in the girl's eyes, it's because the Other Mother created him. In a sense, she really is his mother! (Can quickly become Fridge Horror if you consider all her copy-creations to be her children....which she mutilates and/or destroys.)
  • The first plants Coraline notices in the garden? Pitcher plants, which lure insects in with sweet nectar and then trap and devour them.
  • Note the position of the Other Mother the second time Coraline falls asleep and leaves the Other World: she occupies the exact same spot as the doll.
  • When Coraline asks for a clue as to her parent's location, the Other Mother merely taps her eye, causing Coraline to angrily respond "Fine, don't tell me." But that was the clue - Coraline needed to look closer, becasue her parents had been hidden right in plain sight!
  • The other world has subtle ways of showing it's a Mirror Universe. Wybie and Coraline's dad in the real world are totally useless at helping her or giving her advice, thinking she's just acting out for attention or is plain nuts. Wybie is even the one who gives her the doll which starts the whole mess. The "other Wybie" and "other father" are the only two characters created by the Beldam who try to warn Coraline (and help her where they can) of the dangers and they both intentionally let slip important information.
    • Likewise, Bobinski and Spink & Forcible are the only ones in the real world who tell Coraline she is in danger and give her useful advice and at least one tool that will help her. The otherworld versions of the above three are the secondary antagonists who outright try to stop Coraline from succeeding.
  • The Other Spink and Forcible both have an Impossible Hourglass Figure, at least when they shuck their old lady suits. If you look in their apartment, their Other selves look a lot like the stylized versions of themselves on their old posters. Which makes sense; Coraline has no idea how the two actually looked when younger (and the Other Mother who created them might not either), so the idealized versions of them are based on the best visual reference available.
  • As Coraline lies in bed after seeing the Other Mouse Circus, the Other Mother, Father, and Wybie are there. What does the Other Mother do right as Coraline falls asleep? She shushes the Other Father.
  • The Other Mother's line "I'll die without you!!" Sounds overdramatic at first, but knowing what she does to the kids that she gets bored of; it has a double meaning since if she doesn't eat the kid she's after she might starve to death.
    • And how long has she been without food... no wonder she's desperate.
  • Dunno if this counts as anything really but according to how long it took for the stone Coraline dropped to hit the bottom of the well (the rock/hand/key package takes about the same amount of time too), the well is about 165 feet deep.
  • The Ghost Childrens' and later Coraline's prison gives a whole new meaning to one-way mirror.

Fridge Horror
  • The food in the other world that Coraline eats. What is it made of??
    • All of it is probably made of the same thing... gives a whole new meaning to 'breakfast dinner food', doesn't it?
      • Not even that, it is possible that every material in the Other World is made from a unknown, generic base...
  • Where did the doll go after the events of the movie?
    • If you assume that the doll of both Coraline's mom and dad is the same one the Other Mother used to spy on children, it's burned to ashes. Phew!
  • Little Me is extremely disturbing. It moves around your house when you're not looking, and the Other Mother can see through its eyes. Which bears an even more horrific implication: the Other Mother can see through buttons.
  • The Other Mother never eats. While the Other Father's plate is always piled with food, the Other Mother's plate is always empty at meal times. And the Other Mother's true form is that of a spider who doesn't want Coraline to leave her and ends up chasing her by the end of the movie...
    • What's more is that the Other Father eats much more than even Coraline. His twisted form later in the movie has a distended, flopping belly...
  • Also consider that the Other Mother creates all the other 'facsimiles' of real people in her pocket dimension to not only be sentient, but they also have free will! Some of them like the Other Wybie and the Other Father genuinely care for Coraline and try to help her.. leading either to their very real deaths or their loss of physical control over their own bodies while still having freedom of thought and speech...
  • The Other Mother is really a large spider that can change into different forms and create illusions to seduce children? Sound familiar?
  • Take the Other Father Song from the movie, that jaunty little tune. Now look closely, REALLY CLOSELY, at the lyrics: "Making up a song about Coraline. She's a peach she's a DOLL she's a pal of mine. She's as cute as a BUTTON IN THE EYES of everyone who ever laid their eyes on Coraline. When she comes around exploring Mom and I will never ever make it boring. OUR EYES WILL BE ON CORALINE." Utterly terrifying.
    • Might actually be Fridge Brilliance if you consider that maybe he's subtly warning Coraline of what Other Mother has planned for her.
    • At least on the Latin American dub, all the subtle warnings are dropped off in favor of telling her she's "as cute as button eyes, even more than others' eyes".
    • "Our eyes will be on Coraline" is a particularly clever lyric because it has a triple meaning: If you don't know the sinister turn things will take later, it sounds like he's just saying that Coraline will have their full attention, something that she feels she lacks from her real parents. Then there's the already pointed out Literal Metaphor aspect, since The Other Mother wants to sew button eyes onto Coraline's face, and the fact that Coraline has been unknowingly watched via button eyes from the very beginning.
  • The fate of the children that the Other Mother kidnapped. It's clear that the other children are dead caused by whatever the hell the Other Mother was doing to them but the fact remains that the children's real mothers never knew what happened to their children or had any sense of closure. The movie adaptation made it a little bit better when Wybie's grandmother finally had some sense of peace of what happened to her twin sister.
    • The book makes it much plainer as to how the children died. When they accepted her eyes, the children became her playthings. Sooner or later, she grows tired of her playthings and does to them what children everywhere do to their old toys. They put them away and never take them out again. Bluntly, she put them in her "toybox" one day and let them starve because they weren't new, fun toys anymore.
  • It is clear from the book (and directly stated in the movie) that Coraline wishes her parents would pay more attention to her. Now on the foreground, the Other Mother merely pretends to pay attention to Coraline in order to entrap her. But some bits of interaction (the unwanted hugging, the "learn to be a loving daughter" and such) give the Other Mother a behaviour typical for Abusive Parents, specifically of My Beloved Smother - which often happens if parents pay too much (unhealthy) attention to kids. Coraline really got what she desired - and it was horrible for her, on top of the whole evil Fairy stuff.
  • Being essentially a fae creature, the other mother may have existed for a long, LONG time possibly before the dawn of civilisation, stealing children to feed on their souls. That means that there may have been thousands or millions of trapped souls in the other world that wasted away to nothing with nobody to free them. The three childrens' souls we see are just the latest batch still clinging onto hope. It's also possible that Coraline may have been the first child in history to thwart the Beldam...
  • Additionally: since the other mother has a mother, she can procreate. But species that procreate are rarely single. There could be more "other mothers" around...
    • "I didn't know I had another mother." "Of course you do. Everyone does."
    • And if they procreate the same way real spiders do...
  • The "Paragon of Animals" bit from Other Forcible and Other Spink. It's a reference to Hamlet, but the original has a very, very sarcastic tone and doesn't cut off at the word animal. It ends with "—and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?" What is Other Wybie made out of, and what does his hand revert to when it goes beyond Other Mother's threshold?

Fridge Logic

  • Coraline is charged with finding the eyes of the three ghost children. Her mission is complete after retrieving only three eyes, which begs the question of why each ghost child has two buttons if they are all suffer from cyclopia. Apparently they were symbolic eyes, not literal ones.
    • In the book, it was their souls, so this troper would put it down to Executive Meddling.
    • I thought this was a rather obvious bit of symbolism, with eyes being the "windows to the soul" and all. The whole process of sewing buttons into the children's eyes is essentially symbolic representation of the Other Mother taking the children's souls, anyway. Also, it can be said that anything with button eyes, including the Beldam herself, doesn't have a soul. I think this is less an example of Fride Logic and more you taking things a little too literally.
    • I always thought it was one eye each because it's their Third Eye.
  • Why would Wybie's grandmother, who doesn't allow families with children live at the Pink Palace, let Coraline and her family move in? Think about it....
    • She could have just really needed the money and decided to take a chance.
    • It's fully possible that she didn't know about Coraline until the family was moving in. It's not unheard of for parents to lie about not having a child in order to get a cheaper or more quiet apartment.
    • People also lie about their pets. Now think of Miss Spink...
    • In some states it's illegal to refuse to rent to someone on the basis that they have children. Wybie's grandmother probably made it very clear that she didn't want children in her building, which kept most people away, but if push came to shove (such as in the case of an overworked family wanting to meet a deadline) she'd have to give way.
  • Where was the Other Mother when Mel was shopping for groceries and Coraline went to the Other World? The Other Mother left the invitation to (Other) Spink and Forcible's show and the outfit, but where was the Beldam?
    • Fridge Brilliance: presumably she was out getting Coraline's parents. Coraline goes back and they're gone...

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