Coraline

Last updated

Coraline
Coraline.jpg
Front cover by Dave McKean
Author Neil Gaiman
Illustrator Dave McKean
Cover artistDave Mckean
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Genre Dark fantasy
Publisher Bloomsbury (UK)
Harper Collins (US)
Publication date
24 February 2002
Media typePrint, e-book, audiobook
Pages163
ISBN 0-06-113937-8
OCLC 71822484
813
LC Class PZ7.G1273 Co 2002

Coraline /ˈkɒrəln/ [1] is a dark fantasy children's novella by British author Neil Gaiman, published in 2002 by Bloomsbury and Harper Collins. It was awarded the 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novella, [2] the 2003 Nebula Award for Best Novella, [3] and the 2002 Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers. [4] Gaiman started writing Coraline in 1990. The titular character's name came from a typo in "Caroline". According to Gaiman, "I had typed the name Caroline, and it came out wrong. I looked at the word Coraline, and knew it was someone's name. I wanted to know what happened to her." [5] It has been compared to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and has been adapted into a 2009 stop-motion film, directed by Henry Selick.

Dark fantasy subgenre of fantasy

Dark fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy literary, artistic, and cinematic works that incorporate darker and frightening themes of fantasy. It also often combines fantasy with elements of horror or has a gloomy, dark atmosphere, or a sense of horror and dread.

Neil Gaiman English fantasy writer

Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films. His works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book (2008). In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards.

Bloomsbury Publishing plc is a British independent, worldwide publishing house of fiction and non-fiction. It is a constituent of the FTSE SmallCap Index. Bloomsbury's head office is located in Bloomsbury, an area of the London Borough of Camden. It has a US publishing office located in New York City, an India publishing office in New Delhi, an Australia sales office in Sydney CBD and other publishing offices in the UK including at Oxford. The company's growth over the past two decades is primarily attributable to the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling and, from 2008, to the development of its academic and professional publishing division. The Bloomsbury Academic & Professional division won the Bookseller Industry Award for Academic, Educational & Professional Publisher of the Year in both 2013 and 2014.

Contents

Plot

Coraline Jones and her parents move into an old house that has been divided into flats. The other tenants include Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, two elderly women retired from the stage and Mr. Bobo, initially referred to as "the crazy old man upstairs," who claims to be training a mouse circus. The flat beside Coraline's is unoccupied, and a small door that links them is revealed to be bricked up when opened.

Coraline goes to visit her new neighbours. Mr. Bobo relays to her a message from his mice: "Don't go through the door." Coraline also has tea with Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, and Miss Spink spies danger in Coraline’s future after reading her tea leaves.

Despite these warnings, Coraline decides to unlock the door when she is home by herself. This time, she finds the brick wall behind the door is gone. In its place is a long hallway that leads to a flat identical to her own, except inhabited by the "Other Mother" and "Other Father," who have black buttons for eyes. The Other Mother is notably taller and thinner than her real mother. Her black hair seems to move by itself, her skin is paper-white, and her nails are long and red. Coraline finds the "Other World" more interesting than her own; the Other Mother cooks food that she actually enjoys, both of her Other Parents pay more attention to her, her toy box is filled with animate toys that can move and fly, the Other Miss Spink and Miss Forcible perform a never-ending act in their flat, and the Other Mr. Bobo performs a mice circus. She even finds that the feral black cat that wanders around the house in the real world can talk. The cat identifies itself as the same cat that lives in the real world, and possesses the ability to travel through the gaps between the two worlds. Although intentionally rude and unhelpful for the greater part of the conversation, it briefly praises her for bringing "protection," then vanishes.

After Coraline returns to the copy of her flat, the Other Mother offers Coraline the opportunity to stay in the Other World forever, but in order to do so, Coraline must allow buttons to be sewn into her eyes. Coraline is horrified and returns through the door to her home. Upon return to her apartment, Coraline finds that her real parents are missing. They do not return the next day, and the black cat wakes her and takes her to a mirror in her hallway, through which she can see her trapped parents. They signal to her by writing "Help Us" on the glass, from which Coraline deduces the Other Mother has kidnapped them. Though frightened of returning, Coraline goes back to the Other World to confront the Other Mother and rescue her parents. In the garden, Coraline is prompted by the cat to challenge the Other Mother, as "her kind of thing loves games and challenges." The Other Mother tries to convince Coraline to stay, but Coraline refuses, and is locked within a small space behind a mirror as punishment.

In the small dark closet space, she meets three ghost children. Each had in the past let the Other Mother, who they archaically refer to as the "beldam," sew buttons over their eyes. They tell Coraline how the Other Mother eventually grew bored with them, leaving them to die and cast them aside, but they are trapped there because she has kept their souls. If their souls can be rescued from the Other Mother, then the ghosts can pass on. The ghost children implore Coraline to escape and avoid their fate.

After the Other Mother releases Coraline from the mirror, Coraline proposes a game: if she can find the ghost children's souls and her parents, then she, her parents, and the ghost children may go free. If she loses, then Coraline will let the Other Mother sew the buttons into her eyes and become a loving daughter to her. The Other Mother agrees and they both swear on their right hands.

Coraline searches through the Other World and overcomes the Other Mother's obstacles by using her wits and Miss Spink's lucky stone to find the marble-like souls of the ghost children. She also deduces that her parents are imprisoned in a snow globe on the mantelpiece. The ghost children warn her that even if Coraline wins, the Other Mother will not let them go, so Coraline tricks the Other Mother by announcing that she knows where her parents are hidden: in the passageway between the worlds. The Other Mother cannot resist gloating by opening the door to show Coraline that her parents are not there. When the Other Mother opens the door Coraline throws the cat at the Other Mother, grabs the snow globe, and escapes to the real world with the key, and the cat quickly follows. While escaping, Coraline forces the door shut on the Other Mother's hand. Back in her home, Coraline falls asleep on a chair. She is awoken by her parents who have no memory of the events.

Snow globe transparent sphere enclosing a miniaturized scene, filled with water with unattached objects resembling snowflakes

A snow globe is a transparent sphere, traditionally made of glass, enclosing a miniaturized scene of some sort, often together with a model of a town, landscape or figure. The sphere also encloses the water in the globe; the water serves as the medium through which the "snow" falls. To activate the snow, the globe is shaken to churn up the white particles. The globe is then placed back in its position and the flakes fall down slowly through the water. Snow globes sometimes have a built-in music box that plays a song. Some snow globes have a design around the outerbase for decoration.

That night, Coraline has a dream in which she meets the three children at a picnic. The children are dressed in clothes from different periods and one seems to have wings. They warn her that her task is still not done: the Other Mother will attempt to get her back and will try to get the key to open the door between the worlds. Coraline goes to the old well in the woods to dispose of the key. She pretends to have a picnic, with the picnic blanket laid over the entrance to the well. The Other Mother's severed hand attempts to seize the key, but steps on the blanket and falls into the well. Coraline returns to the house, greeting her neighbours (who finally get her name right), and getting ready for school tomorrow.

Characters

Sarcasm is "a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter gibe or taunt". Sarcasm may employ ambivalence, although sarcasm is not necessarily ironic. Most noticeable in spoken word, sarcasm is mainly distinguished by the inflection with which it is spoken and is largely context-dependent. Sarcasm does not translate into text-only mediums, such as online chat.

Arachnid class of arthropods

Arachnids are a class (Arachnida) of joint-legged invertebrate animals (arthropods), in the subphylum Chelicerata. Almost all adult arachnids have eight legs, although the front pair of legs in some species has converted to a sensory function, while in other species, different appendages can grow large enough to take on the appearance of extra pairs of legs. The term is derived from the Greek word ἀράχνη (aráchnē), from the myth of the hubristic human weaver Arachne who was turned into a spider. Spiders are the largest order in the class, which also includes scorpions, ticks, mites, harvestmen, and solifuges. In 2019, a molecular phylogenetic study also placed horseshoe crabs in Arachnida.

Middle English Stage of the English language from about the 12th through 15th centuries

Middle English was a form of the English language, spoken after the Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. English underwent distinct variations and developments following the Old English period. Scholarly opinion varies, but the Oxford English Dictionary specifies the period when Middle English was spoken as being from 1150 to 1500. This stage of the development of the English language roughly followed the High to the Late Middle Ages.

In other media

Television

Coraline inspired the "Coralisa" segment of The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror XXVIII", which aired on 22 October 2017. Neil Gaiman provided the voice of the Simpsons' cat, Snowball V. [6]

<i>The Simpsons</i> American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.

Treehouse of Horror XXVIII 2017 episode of The Simpsons

"Treehouse of Horror XXVIII" is the fourth episode of the twenty-ninth season of the animated television series The Simpsons, and the 622nd episode of the series overall. It aired in the United States on Fox on October 22, 2017.

Film

With the help of the animation studio Laika, director Henry Selick released a stop motion film adaptation in 2009 that received critical acclaim. At the 82nd Academy Awards, the film was nominated for Best Animated Feature but lost to Pixar's Up. In the film, Coraline is depicted as having short blue hair and freckles. Henry Selick added a new character, Wyborn "Wybie" Lovat, who is an annoyance at first to Coraline in the real world but she grows to like him. In the Other World he cannot speak, but is an ally to Coraline. At the end of the film, Coraline reaches out to help Wybie tell his grandmother what is behind the little door.

Laika (company) American stop-motion animation studio

Laika Entertainment, LLC is an American stop-motion animation studio specializing in feature films, commercial content for all media, music videos, and short films. The studio is best known for its stop-motion feature films Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and Kubo and the Two Strings, all co-produced in partnership with Universal Pictures through its Focus Features label. It is owned by Nike co-founder and chairman Phil Knight and is located in Hillsboro, Oregon, part of the Portland metropolitan area. Knight's son, Travis, acts as Laika's president and CEO.

Henry Selick American filmmaker

Charles Henry Selick is an American stop motion director, producer, and writer who is best known for directing the stop-motion animation films The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), James and the Giant Peach (1996), and Coraline (2009). He studied at the Program in Experimental Animation at California Institute of the Arts, under the guidance of Jules Engel.

Stop motion animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own

Stop motion is an animated-film making technique in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments between individually photographed frames so that they will appear to exhibit independent motion when the series of frames is played back as a fast sequence. Dolls with movable joints or clay figures are often used in stop motion for their ease of repositioning. Stop-motion animation using plasticine figures is called clay animation or "clay-mation". Not all stop motion, however, requires figures or models: stop-motion films can also be made using humans, household appliances, and other objects, usually for comedic effect. Stop motion using humans is sometimes referred to as pixilation or pixilate animation.

Comic books

A comic book adaptation, published in 2008, was illustrated by P. Craig Russell and lettered by Todd Klein. [7]

Musical

A theatrical adaptation, with music and lyrics by Stephin Merritt and book by David Greenspan, premiered on 6 May 2009, produced by MCC Theater and True Love Productions Off-Broadway at The Lucille Lortel Theatre. [8] Nine-year-old Coraline was played by an adult, Jayne Houdyshell, and the Other Mother was played by David Greenspan. [8]

Video games

A video game adaptation, based on the film, was published and developed by D3 Publisher of America. The game was released on 27 January 2009 for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS and Wii platforms and contains features such as playing as Coraline, interacting with other characters, and playing minigames. The game received mostly negative reviews. [9] [10]

Opera

An opera by Mark-Anthony Turnage, based on the novella, made its world premiere at the Barbican Centre in London on 27 March 2018.

Related Research Articles

<i>Neverwhere</i> British television series

Neverwhere is an urban fantasy television series by Neil Gaiman that first aired in 1996 on BBC Two. The series is set in "London Below", a magical realm coexisting with the more familiar London, referred to as "London Above". It was devised by Neil Gaiman and Lenny Henry, and directed by Dewi Humphreys. Gaiman adapted the series into a novel, which was released in September 1996. The series and book were partially inspired by Gene Wolfe's novel Free Live Free.

<i>Good Omens</i> novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (1990) is a World Fantasy Award-nominated novel, written as a collaboration between the English authors Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. The book is a comedy about the birth of the son of Satan, the coming of the End Times. There are attempts by the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley to sabotage the coming of the end times, having grown accustomed to their comfortable surroundings in England. One subplot features a mixup at the small country hospital on the day of birth and the growth of the Antichrist, Adam, who grows up with the wrong family, in the wrong country village. Another subplot concerns the summoning of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, each a big personality in their own right. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 68 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.

<i>The Sandman: Dream Country</i>

Dream Country is the third trade paperback collection of the comic book series The Sandman, published by DC Comics. It collects issues #17–20. It is written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Kelley Jones, Charles Vess, Colleen Doran and Malcolm Jones III, coloured by Robbie Busch and Steve Oliff, and lettered by Todd Klein.

<i>MirrorMask</i> 2005 film by Dave McKean

MirrorMask is a 2005 fantasy film designed and directed by Dave McKean and written by Neil Gaiman from a story they developed together, starring Stephanie Leonidas, Jason Barry, Rob Brydon, and Gina McKee. The music used in the film was composed by Iain Ballamy. It was produced by The Jim Henson Company.

Lucy Pevensie fictional English girl, a lead character in the first three Narnia books

Lucy Pevensie is a fictional character in C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia series. She is the youngest of the four Pevensie children, and the first to find the Wardrobe entrance to Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Of all the Pevensie children, Lucy is the closest to Aslan. Also, of all the humans who have visited Narnia, Lucy is perhaps the one that believes in Narnia the most. She is ultimately crowned Queen Lucy the Valiant, co-ruler of Narnia along with her two brothers and her sister. Lucy is the central character of the four siblings in the novels. Lucy is a principal character in three of the seven books, and a minor character in two others.

<i>Anansi Boys</i> novel by Neil Gaiman

Anansi Boys is a fantasy novel by English writer Neil Gaiman. In the novel, "Mr. Nancy" — an incarnation of the West African trickster god Anansi — dies, leaving two sons, who in turn discover each other. The novel follows their adventures as they explore their common heritage. While not a sequel to Gaiman's previous novel American Gods, the character of Mr. Nancy appears in both books.

<i>The Spiderwick Chronicles</i> series of childrens books

The Spiderwick Chronicles is a series of children's books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. They chronicle the adventures of the Grace children, twins Simon and Jared and their older sister Mallory, after they move into the Spiderwick Estate and discover a world of fairies that they never knew existed. The first book, The Field Guide, was published in 2003 and then followed by The Seeing Stone (2003), Lucinda's Secret (2003), The Ironwood Tree (2004), and The Wrath of Mulgarath (2004). Several companion books have been published including Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You (2005), Notebook for Fantastical Observations (2005), and Care and Feeding of Sprites (2006). A second series, entitled Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles includes The Nixie's Song (2007), A Giant Problem (2008), and The Wyrm King (2009).

<i>Beowulf</i> (2007 film) 2007 fantasy action movie directed by Robert Zemeckis

Beowulf is a 2007 British-American 3D computer-animated fantasy adventure film directed by Robert Zemeckis, written by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary and based on the Old English epic poem of the same name. Starring the voices of Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright, Brendan Gleeson, John Malkovich, Crispin Glover, Alison Lohman and Angelina Jolie, the film features human characters animated using live action motion capture animation, which was previously used in The Polar Express (2004) and Monster House (2006).

<i>Fantastic Mr. Fox</i> (film) 2009 stop-motion animated film directed by Wes Anderson

Fantastic Mr. Fox is a 2009 American stop motion animated comedy film directed by Wes Anderson, based on Roald Dahl's 1970 children's novel of the same name. The film is about a fox who steals food each night from three mean and wealthy farmers. They are fed up with Mr. Fox's theft and try to kill him, so they dig their way into the foxes' home, but the animals are able to outwit the farmers and live underground.

<i>Coraline</i> (film) 2009 stop-motion animated film directed by Henry Selick

Coraline is a 2009 American 3D stop-motion animated dark fantasy comedy horror film directed by Henry Selick and based on Neil Gaiman's 2002 novel of the same name. Produced by Laika as its first feature film, Coraline depicts an adventurous girl named Coraline finding an idealized parallel world behind a secret door in her new home, unaware that the alternative world contains a dark and sinister secret.

<i>Undercover Kitty</i> (film) 2001 Dutch film directed by Vincent Bal

Undercover Kitty is a 2001 Dutch film, based on the children's novel Minoes by Annie M.G. Schmidt.

<i>The Graveyard Book</i> novel by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book is a young adult fantasy novel by the English author Neil Gaiman, simultaneously published in Britain and America in 2008. The Graveyard Book traces the story of the boy Nobody "Bod" Owens who is adopted and raised by the supernatural occupants of a graveyard after his family is brutally murdered.

The Old Willis Place: A Ghost Story is a children's novel written by Mary Downing Hahn. It was first published in 2004 and is found in 9001 libraries.

"The New Mother" is a short story written by Lucy Clifford and first published in her collection of children's stories, The Anyhow Stories, Moral and Otherwise in 1882. The story has been reprinted in anthologies including The Dark Descent and rewritten at least once, in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, where author Alvin Schwartz misattributes it as an anonymous folktale.

<i>Ottoline and the Yellow Cat</i> book by Chris Riddell

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat is a children's book by Chris Riddell, published in 2007. It won the Nestlé Children's Book Prize Gold Award and the Red House Children's Book Award for Younger Readers. It was also shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and nominated for the Carnegie Medal.

Lost in Time is a two-part story of The Sarah Jane Adventures which has been broadcast on CBBC on 8 and 9 November 2010. It is the fifth story of the fourth series.

The Brownie and the Princess: And Other Stories (ISBN 978-0060000837) is a book of ten children's stories by the American author, Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888). The stories were published in various children's magazines during her lifetime. They were also previously published with two other stories in the collection A Round Dozen by Viking Press in 1963.

References

  1. "The theatrical trailer for Coraline". January 22, 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  2. "The Hugo Awards : 2003 Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. Archived from the original on 7 May 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  3. "The Nebula Awards". Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  4. "Past Stoker Nominees & Winners". Horror Writers Association. Archived from the original on 20 November 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  5. Coraline. page 93.
  6. Schwartz, Dana (18 October 2017). "Neil Gaiman would love to see a Sandman parody on The Simpsons". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  7. Smith, Zack (19 August 2008). "P. Craig Russell – Adapting Coraline and More". Newsarama . Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  8. 1 2 Blankenship, Mark (7 June 2009). "The Score and the Story, Inseparable". New York Times. pp. AR4.
  9. http://m.ign.com/articles/2009/01/29/coraline-review-2
  10. http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-2/coraline