What You Missed in Coraline

Coraline has won the hearts of many with its incredible plot and mysterious messages, but is there something the viewers of the film may have missed?

Some of these hidden messages were actually in plain sight all along!

In one of the very first scenes, Coraline and her family are moving into their new apartment and Coraline’s mother gives one of the movers a single dollar bill as a tip. If you take a closer look, you’d see that the face on the dollar bill is actually the face of Henry Selick, the director of the film.

Secondly, there is a chilling message in the song that the other father sings to Coraline the first time she goes into the other world. The song has a very catchy and cheerful sounding tune, but if you pay attention to the lyrics, you’d see that the other father was actually warning Coraline of what was to come.

Specifically, the phrase at the end of the song, which says, “...Mom and I will never ever make it boring, our eyes will be on Coraline…” reveals a lot. The other mother will “never ever make it boring” because she wants Coraline to stay in the other world forever, and to stay there forever, Coraline would have to accept buttons sewed in her eyes.

Another thing viewers may have missed is the fact that the wallpaper in the living room of Coraline’s apartment has a faint bug print. This is significant because the other mother isn’t who she pretends to be, and this is revealed later in the film. She turns into a bug-like creature as she becomes angrier and angrier, until she reveals her true form, leaving Coraline horrified and speechless.

Another thing people may have missed is in the scene where Coraline, the other mother, and the other father are having dinner together. As if on cue, it starts to rain, and lightning is shown.

The lightning is shaped like a hand, shown only for a split second, which is why it was so easy to miss. As the story goes on and the other mother’s true form is revealed, it’s easy to see that her hand looks identical to the one shown in the lightning scene. 

Another sneaky message is shown on Coraline’s “Welcome Home” cake in the same scene the lightning hand is shown. The lowercase o in the word “Home” is looped twice in cursive, and in graphology, double looped o’s mean the person who wrote it is lying. So although Coraline was welcome in the other world, she wasn’t really home.

All of these signs, no matter how subtle or obvious, slowly reveal the Beldam’s (Other mother’s) true intentions.