A 2002 novella written by Neil Gaiman. Coraline Jones is a girl with loving but distracted and inattentive parents. Having recently moved into a new home, she finds life boring. Then, one afternoon, she opens a mysterious door in her house. And behind that door lies a different world where Coraline finds doting parents who give her wonderful toys and home-cooked meals. But something oddly sinister lurks just beneath the surface...A graphic novel adaptation was released in 2008. It follows the book almost exactly.The Film of the Book was released in February 6 2009, under the same name.The book is very, very, VERY much What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?.
This book includes examples of:
Adult Fear: Gaiman cites this as the reason the story is, ironically, scarier for grown-ups than for children. The Adult Fears go over children's heads, so they read it as an adventure story with some creepy monsters, delivering familiar Aesops such as "Be brave" and "Be Careful What You Wish For." Adults, on the other hand, get the message, "If you neglect your children, they might be kidnapped, mutilated, and murdered by somebody who pretends to be you."
Not to mention some of the creepy vibes the Other Mother gives off toward Coraline.
Bad Bad Acting: The illusion the Other Mother shows Coraline, of her parents coming home from a holiday to try and make her think her parents don't love her. Coraline actually doubts whether it was true or not...for about ten seconds.
Exact Words: The Other Mother swears on her right hand she'll let Coraline go if she wins their game. Technically speaking, by having her right hand follow Coraline after the Other Mother breaks her word, she's keeping up her end of the bargain.
Eye Scream: The Other Mother wishes to sew buttons into Coraline's eyes. She's done it to other children before Coraline, as well.
The Fair Folk: The Other Mother is heavily implied to be this. Her other name, the beldam, is a synonym for witch, but might be a play on words related to a poem about a fairy that lures knights to her hill and sucks the life out of them. "Belle Dame" is homophonous, it being French for "Beautiful Lady" and "Step-mother" for that matter. And if we know anything about fairy tales....
One of the ghost children is also a fairy.
That stone-with-a-hole-in-it? That's a self-bored stone, which according to Celtic Mythology tradition would allow you to see through faerie illusions.
Fisher Kingdom: Arguably, the Other World counts. After spending a night there, Coraline notes feeling cloudy and groggy, and only after touching the adder stone - which is stated to be protection against the Other Mother - in her pocket does she truly feel like herself again.
Glamour Failure: The Other Mother doesn't show up in mirrors. When Coraline asks her why, she simply replies that mirrors can't be trusted.
The Grotesque: The transformed Other Miss Spink and Miss Forcible and by the end, what's left of the Other Father.
Helping Hands: The Other Mother loses her hand, which goes looking for the key to the door.
Lean and Mean: The Other Mother. This is always the case in the book, but in the film she starts off being identical to the real Mrs. Jones and switches to this trope when Coraline starts screwing things up for her.
Only Smart People May Pass: If Coraline doesn't find her parents and the souls of the ghost children, she has to stay in the Other World.
Papa Wolf: Coraline tells the Cat a story of how she and her father stumbled into some bees, her father told Coraline to run, while he stayed behind to be the one getting the majority of the bee stings.
Parental Love Song: the "twitchy-witchy" song, in which Coraline's father expresses his affection by telling her (goofily) the things he'll do for her and the things he would never do.
Parents in Distress: Coraline's parents are kidnapped by the Other Mother and she has to challenge the Other Mother to save them.
Self-Made Orphan: Semi-subverted. The Other Mother has put her Mother to to grave, "And when she tries to get out, I put her back in". So the Mother of Other Mother isn't exactly dead, by for all intents and purposes, she is.
Sore Loser: After Coraline finds the first soul, the Other Mother sends a roaring wind indoors to slow her down. She also has no intention of letting Coraline go, whether she wins or not.
Vague Age: Seems to be the case with Coraline. The illustration for the first chapter makes her look like a teenager, but the story she writes on her father's computer is the work of an eight-year-old.
Vampire Invitation: Children can't have buttons sewn into their eyes unless they agree to it.