Coraline (2009) Poster



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At one hour and forty minutes long, this is the longest stop-motion film to date.
Mr. Bobinsky is wearing the Russian Hero Medal for Service at the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster on April 26, 1986. Which reads on the front "Participant in the clean-up campaign" The "4A3C" indicates "Chernobilskaya Nuclear Power Plant." This medal is unique as it is the only medal in the world awarded for participation in a nuclear clean up. That might explain his skin complexion and odd behavior.
The character Wybie Lovat is not in Neil Gaiman's novel. He was created so Coraline would not have to talk to herself and so she would have a friend her own age.
The Coraline shoot lasted over 18 months, following 2 years of pre-production.
At one point in the movie, Coraline shows 16 different expressions in a span of 35 seconds.
To construct 1 puppet of Coraline, 10 individuals had to work 3-4 months.
The on-screen snow was made from superglue and baking soda.
One crew member was hired specifically to knit miniature sweaters and other clothing for the puppet characters, using knitting needles as thin as human hair.
The band They Might Be Giants wrote 10 songs for the movie, but a change in tone from a musical to a darker production meant that all but one was cut; a scene in which Coraline's other father sings along with a piano features John Linnell's voice. The band has said they will release the other songs created for the movie in other projects, including albums.
The face on the dollar bill given to the mover for a tip is director Henry Selick.
For the character of Coraline, there were 28 different puppets of varying sizes; the main Coraline puppet stands 9.5 inches high.
Over 130 sets were built across 52 different stages at the studios; spanning 183,000 square feet, the 52 different stages were the most ever deployed for a stop-motion animated feature.
Coraline's facial combinations consist of 3D printed prototypes. New technology enabled a prototype to be molded by a computer, which was then hand-painted by the modeling department. Each jaw replacement was clipped between Coraline's eyes, resulting in a visible line which was later digitally removed frame by frame. There were at total of 207,336 possible face combinations for the character.
This film marks the first time that a stop-motion animated morphing sequence has ever been accomplished. The sequence runs for 130 frames, or nearly six seconds.
The first stop-motion animated feature to be shot entirely in 3-D.
In the initial recording session, Dawn French played the role of Miss Spink and Jennifer Saunders played Miss Forcible. However, director Henry Selick wasn't satisfied with the result, so he had French and Saunders switch roles and re-record their parts. These re-recorded parts were used in the film.
The model of the Father was based on Ted Raimi
Though not mentioned by name, the setting of the film is Ashland, Oregon (Laika Entertainment is based in Oregon). The stage performers and performances are references to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival held in Ashland.
On the back of the moving van you'll see graffiti on the bottom right corner that reads "StopMo Rulz." StopMo is short for Stop-Motion.
The original sweater the design team had designed for Coraline's father sported a big maize-and-blue University of Michigan logo. However producer Bill Mechanic decided to change the design in favor of his alma mater, Michigan State.
The 'Ranft Bros. Moving Company' that moves Coraline's family into their home, are based on real-life brothers Jerome Ranft and Joe Ranft. Both brothers did work on The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) with Director Henry Selick. The mover at the front door (who is given the $1.00 tip) is modeled after Joe Ranft.
1,300 square feet of fake fur was applied to stand in for live and/or dead grass.
Many people have tried to decipher the meanings behind the lyrics of the haunting soundtrack to Coraline. In truth, although it sounds like some strange language, it is just a lot of gibberish words that really mean nothing. On a side note, one of the singers in the choir that sang the gibberish words was named Coraline, although she had no connection to the character or book.
There are 248 Scottie Dogs in the audience with Coraline and Wybie watching the stage performance.
During a trapeze act in the 'Other World,' Ms Spink and Ms Forcible quote from William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. The words they speak are part of a speech that Hamlet gives to a pair of courtiers.
The painting in the living room that Coraline calls "boring" and changes from the real world to the "other" world looks suspiciously like the work of artist Mark Ryden who is known for bizarre imagery usually involving children.
There are many parallels to this story and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland: the small door that Alice/Coraline go through to a different world, the black cat/Cheshire cat that mysteriously comes and goes. There is also a similarity to C.S. Lewis' The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe: Coraline enters the fantasy world through a portal hidden in the home, where a talking feline helps her overcome a powerful woman who means her harm.
In a deleted portion of the table scene where Coraline's (real) father sings to her, he laments, "I think I have a virus." Coraline's father is voiced by John Hodgman, perhaps more famously known as "PC" in Apple's "I'm a Mac" advertisements, where he often complains of being susceptible to viruses.
Coraline has also been made into a stage musical, produced by MCC Theater in New York, with music and lyrics by Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields.
The red lighthouse visible in one of the snow globes Coraline places on the shelf was modeled after Big Red, the lighthouse at the Holland State park in Holland, Michigan.
During production, Laika Studios had students from The Art Institute of Portland help with the film in terms of sets and designs.
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When Miss Spink and Miss Forcible are introduced, framed placards for two shows they were in are shown. The shows are "Julius Sees Her" and "King Leer", with appropriate pictures, indicating Spink and Forcible were likely burlesque actresses.
Initially the film was going to be live action, and Dakota Fanning was actually going to physically portray Coraline. When it was decided instead to make a stop-motion animated film, Fanning was asked if she would still be interested in providing Coraline's voice. She said yes, as she thought it would be fun to do, and grew even more excited when she saw what Coraline was going to look like.
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The "Detroit Zoo" snow globe featured in the film contains a model of The Horace Rackham Memorial Fountain, or the "Bear Fountain," sculpted by Corrado Parducci in 1939 as the centerpiece of the Detroit Zoo's reflecting pool.
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The Pink Palace's address bears the same numbers as the nondescript warehouse where the film was produced.
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The first animated film to be released by Focus Features.
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In Quebec, the French version features the voices of Catherine Brunet, Geneviève Brouillette and Jean-Michel Anctil.
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Director Trademark 

Henry Selick:  [stop motion]  The entire movie featured stop motion animation.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When Coraline goes to tell the Other Father that dinner is ready, he sings her a song that, at first listen, seems cute and fun. But if you think about it carefully, and listen to the lyrics, he is actually giving her a warning of what the Other Mother's motive is.
When the Other Mother and Other Father attempt to persuade Coraline to sew buttons into her eyes, the framed silhouettes on the wall are representations of the three ghost children.
The ghost children's name for the Other Mother is "the Beldam." This is a reference to John Keats' 1819 poem "La Belle Dame sans Merci" (literally, the beautiful lady without mercy). The poem is about a knight who meets a "full beautiful...faery's child" with "wild" eyes. She takes the knight "to her elfin grot," where she enchants him, but he dreams of others - "pale kings, and princes too" - who warn him that she has him in her thrall. The M.O. of the Other Mother and the warnings of the ghost children to Coraline about what the Other Mother did to them are echoes of Keats' poem. In addition, the English word "beldam," according to a glance at the dictionary, will reveal that the word has two meanings: "an old, ugly woman" (also a hag or witch), or "grandmother".
As the Other Mother becomes her true self, we see more insect-like characteristics appear. The Other Mother is an expert at sewing, her clothes become reminiscent of an insect's thorax and abdomen, and in her final form as a spider, the Other Mother hunts in her web (containing the bug furniture that resemble previously caught prey) by vibration just like a real spider.
The leaves in the scene where Coraline is returning to the well were created by spraying popcorn pink and cutting it up into little pieces.
When Coraline suggests to the Other Mother that they play hide and seek during her first visit, the lightning outside of the window briefly takes the shape of the Other Mother's hand, as do the tree branches on the downed log when Coraline first apologizes to the cat for calling him a "wuss puss."
At the end of the movie as the camera zooms out from everyone in the garden we can see the landscaping resembles "Other" Mother's true face as opposed to Coraline's like it was in the "other" world.
Towards the end of the movie, Coraline's real mother puts away a toy tank. The tank closely resembles the first ever tank, the British Mark I, nicknamed "Mother".
At the end of the movie, the clouds moving away from the moon are in the shapes of the Other Mother's hands.
During the first scene set in Coraline's bedroom you can see that the photo frame containing the photo of her friends from back home is set on a stand in the shape of a Praying Mantis. This links to the Praying Mantis tractor that the 'Other' Father drives later on in the film.

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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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