How the Stop-Motion Animated Film ‘Coraline’ Borrows Narratives From Classic Fairy Tales and Ghost Stories

Michael Tucker of Lessons From the Screenplay takes a deeper look into the 2009 stop-motion animated film Coraline. Tucker explains how the narrative of the plot borrows from classic fairy tales, grotesques, and ghost stories, each of which has a specific storytelling structure that begins with envy, involves a struggle, negotiates a bargain, and ends with a lesson well learned.

In this video, we examine how Coraline uses an underlying fairy tale structure to shape the protagonist’s journey, dissect how the film also incorporates grotesque imagery and classic ghost story elements, and discover how utilizing all these ancient forms lends power to the story by reinforcing one of its central themes.