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 »

Zoe Saldana is in talks to join Mark Ruffalo in Infinitely Polar Bear, the directorial debut of screenwriter Maya Forbes. The drama follows a bipolar man (Ruffalo) and his long-suffering wife (Saldana). When the husband goes off his meds, he finds his life deteriorating along with his psychological condition. As he loses his job and his mind, his wife returns to work and then eventually moves out, leaving him to take care of their children.

The film is being produced by J.J. Abrams, who previously worked with Saldana on Star Trek, and financed by Megan Ellison, who executive produced True Grit. Shooting for Infinitely Polar Bear will take place in September, just before Saldana is scheduled to reprise her role as Uhura in the Star Trek sequel. [Vulture]

After the jump, Xavier Samuel and Myles Pollard board Drift, and ParaNorman adds to its voice cast.

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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 »

Laika Entertainment

Ever since Laika Entertainment released the stop-motion aniamted 3D adaptation of Coraline, everyone has been wondering what the studio might be up to next. Coraline director Henry Selick‘s departure from the company, made a lot of animation fans uneasy about the Portland-based stop-motion animation studio’s future. Laika also recently cut their computer animation division (128 employees), deciding to focus strictly on stop-motion animation for future projects. We now have some new information about a new project in development by a Oscar-winning former Pixar writer/director, details after the jump.

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