The Boxtrolls

With only two completed feature films under its belt, Laika’s quickly proving itself to be one of the smartest, most creative animation studios working today. Coraline and ParaNorman were wonderful stop-motion pictures gentle enough for kids, but sharp enough for adults. Now an early teaser indicates that their third release, The Boxtrolls, is shaping up to be the same way.

Based on a book by Alan Snow, the film follows a community of monsters living under the streets of Cheesebridge. Despite their fearsome reputation among humans, the Boxtrolls are actually quite sweet, and are in fact raising abandoned orphan (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright, a.k.a. Bran from Game of Thrones) as one of their own. Watch the first brief teaser after the jump.

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Animation house Laika only has two completed features to its name, but thanks to the strength of those two outings (Coraline and ParaNorman), it’s already earned a reputation for unusually smart, creative family fare. Now they’re joining forces with Focus Features a third time for The Boxtrolls, an adaptation of Alan Snow‘s book Here Be Monsters!

Open Season co-director Anthony Stacchi and Coraline/ParaNorman story artist Graham Annable are teaming to direct, with an excellent voice cast that includes Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Elle Fanning, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, Jared Harris (Mad Men) and Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Game of Thrones). Hit the jump for more details.

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From the very first announcement of ParaNorman, the new family horror feature from Coraline animation studio LAIKA, the film has seemed like a promising new prospect. The story, animation with stop-motion, is about a young boy who can see the dead and must protect his town from a zombie invasion. The first teaser trailer for the movie didn’t dim expectations at all. Rather, it raised them by demonstrating that the film might have an enviable balance between quirk, comedy and thrills.

Now there is a new UK trailer that isn’t quite as successful, but still paints ParaNorman as a unique, fun kids’ movie that has charm and laughs to spare. Check it out below. Read More »

I’m eager to see anything that comes out of the animation house Laika. The company’s last major production, Coraline, was a beautiful little film. Laika is following that with ParaNorman, a film written by Coraline storyboard supervisor Chris Butler.

The film has a great voice cast – Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In, The Road) in the lead, with Casey Affleck, Tempestt Bledsoe, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, Bernard Hill (Titanic), Anna Kendrick, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Elaine Stritch (30 Rock) — and tells the story of a young boy who has to protect his town against a zombie uprising. The first teaser has just been released and it looks like exactly the sort of movie that would have made me deliriously happy between the ages of ten and, well, now. Check it out below. Read More »

In 2009 Focus Features and LAIKA released Coraline, the great stop-motion animated adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s kids’ book of the same name. Now the companies are teaming again for two more stop-motion 3D films. The first is ParaNorman, which will be released on August 17, 2012. The second is an unnamed project that will be released in 2014.

The voice cast and plot for ParaNorman were sent out today via press release; check the details below. Read More »

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