18th Nov: We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.
The Cat is the Other Mother's Polar Opposite.The Cat is the creator of the real vast world, while the Other Mother is the creator of her parasitic tiny empty world that "leeches" off his creation.
Wybei is in love with Coraline.Well, someone had to say it. This is mostly here as a break from the fantastic theories that makes people's heads throb more then before, but there actually is some rather obvious hints. First and for-most, guys don't just give dolls to girls only because of a resemblance. It seems more like an attempt to win her affection, or at least tolerance, than anything else.
The Otherword does not exist; it is the figment of a young girl's dreams and imagination.I thought this one was fairly obvious. There are a few arguments about why this could not be possible, (Bobinski's mice, the other mother's claw at the end) but the majority of the weird happenings take place after Coraline has gone to bed and end after Coraline has woken up. It's not completely unreasonable to suggest that due to boredom, she takes advantage of her dreams and pretends that her home is a secret place full of wonderful (and sometimes frightening) things. For example, her father in reality appears to be a drone to his computer and work. The Other Father is manipulated by machinery such as the piano, and bossed around to do the Other Mother's bidding. The children's souls are just junk that a child could find and turn in to toys with some imagination. The cat only talks when in the alternate apartment. All of this is in Coraline's mind/fantasies as a way of dealing with her loneliness and feeling neglect from her parents (at the hand's of her clearly dominant mother, ergo why the Other Mother is the antagonist of her play-realm).
The Beldam created two types of Other peopleOther Bobinski, Spink and Forcible were created to entertain. Other Father and Wybie, whoever, were created to love and care, and they did exactly what they were meant for. That's why they rebelled against the Beldam. Other Bobinski could've been a caring Other before, but had to become an entertainer do to real world conditions, since he himself didn't try and get Coraline, but the Beldam's rats did.
All the Other inhabits were brought to the Otherworld by the Beldam.The Other Father (And in the movies, Other Wybie) are the main source behind this little fan-theory. Both seem to have an "enough is enough" attitude when the Other Mother brings Coraline in, which is why both help try to help her, and both were destroyed in the process, so it's possible they were there since the beginning to get that state of rebellion. In the books, when Coraline finds Other Father's tortured form shoved in the cellar, the smell of burnt clay is described, implying they can be molded. There's various reasons why each of the inhabitants could have stayed in the Otherworld but here are the most popular: Other Spink and Forcible were failing dancers who wanted fame, Other Bobinski was a down-on-his-luck ring master that wanted an audience, Other Father lost his wife and child and was manipulated to stay ala your average abused spouse, and Other Wybie was a boy with parents so horrible that the trauma made him mute, and the welcoming arms of the Other Father and Mother made him decide to stay, although he, like the Other Father, realized what was happening was wrong, and tried to rebel. Terrible idea.
The Other Mother was a fey that built her traps of glamors and the worst fears of what a person hoped they wouldn't become.Finding a thin place between the ethereal and the mundane world (practically stated in canon), the creature that would become the Other Mother adjusted the shadowed reflections of the real world into a house that would fit her purposes, fashioning the Other inhabitants from something close to who they were, a spell of glamor, and what they least wanted to be. The Other Father was a lump of dough imbued with cowardice, the man in the upstairs flat became a nothingness overshadowed by the rats that were far more horrid than any mice he would train, and Miss Spink and Miss Forcible were performance costumes, doomed to perform forever (or as close as makes no difference) and never to enjoy the rest of their retirement.
The Other Mother was a Nightmare that either escaped when Morpheus was still trapped, or was luring children into her own pocket of the Dreaming.In the movie, Coraline originally starts out visiting the Other Mother's world in her sleep, with it becoming more and more real each time she encounters it, a trait that has been used before in the Sandman comics.
The Other Mother is the Dark QueenBlack eyes and looking as if she came from the Uncanny Valley, check. Taking on the appearance of the female protagonist's mother, check. Her "daughter", the Other Helena, could act as a rebellious substitute for the real thing in the real world. Arouses much less suspicion that way.
The other Bobinski was eaten by the Other Mother's rats.In the movie, anyway. In the book, he probably just was the rats (strongly implied by Gaiman's graphic novel adaptation).
The movie!Other Mother was...
the movie Other Mother was a changeling - a fairy child that is left behind when fairies steal a human child.She was raised as a human and was fond of them, but because of her nature she could never bear a human child and this drove her into despair. She resorted to kidnapping human children to raise up herself, but she only left behind dolls instead of changelings, and her fey background combined with her anger and isolation meant that she could not understand how to be a real parent and eventually she killed the children out of spite and frustration. The fey folk saw what she was doing and, feeling responsible for what she had done, locked her away so that she could not harm anyone else. They tied the pocket dimension they had locked her in into her old house, and eventually humans started living there again. The fey left the key in the house, confident that she could never escape...but she eventually found other ways to communicate with the children...
The cat from this story is...
Other Wybie isn't really dead.He changed his clothes and left them somewhere he knew Coraline would see them, so that Coraline (and therefore the Other Mother) would think he was dead. He was planning to hide and wait for the moment when Coraline needed his help again. However, the only time afterwards Coraline really needed his help was when the Other Mother captured her again; she made the deal with the Other Mother before he had a chance to help her escape again. The Other Mother later found the clothes and, deciding to use them to weaken Coraline's resolve, hung them in front of Mr. Bobinski's house.
Coraline will one day team up with Bod.They're both child heroes who have experience with the supernatural, and, under duress, tend to come up with efficient and sometimes ruthless solutions to the problem at hand. They Fight Crime!
The Other World is Negative WorldAll of the Other People are really monsters in true form as seen with the Other Mice, the Other Father, etc., who serve the Other Mother.
The cat belongs to the herd of the Cat ShepherdUnlike the others, he just pulls double duty and watches over Wybie and Coraline.
The Other Father ate too much pumpkin pie, and that's why he turns into a pumpkin.Y'know how eating too many carrots will make your skin turn orange? Same basic principle.
Coraline is the great-granddaughter of Indiana Jones.Talented in finding lost things? Check. Good with improvised weapons? Check. Talkative ethnic sidekick? Check. There is simply no way she isn't related to Indy.
There is an Other Coraline.The one from the book! Seriously! It's been pointed out that Book!Coraline and Movie!Coraline are completely different people. In the movie, Coraline is quick-witted, a little feisty, very playful, and not very well-mannered. In the book, Coraline has hardly any personality to speak of ("Yes, no, I'm an explorer"). She behaves like an automaton, going through the motions of the story without any apparent rhyme or reason. And when her parents disappear, she seems to take it awfully well, not freaking out like a normal kid would - and like Movie!Coraline did - but just kind of taking it all in stride and writing creepy stuff on her dad's computer. I'm calling Beldam-related shenanigans on this one.
Movie! The Cat is...
Coraline is an odd metaphor for step-parents/divorce.It sounds odd, yes, but think about it for a minute. All that talk of 'other mothers' and 'other fathers'? Doesn't it remind you of politically correct terms relating to divorce? Coraline's 'Other Mother/Father' might be symbolizing the 'new parents' she might get if her parents were divorced and/or she ended up getting step-parents, possibly playing on a subconscious fear Coraline might have of her parents separating, for whatever reason. It'd certainly give throwaway phrases like "You know I love you, Coraline," as well as "You're NOT my mother!" and "I want to be with my REAL Mom and Dad!" a lot more symbolism...
The movie takes place in an alternate Modern Warfare universe.The Russian invasion force was reinforced in time and managed to break through the defensive line on the East Coast, which is why Coraline's family moved west to Oregon. They picked a nice old apartment on the countryside because the city is becoming crowded with refugees and parts of it are used for the war effort. There were probably be scenes where people say things like "I hope the Russians don't get here", etc. but they were cut since it would spoil the game and get the movie rated R.
The other mother is an a wonder or maybe even a genius herself.Think about it. She is a loving mother who will give you everything...But she needs life, and she has a habit of going psycho on you at very bad times...And she has button eyes. Maybe her creator had a bad childhood,and thought up an idea for a world where everything is perfect, and there is a loving mother controlling it...Until he realized this dream would be impossible without lifeforce and she would have to have button eyes, as he only had buttons on him and no non creepy eyes. Now, on the side of the genius idea. She was a genius who was really, really good at making dolls. Then she realized, "Hey, children would love dolls who can talk and play!" So, she made a machine that could make dolls that are alive, and she tested it with herself. It didn't go very well.] After finding out she has effectivly turned herself into a horrifying, uncanny valley esque doll/spider creature she bricked herself inside a room and hoped she would die before her humanity died. Then she got another Inspiration moment and built a machine to subvert the real world, so that she would turn into a human again. Once she found out this could only work if she still had her eyes, she crossed the Despair Event Horzine and decided it would be perfect if she had some kids, to keep her sanity and humanity and tried to contact a girl in the real world. This worked, and found out her doll/spider self really, really enjoyed Lifeforce. Yeah. Because this is so what would happen in the WOD universe.
Coraline took the cat in.Pretty self explanatory.
The Beldam sees via buttons.Not that she can see through the button eyes of her servants, but buttons actually function as her eyes. Let's see: She spies on her victims via the doll, which has button eyes, her own eyes are buttons, and just about everything "alive" in her world has buttons for eyes, allowing her to see through them and command them when they attack Coraline. Makes sense to me. The only exceptions to this would seem to be the creatures she creates with some kind of free will, or those that already have it. Examples being the Other Father, the Other Wybie, and the ghost children. The others are just puppets created to entertain.
The whole thing is just a game played between the cat and the Beldam.The cat has lost three times, and the Beldam has now lost once. The cat didn't care about Coraline, he only cared about winning. He never cared about any of the other children either. He does say that its a game they play, in the movie. Wybie is the only person the cat has any sort of affection towards, which is why the Beldam hasn't tried to take him- the cat has made it very clear that he is off limits.
The "Neil Gaiman is a Scientologist" rumors are...Fabricated by Disney / Dreamworks / Fox / Sony / Studio Ghibli to nudge a dozen percent or so off the movie's rating.
The Other Mother is Makarov.Ability to manipulate a whole world without even appearing? Check. Weird eyes? Check. Impossibly hot? Hell yes, check.
The Cat was a Big Daddy.The creators experimented with the teleportation plasmid to allow him to follow his Little Sister easily. This mutated him even further until he looks like a cat. Since Big Daddies aren't too intelligent, the side effects of gene splicing drove the level of sanity so far back that it ended up at the other end of the scale. He left Rapture on a bathysphere before the Civil War and continued his life at a certain apartment in Ashland, Oregon.
The Cat was an Aperture Science test subject.Their first experiments with the portals involves altering the subject's DNA so that they can create portals with their mind. His DNA was also altered to allow him to speak (an earlier experiment with this turned Chell into a Heroic Mime). During the testing, Gla DOS malfunctioned and starts killing everybody. The Cat escaped with a teleporter to Ashland, Oregon. The DNA altering tests were aborted and Aperture starts testing the Portal Gun as a cheaper alternative.
The Cat was the cat from Half-Life 2They got a black cat and tested it in their teleporter. It malfunctioned, threw him through the Other world, and afterwards he came back, talking and teleporting through holes into different parts of the world and into the Other world. Barney has nightmares about that cat because he's not an animal person, and talking teleporting animals that talk about button eyes and creepy people eating children (things I would assume he would talk about after looking into the Other world) are not average things to talk about. And are creepy. Especially when said by a weird talking black cat.
The Other Mother is related to the witches from Stardust.Instead of eating the hearts of stars to stay young, she sews buttons into children's eyes and eat their souls to keep the Otherworld running. In the movie, she moved from UK to the US a few years before the events in Stardust since no one has created world-portals there and there have been quite a lot of world-portals in the UK. In the book, she stays in the UK, the house is actually located on the witches' former lair.
Movie! Mr. B was Zakhaev's former co-worker.Both of them were VV troops who helped contain the radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Mr. B stayed longer near the reactor, which later turns his skin blue, while Zakhaev left to help evacuating 50.000 people from Prypiat, though he was irradiated enough to lose his hair. Mr. B then joins a circus as an acrobat, while Zakhaev builds a private army of mercenaries and corrupt army/Spetsnaz members and starts selling nuclear materials to the Ultranationalists.
Spink and Forcible are Splicers.They came to Rapture as burlesque performers. During their stay there, they were spliced for cosmetic purposes. They escaped Rapture on a bathysphere during the Civil War, shortly before Ryan shuts down the service. They continued to work as burlesque performers on the surface, but the long-term effects of gene splicing caused them to be a bit.... eccentric.
The Other Mother is an ally of Rapture's elites.She supplied her powers to Fontaine, which he marketed under the guise of "plasmids" (because irrationality is not allowed in Rapture). In exchange, he gave her the souls of the brainwashed Little Sisters (hence their glowing eyes), since she's unable to directly take children's souls by herself thanks to Wybie's great-aunt declaring the apartment off-limit to children. Her magic stays in the victim/user's body, allowing Fontaine to use the Little Sisters to extract the
The Sequel is going to be set in RaptureCome on, so many people are talking about the characters being from Rapture, it'd be disappointing if they didn't mention it! I could just imagine it... Wavvy Wavvy Wavvy...
The Other Mother is one of The GentryThe Changeling: The Lost links in this book are very, very clear, I think. Coraline might think that she managed to escape, but in fact, it was just another of the Keeper's tricks. Eventually, she will escape to this world as a Wizened...
The cat is AslanBecause he is a very powerful noble feline who loves children. And Aesops.
Movie Bobinsky is a Time Lord who used the Chameleon Arch.Zakhaev, who knew that he was a Time Lord, sent his mercs after him to exploit his powers. Mr. B used the Chameleon Arch in his TARDIS (the mice circus tent, which is why it was bigger inside in the Otherworld). His biological informations were stored in his Hero of the Soviet Union badge. Also, he was blue because when he was helping to contain the radiation from the Chernobyl disaster, he was hit by a level of radiation that would've killed a normal human, though it was far less than the radiation that killed the Tenth Doctor, which killed him quickly.
The Other World is really......The Other Side Weeping Angelsnote After Coraline took down the Other Spink/Forcible by shining a flashlight at the Scotties, causing them to fly into Other Spink/Forcible and turning them into sort-of stone, the Other Mother (assuming that she didn't die immediately after her hand was destroyed) used what's left of the Scotties to develop a new method to fuel the Otherworld. The results were the Weeping Angels. Learning from the incident, the Other Mother gave them the quantum lock (which turns them into sort-of stone when a living creature looks at them) and the ability to remotely manipulate light sources, allowing them to maneuver under the cover of the darkness. The potential energy they gain from their victims? It's channeled to the Otherworld, giving power to the Other Mother.
The Other Mother used to have a child of her own...But something happened to it (probably died of sickness or something) and the Other Mother was so overcome with grief that she tried to replace her lost, true child with other children. Wanting them to stay and not leave her like her true child had, she showered them with gifts and attention, and sewed the buttons on their eyes. But when the buttons were sewn on, she saw the button-eyed child looked nothing like her real one, and killed him/her in a fit of rage, grief, and insanity.
The winged ghost child was The Other Mother's original daughter.In the graphic novel adaptation of Coraline, at least, the winged ghost child is drawn to look like a fairy, and, of course, The Other Mother is heavily implied to be of fey nature herself. Of course, considering that this girl was locked away with the two previous children, in this situation, The Other Mother might have somehow been displeased with her daughter. She killed her, and used her powers to search for someone who might be able to replace her as a "perfect" child. When one of them displeased her, she killed them. The human boy and girl clearly did not suffice - and neither did Coraline.
The Other World is somehow connected to Wonderland.The Cat's ability to vanish behind objects and reappear elsewhere is a variation on the Cheshire Cat's vanishing abilities. And the reason Coraline was able to win the game and handle the Other World? It's in her blood — somewhere in her family tree is Alice Liddell (or Pleasance, if you want book!Alice).
The Cat is The Cat
The Other Mother is Princess Nehema.She initially takes up an innocent appearance and creates a world that seems sweet and cheery, but its true darkness reveals itself bit by bit. And when you've realized there's no escape, she reverts to her true form and eats you. Sounds pretty familiar.
Both Coralines (And to an extent everything else) exist in Alternate Timelines.The Movie Timeline is basically our own, nothing out of the ordinary save the other world. The book takes place in a timeline where America lost the Revolutionary War (Book obviously takes place in England, and America is never even mentioned despite being normally very important to commerce/ pop culture), African enslavement was nigh impossible (They got some sort of forewarning and boobytrapped the countryside/hid.) and were allowed to live in Africa freely, And modern child education focuses less on spelling and grammar ("Turned into sossajas The End.") and more on advanced problem solving and acting very creepy in public.
The Other Mother really does love the children she takes in...But she can't help swallowing up their life energy, either because her hunger is too strong or it's not an active process.
The Cat has supernatural powers all his own, unrelated to the Other World.At the end, right before the credits, he pull his teleport trick through the mailbox. Based on this, one can conclude that all cats have such powers and are determined to defend the youth of the world from supernatural beings like the Other Mother.
The Other Mother has something to do with Fear.Pretty self-explanatory, really...
The Other Mother has something to do with Nyarlathotep.Dreams, rats, a scary house, a dreamworld... it's all there.
The house and the Other World have something to do with House of Leaves.Strange that this hasn't been brought up yet...
The Other Mother is the creator of the Lalaoopsy Dolls.They look awfully like her handy work, She must be using them as a new method of collecting children and they were a big seller this hoilday season, when a parent buys the doll for their daughter, she waits when the time is right to have it lead the child into a portal to the other world, and then...
The Beldam is related to the monster in Stephen King's ItShe just uses a different tactic to get her food.
That isn't Coraline's parents writing "Help us" on the mirror.It's the Beldam trying to keep Coraline's interest. Coraline's parents would have actually written "Save yourself" rather than lure their child into danger.
The Other Mother was originally just a normal child.She said that she put her mother in her grave...so maybe her 'mother' was the original 'other mother', and she was her last victim. But after being in the other world for so long, she went crazy and ran off to build her own worlds and feed off of other children...it's a possibility.
The Other Mother's mother......was the Thing in the passageway between her world and the real one.
The whole thing takes place in the same universe as Doctor WhoOther dimensions? Weird creatures that want to suck the soul from humans? Sounds like a job for the Doctor if you ask me! The only reason he didn't show up was because he was busy helping another little boy with his nightmares...
The Other Mother is much better at illusions and acting than she seems, and Coraline is, at the end, still in the Other World.The Other Mother knows that few people would be content with leaving their world behind for an eerily perfect new world, and even fewer would be content with it even after the caveats come into play. If she presents an illusions of an eerily perfect world and allows her captive to fight out of it and into a moderately more pleasant version of reality, the captive will accept it much more easily and might not even notice that anything is wrong. It's likely that, in this situation, the Other Mother is capturing a child to adopt and doesn't intend to eat Coraline (at least not immediately, or physically).
This is how the beldam reproduce.A continuation of an earlier WMG. Much like True Fey in Changeling: The Lost, beldam-kind turn humans into their own. They steal children until one makes the same bet Coraline did and loses, then becomes their real parent retroactively by twisting The Power of Love. Which would explain why the other mother apparently killed her own mother—once her idea of love got fucked up enough it seemed like a loving act. Or the pressure of 'loving' a monster got too much. Or killing everything and emptying their world is the last step in Becoming . . .
The Beldam is a Witch.The Otherworld is her Barrier/Labyrinth. Her familiars are stuffed dolls, as well as all the Other!people. Her Witchkiss mark is the button-eyes effect. Depending on how you look at it, Coraline is either very lucky or unlucky that Kyubey wasn't there to make a Contract with her.
The story is the same as Ubik.Coraline is obviously dead from the car accident at the beginning of the story, and placed in half-life. The Other Mother is the same as Jory, constructing a world to entertain people until she consumes them. That's why she needs Coraline to take the buttons fast, because keeping the other world consumes vast amounts of energy. The proof? At the very end, when the Other Mother begins to weaken, everything unravels. The cat is, of course, another half-living spirit trying to help Coraline from being consumed.
The Entire Story is an Allegory for Coming of Age, much like LabyrinthFirst off, Neil already loves his symbolism. It's all over the book and movie. But could it be that Neil had intended this to be one huge symbol for growing up? First of all, Coraline is moving to a new home in a new state where she has to restart her life. I mean, that alone is a plot for a coming of age story. But each element of the story ads to it.
The whole thing is a Take That / Deconstruction /Inversion of the Chronicles of Narnia, particularly the Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobeIn the Chronicles of Narnia, a benevolent, nigh-omnipotent being (Aslan) creates an idealized world populated by inhabitants with free will, who are allowed to live in freedom. Human children come to it, are saved by the world's benevolent creator, get a happy ending, and are forced to leave to return to their normal world. In Coraline, a malevolent (or crazy but intending to be benevolent) being creates a Crapsaccharine World populated by inhabitants with free will, who are only permitted to do what assists their creator's cause. A human child comes to it, is entrapped by the world's malevolent creator, things go from idyllic to terrifying, and struggles to leave to return to her normal world. There are also more subtle similarities.
The Other Mother is an evil/twisted version of Dame Eyola from The Neverending StoryEyola is a non-human motherly figure, who helps people facing hardships, by giving up some of her abundance and lets them go, when the time is right. Contrary to this, the Other Mother lures in children that face hardships by pretending to be helpful, taking their energy for herself and forcing them to stay. Also Eyola encourages her fosterlings to change, while the Other Mother (as explained in an earlier WMG) instead encourages to stay children forever.
The Beldam is not just related to It She is her Goody Two Shoes sister.Let's look at the similarities:
The Cat is Sissel.The Cat has Sissel's trademark ability of passing through and travelling through objects.