Coraline, released in 2009, is known as a kids' movie with a terrifying edge. The plot alone - which centers around a young girl entering a parallel world where nothing is as it seems - is scary enough, but since everything onscreen in Coraline was hand-crafted by a team of 29 animators, the film has plenty of little, hidden details that elevate it from slightly unnerving to existentially horrifying.
The fandom of the movie is chock-full of theories about what the story really means, but these Coraline details you might have missed may just make you reconsider what you thought you knew about the world of the film.
The Beldam's Shadow Shows Her True Self
The Beldam ensures nearly everything in the Other World is perfectly suited to Coraline's tastes, but she apparently can't control the shadows on the wall.
As pointed out by Redditor u/EatASnickrz:
The first night after [Coraline] meets the other parents and goes to sleep, you will see the other mother's shadow as her real self, while the other dad has none.Chilling?
The Silhouetted Portraits In The Dining Room Could Be The Ghost Children
In the dining room of the Other Mother's house hang three silhouetted portraits of children. These more than likely represent the ghost children, the Beldam's previous victims whose spirits are still trapped inside a dark, hidden room in the Other Pink Palace.
Had Coraline accepted the Beldam's offer, she likely would have appeared as a fourth silhouette on the wall.Chilling?
The 'Welcome Home' Cake Proves The Beldam Is Lying
While the "Welcome Home" cake the Beldam makes for Coraline looks delicious (especially for being made out of plasticine), the piping on top may hold a clue about the Beldam's true intentions.
According to Redditor u/philo-soph-y:
The “welcome home” cake features a double loop on the O. According to Graphology, a double loop on a lowercase O means that the person who wrote it is lying. There is only one double loop, meaning she is welcome but she is not home.Chilling?
The Years On The Candy Jars May Connect To The Ghost Children
When Coraline returns to Spink and Forcible's apartment in the real world after rejecting the Beldam's offer to have buttons sewn into her eyes, Ms. Forcible opens a trunk marked "Special Reserve" to reveal three vintage bowls of taffy. Ms. Spink then uses her knitting needles to dig out the seeing stone from one of the bowls.
Each bowl is labeled with a year: 1921, 1936, and 1960. Fans surmise that these years - and, by extension, the taffy bowls - correspond to the years in which the three ghost children first went missing. By this logic, the bowl of taffy that Ms. Forcible brings Coraline to accompany her tea during her first visit would have been added to the trunk and labeled "2009" (the year the film was released) if Coraline had accepted the Beldam's offer.Chilling?