Top 10 Engrossing Movies Like 'Coraline'

Updated on March 19, 2019
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Rahul is a movie addict who can never get enough of good films. His all time favorites are Inception, 12 Angry Men, and Scarface.

What Movies Are Like Coraline?

Generally, animation films are more or less child-friendly. When one thinks of cartoon films, the most popular examples one can think of are Ice Age, Jungle Book, and Ferdinand among many others. However, not all animation films are so light-hearted. Some of them go to really dark places. In fact, they can be a hit among many adults as they have invaluable lessons hidden within simple tales. One such fine film is Coraline.

The film can best be described as creepy and fascinating. Exploring the intriguing concept of alternate dimensions, the film is almost considered a cult classic. Following the life of a young girl named Coraline, it shows her adventures when she discovers an alternate reality where everyone has their eyes substituted with buttons.

While this new world seems harmless enough at first, it gradually dawns on her that something sinister is going on in this realm. In order to escape this nightmarish landscape, the young girl must now face her demons head-on. Seems pretty intense, right?

Well if you enjoyed this Henry Selick directorial and are looking for similar movies to Caroline, I have got you covered.

Movies Similar To Caroline

  1. Corpse Bride
  2. Monster House
  3. Frankenweenie
  4. James And The Giant Peach
  5. Nine
  6. Hotel Transylvania
  7. ParaNorman
  8. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  9. Kiki's Delivery Service
  10. Kubo And The Two Strings

1. Corpse Bride

Tim Burton, who is known for his dark, creepy, style of filmmaking, etched this beautifully animated film in our minds forever. As the name suggests, the story follows an undead bride named Emily. Victor, a young man from a village in England, accidentally gets engaged to Emily. However, he is already set to marry a girl named Victoria.

The ghost drags the man to the land of the dead. To reach her fiance, Victor must now convince Emily that he loves her. As you can see, such a brilliant premise can lead to some hilarious situations, and it does! The film is a dark comedy after all and even went to the Academy.

Behind all the ghostly apparitions, afterlife lore, and a sinister setting, Corpse Bride is a touching love story. It aptly portrays how real love is not bound by anything physical and can stand the test of time.

2. Monster House

If you love a good scare in the midst of a wholesome, animated film, Monster House should be right up your alley. The story is simple; a bunch of kids dares to go into an abandoned house they believe to be haunted. As they explore the foreboding place, they learn soon enough that things are way scarier than what they had anticipated. Turns out, the entire house is possessed by a violent spirit.

As the kids uncover the mansion's sad, but eerie past, it is now up to them to convince the spirit to let them go. Monster House is a beautiful film with the potential to make anyone emotional. Beneath the scares and crazy shenanigans, there's a heart-wrenching love story - the actual crux of the film. It's a thoroughly enjoyable ride from start to finish.

3. Frankenweenie

When it comes to making creepy, animated films, Tim Burton is undoubtedly the king. Other than Corpse Bride, another fine addition in his filmography is the black and white stop-motion animated film, Frankenweenie. Supposedly a parody as a well as a tribute to Frankenstein, the film is a stroke of cinematic genius.

Following the adventures of a young boy named Victor, the film shows him in a state of grief after losing his dog, Sparky, in a car accident. However, he is determined to bring his furry friend back to life. Using cliché gadgets one sees in most Frankenstein inspired movies, Victor reanimates his pooch. The trouble truly begins when his experiment gets leaked and everyone starts to imitate it.

The premise is quite frightening. After witnessing the horror, you can't help but appreciate Burton's dark vision. In the midst of a harrowing setting, the focus is on Victor and his faithful dog, which adds a nice layer of emotional depth to the tale. Even as an undead dog, Sparky is a 'good boy' - a sentiment I'm sure many dog lovers will find touching.

If you're looking for a heart-warming movie like Caroline, Frankenweenie will not disappoint you.

4. James and the Giant Peach

Directed by Henry Selick of Coraline fame, James and the Giant Peach is the epitome of epic fantasy films. The story is mesmerizing, with an inspiring message that'll tear at your heartstrings.

The story revolves around James, a young boy, who lives with his parents in New England. Sadly, his parents are killed by a mysterious, ghostly rhino, and he's forced to live with his cruel aunts. As he continues his miserable existence, he receives a magical gift from a stranger that turns his life around.

Thanks to the new gift, Jack manages to make a peach grow to an extraordinary size. He also befriends several insects, who inhabited the peach, and together, they all travel to New York. James must ultimately take on his parent's killer in order to live a happy life. Whether he succeeds in his endeavors makes up for the rest of the tale.

This film isn't afraid to go to dark places. This taut feature relays its deep messages through a fun, lighthearted tale, making it far easier to digest. The film is a lot similar to Coraline because just like its protagonist, Jack too must confront his biggest fears in order to succeed.

5. Nine

This film, directed by Shane Acker, is rather well known. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Nine is a story of finding hope in the darkest of situations. After an artificial intelligence wipes out all life on Earth, only nine talismans remain with some form of sentient life.

It turns out that these talismans contain the soul of a scientist. Armed with his knowledge and the will to do good, these critters go through all kinds of hell in order to restore life. The film goes to some really dark places with some super tense moments, making it an edge-of-the-seat experience.

All the dark elements aside, Nine finds major merit when it comes to the underlying message. The super inspirational idea of never giving up and soldiering on, even when circumstances seem bad, will make you emotional. The animation work in this film is top notch - easily one of the best in this genre.

6. Hotel Transylvania

Even though the film caters to all the classic tropes of horror films, Hotel Transylvania is a child-friendly film. Dracula, Frankenstein, the invisible man, and witches - this movie has it all. Though, the plot, surprisingly, revolves around a human. Stuck in a garish hotel, he tries to bridge the ever-growing gap between monsters and humans.

Mostly funny and wholesome, Hotel Transylvania conveys a winning message of acceptance. Its monsters are metaphors for people who don't fit into the norm and often have a bad rep. The film beautifully relays the message that looks should not matter. It also urges one to not give in blindly to fear and hatred.

This film is like Coraline in some ways, as the central characters in this film also go on a quest to find themselves.

7. ParaNorman

ParaNorman almost sounds like the word paranormal, but that's not where the similarities end. There's plenty of paranormal in this insane tale. This cerebral movie follows the life of Norman, a shy, introverted boy with the ability to talk to the dead.

After the death of a weird uncle, Norman gets the grave responsibility of completing a ritual that keeps the town safe from the supernatural. The boy fails the task and inadvertently unleashes a horde of zombies into his small town. Can he finally put his powers to good use and save the day, or will he fail to become the hero?

Once again, behind the fantastical premise and slapstick humor, the film has a vital message. It asks people to refrain from succumbing to mob mentality and to actually think for themselves. Taking the example of the infamous witch trials that rocked the world a couple of centuries back, ParaNorman proves that nothing good ever comes out of an assembled mob out for blood.

It is incredible how animation films often have the most engaging plots, character arcs, and profound messages.

8. The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas is the brainchild of the genius duo of Tim Burton and Henry Selick. Created by Burton and directed by Selick, the movie's underlying message is letting things be the way they are.

The Story follows Jack, king of Halloween Town, who is bored by Halloween - the official festival of ghosts and all things that go bump in the night. Getting really ambitious, he plans to take over another place that goes by the name of Christmas Town. However, it soon becomes evident that he took on a task which is beyond his capabilities. It's hilarious to witness various Halloween creatures trying to organize Christmas and failing at it miserably.

Other than an interesting plot filled with fables, there are several enthralling concepts in the film, such as a crossover between multiple worlds, and fascinating creatures.

When you combine the intellects of two geniuses like Burton and Selick, masterpieces like these will emerge. So it's no surprise that The Nightmare Before Christmas is darn good.

9. Kiki's Delivery Service

This 1989 Japanese animation film is considered a masterpiece by many who closely follow such movies. Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, the film follows a young thirteen-year-old witch named Kiki. Just starting out as a witch, she flies to a new city to make a name for herself.

Flying on a broomstick along with her talking cat, she earns the trust of a baker. Under her supervision, Kiki starts a delivery service, where she transports goods on her broomstick. Things, however, go haywire for her when she discovers that she has lost all her powers. Dejected and lost, she must go on a quest to find herself and retrieve her powers.

Much like Coraline, Kiki's problems are of the existential kind. She starts out as a naive person but undergoes a complete transformation by the end. It's heartening to see children's movies with a nice moral lesson.

10. Kubo And The Two Strings

Although the title sounds Japanese; the film is actually a Hollywood production. Directed by Travis Knight, this intriguing tale is set in feudal era Japan. Kubo, a one-eyed boy, lives with his mother, Sairatu. His father, Hanzo, was a samurai warrior who passed away a long time ago. Blessed with magical powers, Kubo uses them to entertain local villagers. But one day, his evil side catches up to him. Now, he must go on a quest to find his father's armor in a distant land to protect his village from the impending doom.

Featuring a slew of captivating characters such as a talking monkey, a warrior turned into a beetle, Kubo and Two Strings often plays like an anime. Don't be fooled, the film is quite violent for a cartoon and doesn't hesitate to make viewers squirm.

The character arcs of Kubo and Coraline are quite similar. Just like Caroline, the young boy undertakes a perilous quest, and in the process, he finds something invaluable.

Did I miss out on other movies like Caroline? Let me know in the comments section.

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