Since Coraline came out in 2009, not only has it become one of the most beloved stop-motion films in the industry, but the fanbase has continued to grow year in and year out. Going on 15 years later, there is still no sign of a Coraline sequel, but hope remains strong. Here is everything you need to know about our chances of seeing Coraline 2 or a prequel or sequel to the fantastic cult-classic stop-motion masterpiece.
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If you are reading this article, I doubt that the film or inspirational novella needs any introduction, but on the off-chance that you might find out some new information, allow me to introduce this stunning film.
Coraline is a stunning story about a young girl in the titular role in the film who moves to a new home with her family, only to find that the house has a secret in the form of an alternate world that can only be accessed through a small door. The door leads to an alternate world filled with doppelgangers, perfect copies of the people she knows from her own world, including her parents. The difference between the natural world and the Otherworld is that everything is so much better and colourful in the Otherworld, and everyone has buttons instead of eyes.
Coraline thinks that the Otherworld is so much better than any child would. When she is tempted to stay there for good, she discovers that this alternate reality and her Other parents are hiding a dark secret.
The beloved stop-motion classic was based on the novella of the same name by Neil Gaiman (of American Gods, Good Omens and Sandman fame, to name a measly few). Suppose the film’s dark and equally mysterious and magical look and feel seem familiar. In that case, it is because the film is directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas).
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While the novella is a beloved children’s tale, and the movie is a children’s classic, it is on the darker side of the spectrum for a kid’s film, featuring dark themes and unsettling imagery. While it scared many adults and children, it became a cult classic.
Coraline Was A Critical And Commercial Success
Coraline might not be boasting a 100% rating on any critic site, but it is sitting pretty damn close with a 90% Tomatometer even 15 years later, with reviews from critics around the world calling it “both visually stunning and wondrously entertaining.”
According to Box Office Mojo, Coraline managed to gross $124 million worldwide, a tremendous commercial success considering that the movie started with a $60 million budget. After being shown in over 2000 theatres worldwide, the film aired on TV for children.
With a success story that includes accolades like numerous nominations and wins such as Best Feature at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Best Character Design, Production Design and Best Music in a Feature Production at the Annie Awards, Top Box Office Films at the ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards and even Best Feature Film at the BAFTA Awards, one would think that the animation studio would be springing on the opportunity to create a sequel, hoping for the same success. No one would blame them, considering how impactful the film has been. So why haven’t they greenlit Coraline 2?
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Why Haven’t We Seen Coraline 2?
While Coraline had a happy ending, where she managed to seal the Otherworld away and everything not only returned to normal but was better than it was at the start, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t any room for a Coraline 2.
After the critical and commercial success, and thanks to the fanbase growing almost daily, a Coraline sequel seems like a pretty safe project for the animation studio, Laika, to bet on. Coraline is one of Laika Studios’ best-reviewed titles to date. Still, their work also includes other critical successes like ParaNorman, Missing Link, and Kubo and the Two Strings. It is known as one of the best stop-motion animation giants of our time.
Unfortunately, the studio is also known for its President and CEO’s stance on sequels. Travis Knight, the son of Phil Knight (the co-founder and former CEO and Chairman Emeritus of Nike), opened Laika Studios in 1998 and has seemingly always stayed true to the mentality that follow-ups and sequels are overdone and unnecessary and that sometimes, all we need is to appreciate a creation for the success that it was and leave it there.
In a 2016 interview with Collider, Knight explained his firm stance against sequels and even against fellow filmmakers in the industry who pump out sequels and don’t provide viewers with anything new.
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“I take a firm stand against sequels,” Knight began, “I look at where our industry is going, it’s dominated by franchises and brands, re-dos, re-makes, sequels and prequels, where all these old presents are re-wrapped and offered up as new gifts.”
Knight said that if you approach a project purely as a sequel, you do a disservice to the intellectual property.
“The way we approach our stories is we imagine each film as if it’s the most meaningful experience of our protagonist’s life. If that’s your point of view, your sequel is automatically either going to be a diminishment of that – is it the second most important experience of your protagonist’s life? Or, you’ve got to crank up the volume so much that everything’s sensory overload, and it becomes comical how much you have to ratchet it up to justify its existence.”
Knight succinctly finished his point of view by sharing, “I don’t want to do that. I want to tell new and original stories.” There is always the possibility that a different studio could give us what we want, but let’s be honest. Laika’s animation style and prowess made Coraline such a hit in the first place, so it’s hard to imagine anyone living up to that standard.
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Along with Knight’s reluctance to do a sequel, there is also the problematic point that Neil Gaiman, the author of Coraline, hasn’t written a sequel. This means that even if Laika Studios wanted to make a Coraline sequel, they would need a jumping-off point to start in the first place. Gaiman said he would only consider writing a follow-up if he could develop a better idea than the first book. While that at least means that he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a Caroline 2, some stringent requirements need to be met before any of that can happen.
Is there Any Hope For A Coraline Sequel?
The short answer here is that there is always hope. An interesting character development moment happened for Travis Knight in 2018 when he helmed Bumblebee, which is essentially a reboot of the Transformers franchise and goes against everything that he said he believes in his 2016 interview.
Now, please don’t think that I’m calling him a hypocrite or that people can’t change and that Knight should never have done a reboot. On the contrary, his willingness to helm a reboot is an excellent thing for any fan of his work, and especially a fan of Coraline like me, because it means that his solid viewpoint might have at least softened enough over the years for him to consider making an exception for Coraline 2.
Neil Gaiman, in particular, has given Coraline fans a bit of hope in recent years, starting with his Twitter (X) post in response to fans asking if there is any hope, saying, “If ever I come up with a story better than Coraline 1” – Neil Gaiman (@neilhimeself) – Jul 7, 2018.
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Even more recently, in 2022, Gaiman spoke to ComicBook.com, saying that he “absolutely wouldn’t rule out” the possibility of a Coraline sequel in the future under the right circumstances. “If you’re gonna do something, it needs to be a Toy Story 2 or The Godfather Part 2 level sequel where you’re actually upping your game. So I absolutely wouldn’t rule it out, but would absolutely want to go, ‘Okay, that is the thing that is just even cooler than Coraline.”
Neil Gaiman’s ideals about a future sequel align with what Laika Studios’ Travis Knight hates about sequels, which might make fans worried that we will never see a Coraline 2. Still, Neil Gaiman himself said that even he hasn’t lost hope, so there may be a bit of hope that we can hang onto.
What We Want To See From A Sequel
Considering how many fans are clamouring for a sequel, it should be no surprise that fans have been theorising and wondering what a Coraline 2 might look like. With Coraline ending on a relatively happy note, having sealed the door to the mysterious alternate Otherworld and being back home with her family, what room is there for the story to expand?
After dealing with the hand of the Beldam that made its way into the real world, it makes sense that Coraline would have no interest in unearthing it or unsealing the door. Not as a young girl, anyway. But what happens when we grow up? We take the odd events and stories that might have happened to us in our youth and file them neatly away in our brain under “active imagination”, and we never think about them…until something stirs them.
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Picture this. Coraline has grown up and has her own son or daughter. After a tricky situation with the father of her child, Coraline ends up back at her parent’s house, the home where the crazy events she barely remembers as an adult happened.
Now, there are two possibilities for where the story could go. The first is that her child, who is a lot like she was in her youth, explores the house and the grounds and manages to uncover the entrance and gets sucked into the fantasy story of the Otherworld, where the Beldam is performing a compelling and inviting play of Coraline and the child’s father living happily in the house. When Coraline notices her child missing or acting odd and starts seeing clues that remind her of her own experiences in the house, she knows exactly how to face the Beldam.
The only problem with this story is that it focuses more on the child than on Coraline herself, meaning it would better be Coraline’s Child than a Coraline sequel novella.
To remedy that, here’s another idea. At the same time, Coraline and her significant other have split for some reason, and she and her child find themselves back in their parents’ home. Upon arrival, it was the first time that she had had any physical contact with her parents since leaving home a few years prior, and everything seemed fine at first.
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Eventually, she realises that the Beldam has been so hungry for revenge that she has not only survived all these years, but the second Coraline and her child enter the house, she has been transported to the Otherworld, and everything seems completely normal because she is being lulled into a false sense of security. Eventually, cracks in the Beldam’s facade start to appear. Coraline manages to figure out that she is in the Otherworld and must now escape with her child and find out what happened to her natural parent.
This route would be perfect because it still keeps the film’s focus on Coraline while also shifting it and allowing the appearance of a new protagonist in her child. Until the day we actually see a Coraline sequel, we’ll have to wait and see what story lies ahead of it and who had the closest theory.
- It has been almost 15 years since Coraline, one of the best stop-motion movies ever, hit theatres.
- Since then, fans have been wondering when they will see Coraline 2, a continuation of the terrifying story.
- For now, it seems that both the president of the animation studio, Travis Knight, and the author of the original novel have no interest in continuing the story but haven’t ruled out the possibility.
- There are a few really good theories floating around the internet about a possible sequel.
Are you one of the hopeful fans waiting for a Coraline sequel? If so, what kind of story are you hoping to see in Coraline 2?