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Fairy Tale Source?
Hello. I am wondering if anyone knows the English fairy tale on which Coraline is based. There is a tale of an "Other Mother," I'm told, but I haven't been able to find the actual title or location of the text of this story. I'd really appreciate any help.
Posts: 1 | Registered: February 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Village Elder
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Neil's blog Jan 9th 2003
Is the "other mother" from Coraline something from folk lore or is it just something from the author's imagination?

Author's imagination.

And it should be noted that the next day, this was posted
Considering your answer to the "other mother" question yesterday, I'm assuming that you've never read the folktale "The Drum"? I was so certain you had, from Coraline! That folktale might have disturbed me the most as a child, out of all the stories in the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books, which I took delight in memorizing and taunting other children with. That story has, as punishment for the misbehaving of the two girls, the threat of getting stuck with a "new mother" with a club for a tail and glass eyes that glint in the firelight. Some things, I guess, are deliciously universal.

Coraline gave me the same sort of thrill, which I really have to thank you for.

I love this one. I love it because it means that Lucy Clifford's story "The New Mother" which was retold and found in the Neil Phillips Penguin Collection of English Folktales as "The Pear Drum" is continuing to live in the oral tradition.

Anyway, I've talked about Lucy Clifford and "The New Mother" a few times on this site, and in interviews (such as the Booklist one -- where I notice that pear drum is transcribed as pear drop). But I hadn't thought that story was still out there in popular currency, being told. Which is very cool.
Posts: 13129 | Location: Tucson | Registered: June 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I did a presentation on Neil Gaiman and Coraline for a college Children's lit class, and within his FAQ or his blog, or an interview, I found a quite in which he said that Coraline was more similar to Hansel and Gretel than it was to Alice in Wonderland. We analyzed that statement in class and found it to be very true.
Posts: 2 | Location: Illinois | Registered: March 16, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Posts: 1 | Registered: April 25, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The first time I heard of Coraline was when ads for the movie came on TV. I rushed to see it at earliest opportunity, alarmed because not only had I had similar nightmares, of a sinister lookalike replacing our mother, for years as a child, so did both my sisters! One of my sisters is convinced this is extremely rare.

The only other time I came close to seeing a childhood nightmare portrayed on the movie screen was in the first or second Harry Potter film, with the moving staircases, although in my dreams it was more staircases being blocked or not connecting rather than moving. The scene appears only in the movie and not the book.

Strange to say, there are plenty of stories about changeling children, but not so many about parents. One amusing example was the episode of Quantum Leap titled "Another Mother."

I was horribly upset and provoked at myself on seeing Coraline, after which I also read the book, after all my childhood nightmares not to have thought of this myself. Even more weird was for years my mom would describe a fever dream she had as a child, then I saw the identical images on a car commercial which ran only a few times. This can't really be explained, unlike my sister having a nightmare I later saw in a Looney Toons cartoon. In that case she can at least have seen the cartoon and dreamed it happened to her. The commercial, I can't explain.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Cori,

Posts: 16 | Registered: January 14, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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