The Other Father, created by the Beldam, was a doll (made from a pumpkin) used to help trick Coraline Jones into staying in the Other World, but it is later revealed that he is actually on Coraline's side. He is voiced by John Hodgman, and his singing voice is provided by John Linnell. It says that in his piano song.
The Other Father is the Other Mother's "husband". He is the identical to Charlie Jones, Coraline's real father, except for the fact that he has button eyes, looks less tired, plays piano, is almost always cheerful, and spends more time with Coraline. According to Coraline, he is more fun and attentive to her needs than her real father. He gets put in the basement of the empty apartment when he informs Coraline too much about the Other Mother's plans. He is very nice and he isn't boring at first, but he begins to act odd, weak, and "malfuntions" towards the end of the movie saying, "Her strength is our strength" in one scene, referring to the Other mother progressively becoming weaker due to starvation. He has no intention of harming Coraline and goes against the other mother in several instances by lending Coraline hints and giving her a ghost eye. When the Other Mother had complete control over him, he was forced to attack Coraline, but she got away. With his last bit of strength, he broke free from the other mother's control and handed Coraline a ghost eye. He then sunk into the pond along with his praying mantis machine and was never seen again.
FilmEditIn the film, he appears identical to Coraline's real father. He knows how to play piano, but to play complex pieces, he needs his trademark mechanical hands. It is hinted throughout the film that he is terrified of the Other Mother, doing as she says and obeying her every command. Later on in the film, the Other Father turns into a pumpkin-like human (this was hinted when the Beldam said he was as hungry as a pumpkin) with the face in a permanent frown with a monster-like voice and barely capable of speech. This was apparently his punishment for telling Coraline too much. When Coraline sets out to find the Ghost Children's eyes, the Other Father attacks her while atop his mechanical preying mantis-like gardening machine in the Fantastic Garden. Interestingly, at this point in the film, we see that the Other Father truly did not want to harm Coraline (stating this as he attacks her) being forced by the Other Mother to do so via the mechanical hands attached to his. He meets his end after he destroys the bridge leading to the garden and falls through it into the water, he frees his hand by breaking the controllive mechanical hand, and hands Coraline the first eye, (which was actually disguised as the top of the lever on his preying mantis) he accidentally slips through the opening that he made of the bridge, and falls into the water. He later drowns as the pond and eventually, the rest of the garden transforms into lifeless stone.
When Coraline first meets the Other Parents, it seems as if the Other Father and the Other Mother have a loving relationship. They behave with warm affection to one another, tease each other, hold hands, and even flirt (the Other Father at one point teasingly compliments the excellent chicken breast at dinner, and the Other Mother gives him an 'oh, you' wave of the hand and a coquettish smile).
However, as the Other World reveals its true colors, it becomes clear that the Other Father is terrified of the Other Mother, who created him as a tool to win over Coraline. Their "affectionate" behavior was a deliberate opposite of the frequent bickering sarcasm of Coraline's real parents, just another part of the illusion of a loving family that the Other Mother spun to suck Coraline in. When he betrays her to help Coraline by trying to warn her of the danger she's in, the Other Mother remakes him without a flicker of remorse into a horrible pumpkin-creature, barely capable of speech.
The Other Father is actually on Coraline's side, and doesn't want to hurt her, but he is forced to by the Other Mother. It's also notable that throughout his song on the piano, he's subliminally trying to warn her of the dangers of the other world (e.g. our eyes will be on Coraline). In the movie, the tortured, injured, but still kind creature makes up for trying to hurt Coraline and manages to give Coraline the ghost boy's eye in the nick of time before he falls into the water in the garden. It is heard while he was attacking Coraline that he was "so sorry", "Mother making me" and "Don't wanna hurt you", proving that he was on her side all along. The Other Father is actually helping Coraline, but the Other Mother forced him to trap her.
- Other Father: "Hello, Coraline! Do you wanna hear my new song?"
Coraline: "My father can't play piano..."
Other Father: "No need to! This piano plays me!"
- Other Father: "Making up a song about Coraline.
She's a peach, she's a doll, she's a pal of mine.
She's as cute as a button in the eyes of everyone who ever laid their eyes on Cor-a-line.
When she comes around exploring, Mom and I will never ever make it boring.
Our eyes will be on Coraline!"
Watch the full song here
- Coraline (to the Other Father): "Hey, you! Where's the Other Mother! I wanna go home!"
Other Father: "All will be swell, soon as Mother's refreshed, her strength is our strength."
- Other Father: "So sharp you won't feel a thing!"