We just showed you a teaser for a series of Sony Xperia ads directed by Wes Anderson and animated by Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman). Now we’ve got the first one, and it’s a bit like the original Aardman Animation Creature Comforts spots. Kids were interviewed (or given a script to read) and then Laika used stop-motion to animate their oh-so-charming explanations of how Sony’s phones work.

Sure, it’s an ad, but there is a recognizable Anderson impulse at work here. And Laika’s animation, as always, is pretty wonderful. Check out the spot below. Read More »

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I don’t even know where to begin with today’s extra-packed edition of TV Bits, so let’s just… begin. After the jump:

  • Olivia Wilde will return for the House finale
  • IFC renews Portlandia for a third season
  • Doctor Who casts its new companion
  • 30 Rock plans to do another live episode
  • Wes Anderson teases a new TV commercial
  • January Jones’ pregnancy means less Betty
  • A first look at the Sex and the City prequel

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Colin Meloy, singer for The Decemberists, and his wife Carson Ellis just published a young-adult illustrated fantasy novel called Wildwood. The book is set in an alternate version of Portland, OR. and is the first of a would-be trilogye that follows “Prue McKneel, a young lady who must confront a world filled with magic and danger after her younger brother is kidnapped, forcing her to enter the Impassable Wilderness.”

Now the novel has been optioned by Laika, the animation company that was responsible for Coraline and has the 3d stop-motion movie ParaNorman in production for release next year. Read More »

Today’s the day that the lucky people of America get Henry Selick’s Coraline in their cinemas, in both 2D and 3D flavours. Tomorrow is the day we all get to know how well it is doing.

And that’s a big question, even bigger than usual, because not only is Coraline the very first feature film from Laika productions, the entire studio has been placed into… erm… suspended animation while their financial situation is assessed. In December, pre-production was underway on their likely second film – the naffly named bluebird odyssey Jack and Ben’s Animated Adventure – and ten others were in various stages of development (Here Be Monsters and The Wall and the Wing being previously announced), but unfortunately, most of the workforce were laid off and all formal development slowed to snailish pace.

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