Neil Gaiman’s Coraline is one of my favorite stories of all time. I’ve read the book, the graphic novel and saw the movie like a hundred times so I’m basically an expert. It blends the mysterious with the creepy and it’s still somehow manages to be wholesome. Which is my vibe.
Image via Laika
Since it is Mother’s Day, I thought it be best to celebrate The Other Mother or The Beldam, the villain from Coraline. If you somehow don’t know, I will catch you up. Coraline, a young girl moves into a new home with her parents at The Pink Palace Apartments. They don’t have time for her because they are working so much so she explores the house. She finds a little door and a key to match. On the other side of it she finds that its her house but different. Bright, beautiful and filled with love and too much attention from her Other parents, especially her Other Mother.
The Other Mother is described as looking like Coraline’s mother but taller, thinner with black button eyes and long, red fingernails. And she loves Coraline; she wants to make sure she’s happy and have everything she’s ever wanted.
image via Syfy
“We are small but we are many
We are many we are small
We were here before you rose
We will be here when you fall.”
“We have eyes and we have nerveses
We have tails we have teeth
You’ll all get what you deserveses
When we rise from underneath.”
She’s been around for a long time, her first victim dating back to the 1900’s. There are so many questions left in the air, like how is The Other Mother, The Beldam connected to the Pink Palace Apartments in the first place? Who built the door to the Other World if she can’t leave? She can exert a lot of control over the Other World but it doesn’t seem that she created it from scratch so did she stumble upon it one day or was she somehow created there? In the graphic novel she claims to have buried her own mother and put her back in the grave when she tried to climb out, so she must have been a person?
Image via Oregon Live
I love this story! It’s truly centered around parental love, a mother’s love. Many of us crave it and unfortunately not all of us have it. Coraline wants attention from her mother but she has to work and provide for Coraline and the family. So she sought it out from someone else who didn’t have her best interests at heart. The Other Mother services her surface level needs, giving her favorite foods every night for dinner, playing games, gardens dedicated to her and a Wybie that doesn’t talk, in the movie’s case. While her actual mother is working on a deadline to provide food that might not be her favorite, clothes she may not like and a roof over her head that she has to get used to.
I’m sure as kids we were all guilty of this at some point. Wishing we could have different a mother just because we didn’t get what we wanted all the time. But our mothers,our parents or guardians are doing the best they can and now that we are all older hopefully we are more understanding and appreciate them for all that they do. Happy Mother’s Day!