Coraline

Characters

  • Coraline Jones – The young explorer. She is curious, intelligent, resourceful, and courageous. Coraline is often irritated by rain, crazy grown-ups (as they all seem to be), and not being taken seriously because of her young age. She's described as being "small for her age", but Coraline is not afraid to face anyone; she is the most adventurous person in the book. Even though Coraline wants to never see the Other Mother again after she kidnapped her parents, she develops Stockholm Syndrome in the slightest for the Beldam. After everything she had heard about the Other Mother and what she has done to Coraline's family, she can't deny that the Other Mother does genuinely love her in her own selfish way. She feels some empathy for her Other Mother at the very slightest and realizes that the Beldam wants a strong mother-daughter bond that she doesn't fully understand how to make. This shows the compassionate side of Coraline Jones and the strong will she has. In the film, she is voiced by Dakota Fanning.
  • Mrs. Jones – Coraline's mother. She is very busy most of the time, and sometimes a little inattentive, but she loves and cares about Coraline. She is nice, and helpful, though Coraline considers her to be rather boring. Coraline also gets annoyed with her real mother because she doesn't seem to want to let Coraline "fit in". In the film, her first name is Mel, and is voiced by Teri Hatcher.
  • Mr. Jones – Coraline's father. He works at his house on the computer. He cares about Coraline very much and is kind, brave, and helpful. He makes interesting food creations that Coraline strongly dislikes. He, too, is usually too busy to spend time with Coraline. In the film, his first name is Charlie, and is voiced by John Hodgman.
  • The Cat – A black cat from Coraline's world. The cat acts as a mentor to Coraline and guides her through her journey. The cat's name is Sebastion explaining that cats do not need names to tell each other apart. Unlike many of the characters in the novel, he does not have an "Other World" counterpart, saying that unlike other creatures in the world, cats can "keep themselves together". He moves freely from one world to the other, although he appears to be capable of talking in the Other World. He possess a very sarcastic personality, constantly belittling Coraline, but nevertheless is helpful to her. He is defiant of the Other Mother, but seems to tremble at the thought of being stuck in the Other World forever. He befriends Coraline and helps her escape from the Other Mother, though Coraline also uses him as an impromptu weapon. He is voiced by Keith David in the film.
  • The Other Mother – An enigmatic being who created much of the Other World and the primary antagonist of the novel. She looks similar to Coraline's real mother but taller and thinner, with long black hair that seems to move by itself, black button eyes, paper-white skin, and extremely long, twitchy fingers with long dark red nails. During the course of the novel, she grows taller, thinner, and paler, looking less and less like Coraline's mother. She cannot create, but only copy, twist and change things from the real world when constructing her version of it. She collects children, whom she loves possessively to the point of eventual destruction, taking their souls so they cannot leave her world and caring for them until they pass away, but wanting to feel their happiness and joy afterwards. She mainly wants someone to mother. It's implied that she killed her own mother because when Coraline asked her if she had a grave she replied "Oh yes, I put her there myself." In the film her true form is a giant metallic skeletal-arachnoid creature with needle-like hands. She is referred to several times as "the beldam", a Middle English word meaning "grandmother", "ugly old woman", "hag", or "witch", and also used to refer to creatures of fairy. In the film, she is voiced by Teri Hatcher, just as Mel Jones.
  • The Other Father – A creation of the Other Mother in the image of Mr. Jones, the Other Father is used to help trick Coraline into staying in the Other World. Like her real father, he has a study and sits there during the day and will not talk to Coraline for long. He does not work, however; he merely occupies the study, as he is not permitted to talk to Coraline by himself. He is much more fun than Coraline's real father and always tries to be cheerful and fun in front of Coraline. In reality, the Other Father is sad and nervous. The Other Mother ends up punishing him for revealing too much to Coraline—she transforms him into a grub-like creature, and orders the Other Father to trap Coraline so she cannot win her challenge, but Coraline escapes. In the film, he is voiced by John Hodgman just as Charlie Jones, but his singing voice is provided by John Linnell.
  • Miss Spink and Miss Forcible – A pair of retired actresses who live in the flat under Coraline's. They own many ageing Scotties, such as Hamish, Angus, and Jock, and talk in theater jargon, often referencing their time as actresses. They recognize the danger Coraline is in after reading her fortune through tea leaves and give her a stone with a hole in it to help protect her. In the Other World they are young, pretty, and perform continuously in front of many different dogs, who, in the Other World, are anthropomorphic. In the film, they and their Other World counterparts are voiced by Jennifer Saunders (Spink) and Dawn French (Forcible)
  • Mr. Bobo – A retired circus performer living in the flat above Coraline's; he is commonly referred to as the Crazy Old Man Upstairs. Over the course of the book he claims to be training mice to perform in a mouse circus, and often brings Coraline messages from them, though at first Coraline doubts he even has mice to train, and doesn't listen to what he says to be messages from the mice. His counterpart in the Other World trains rats, and is in fact made of rats. In the film adaptation, he is renamed Sergei Alexsander Bobinski, but goes by Mr. Bobinski or Mr. B. Also in the film, Mr. B and his Other World counterpart are voiced by Ian McShane.
  • The three ghost children – The spirits of three children who were previous victims of the Other Mother: two girls and one boy. The boy is described as having a dirty face and red trousers. One of the girls has brown hair, a pink blouse and a pink skirt. The other has a brown bonnet and brown dress. They were trapped by the other mother at different times before Coraline, and reside in the dark space behind the mirror. After having their souls restored, they go to the afterlife, but not before meeting Coraline for a last time, in a dream where she picnics with them. Here, she sees their true appearances and they thank her for freeing them from the Other Mother. They also warn her that the other mother is not done with her.

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