What is Coraline about?

The movie Coraline deals with good vs evil, resisting temptation and addiction.

*Spoiler Alert* See the movie and read the rest. It is on Netflix right now.


The intro shows a Being made of sewing needles making a doll. This Being represents evil, but we do not find this out until the end of the movie when the other-mother transforms into it. At first, the soothing music of the mechanical lullaby distracts us into thinking this Being is well intentioned.

She sends the doll to find Coraline, a spin on the metaphor of a Lion in Sheep’s clothing.

Coraline’s first scare comes in the form of a scrawny black cat, so initially we assume the Cat is the Antagonist.

The Cat can freely enter the other world and back, where he is able to speak. He ultimately informs Coraline of the other-mother’s evil schemes. The Cat may be a metaphor for Good or God.

The other world represents an altered reality from using a substance which may lead to addiction.

It is a world where her mother is happy, caring and cooks well, her father plays entertaining songs on the piano and works in the garden. In her “real” world she feels bored, her mother is mean, her father focuses on work rather than play.

When using a substance a person will feel a sense of altered reality, they may physically feel different, have less pain, become mentally happier, more social or daring or playful. When the effects of the substance wears off these feelings will do so also. From prolonged use the opposite feelings may be pronounced.

As Coraline is more drawn into this world her other-mother starts tempting her to stay forever. At first this has some appeal to Coraline, who quickly changes her mind when she has to make a choice to sew buttons over her eyes.

The buttons represent the point where using a substance becomes an addiction. At the point of addiction one cannot view the world in a same sober way.

For example, a heroin addict will justify committing a crime to satisfy their addiction, an alcoholic will justify spousal abuse and a meth addict will justify a deteriorating body to enjoy the high.

Fortunately Coraline was able to make the right decision and return to her normal world, which in the end she sees with a clear mind and learns to love her real parents and accept her sober situation.


Drug and alcohol addiction is a leading cause of so many diseases. What is interesting though is that much research points to these addiction being rooted in past trauma. Many of the patients I encounter attest to this. Myself case in point, I used to smoke tobacco to relieve post traumatic stress from being deployed to a war zone. Smoking always eased my anxiety. It was an epic battle to overcome that addiction. I want to challenge you today, find the courage to cut back at least. Push on your willpower and see what you are made of. Resist that temptation. If it is God you need, then pray, if it is willpower you need then try every trick in the book to sway your hand in the right direction.

Good luck my friend.

Marthinus Zeeman

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