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Is Coraline based on a true story?

One of the best animated movies of the 2000s, Coraline, is back in cinemas. So we've had a look into whether there's a Coraline true story behind the fantasy.

Is Coraline based on a true story?

Is Coraline based on a true story? We haven’t seen many animated movies that can match up to Coraline. First released way back in 2009, it’s a fantastical nightmare in stop-motion form, telling the story of a young girl who meets an alternate version of her parents.

Coraline is back in cinemas for August 2023 as part of a celebratory re-release, and you can find out where to watch Coraline with our guide. It’s one of the best animated movies around, bringing the then-tiny studio Laika to the attention of the world. They have since made more of the best family movies ever, including ParaNorman and Kubo and the Two Strings.

But is there a Coraline true story behind one of the best movies for kids who like their movies a little darker? Keep reading to find out where all of this spookiness came from.

Is Coraline based on a true story?

Coraline is not based on a true story. The movie was adapted from Neil Gaiman’s novella of the same name, which took inspiration from Victorian story ‘The New Mother’.

Lucy Clifford released The New Mother in 1882. It tells the story of two siblings who meet a girl, and she promises to show them magical dancing people if they are naughty. Their mother hears of this and tells them that, if they are naughty, she will leave and send them a new mother with glass eyes. Sound familiar, Coraline fans?

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Gaiman has referenced The New Mother as an influence on Coraline in numerous interviews, citing the unique terror of a being who almost represents the comfort and safety of your parent – but not quite.

Certainly, Coraline writer-director Henry Selick took this terrifying concept and ran with it in bringing the chilling Other Mother to life in Laika’s film. We still haven’t forgotten her, more than a decade later.

For more on Coraline, find out about the Coraline age rating. Or if Gaiman is your bag, read our Good Omens season 2 review and look ahead to a possible Good Omens season 3 release date. You can also read Gaiman’s take on the genders of Aziraphale and Crowley.

Elsewhere, we’ve got everything you need to know about the biggest new movies coming your way in 2023 and beyond, including The Marvels release date, the Frozen 3 release date, and the Wonka release date.