I’m thrilled whenever LAIKA releases a new stop-motion animated feature film, and every time I feel like I want to pick it up and protect it from the kinds of cynical, bland, and uninspired animation films that seems to populate the marketplace. Through Coraline, ParaNorman, and now The Boxtrolls, the studio has continued to march to the beat of its own drum, crafting gorgeous and compassionate films that refuse to talk down to kids. Their movies don’t make near as much money as the big releases from the likes of DreamWorks Animation or Pixar, and so it comes as extremely welcome news that LAIKA and Focus Features have entered a distribution deal for the animation studio’s next three projects, ensuring that we have at least three more LAIKA movies to look forward to. More after the jump.
Last weekend’s release of The Boxtrolls marked the highest box office debut for a LAIKA film yet, and the positive critical response—not to mention flat-out adorableness of its lead characters—had me hopeful that it would be enough to guarantee more features from the Portland-based studio. Today LAIKA and Focus have announced that they are extending their partnership for LAIKA’s next three projects, as Focus will distribute the pictures domestically while Universal will handle international distribution. Though we still don’t know that these upcoming projects are.
LAIKA has been developing adaptations of the monster-infused Goblins and the fantastical Wildwood, but the studio has yet to confirm what project is next. Given the fact that they’ve opted to change things up with each new release, I’d be surprised if they went with another creature-centric film like Goblins, so my money is on Wildwood or another as-yet-unannounced title to be their next project. Whatever the case, I personally can’t wait to see what else this fantastic studio has up its sleeve, and I’m very happy to hear that there’s much more where these first three features came from.