The Beldam is the main antagonist of Laika’s 1st full-length animated feature film Coraline. She is an evil button-eyed creature who kidnaps children who move into the Pink Palace with the intent on eating their lives for strength and keeping their spirits as her prisoners.
While calling herself Coraline’s other mother she looks exactly like Coraline’s real mother but has button eyes with no bags under them and a bit of a nicer hairdo.
Later, when Coraline angrily begged the Beldam for her freedom she grew much taller and thinner, her hair became longer and pointier, and her mole/beauty mark became bigger and moved closer to the edge of her face. Her hands became longer and her nails were much pointier
Her final form was her true form. It is much scarier than all her other forms. She appears as a cross between a skeleton and an arachnid. Her face is noticeably cracked and her hair is significantly sharper. She has very thin skeletal arms with hands made of sewing needles and a few metallic spider-like legs.
While disguised as her victims' mothers, she acts like a very loving, caring, and charismatic woman especially toward troubled children. She acts very loving toward her victims and will give them their dreamworld with everything they've ever wanted. However, she is really just using all these amazing things to lure her victims away from their real families and stay with her forever so she can sew buttons into their eyes which presumably traps them in her world.
When her true nature is revealed, she instantly drops her loving maternal figure and reveals herself as an evil authoritarian witch who is determined to do anything to consume her victims' flesh and keep their spirits as her prisoners, no matter how twisted and sadistic these measures are. This includes torturing her creations, especially those who genuinely care for the Beldam's victims, so that they could be driven to do things against their will, such as harming innocent children. She punishes her creations who are unwilling to harm others and fail her by killing them.
- The name "Beldam" is a reference to a fairy-tale being, also known as "La Belle Dame sans Merci" ("the beautiful lady without pity") from the poem of the same name by John Keats. The poem tells the story of an unnamed knight wandering in a barren and haggard land, who encounters a beautiful and mysterious woman with bright and wild eyes who draws him to her secret grotto with claims of love, then puts him into an enchanted sleep. The knight dreams of ghostly beings who warn him that he is under la Belle Dame's thrall; when he awakens, the woman and her home have vanished, leaving him back on the barren hillside. The word "Beldam" is also an archaic word meaning "Witch" or "Hag".