New Trailer for Laika’s THE BOXTROLLS Features the Cowardly, Ugly, and Heroic Creatures

by     Posted 30 days ago

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Laika has released a new trailer for their stop-motion animated feature, The Boxtrolls.  The movie tells the story of the misunderstood titular trolls that live underneath the streets of Cheesebridge, where they attempt to raise an orphaned human boy as their own.  This trailer doesn’t go deep into the plot, but does highlight the personality of the boxtrolls, and although they’re capable of human speech, most of their dialogue here is the adorable gibberish that sounds like the minions from the Despicable Me movies.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film features the voices of Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Elle Fanning, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, and Tracy MorganThe Boxtrolls opens in 2D and 3D on September 26th.

New Trailer for Laika’s New Stop-Motion Animated Film THE BOXTROLLS

by     Posted 43 days ago

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The folks at Laika Studios are truly doing special work.  While other animation studios are chasing the almighty dollar with generic-looking animation and cheap, easy jokes and visual gags, Laika aims higher.  The studio’s last two efforts, Coraline and ParaNorman, pair gorgeous visuals with sophisticated and challenging storytelling, and that formula looks to continue with their next film The Boxtrolls.  Focus Features has released a new trailer for the pic, which tells the story of the misunderstood titular trolls that live underneath the streets of Cheesebridge, where they attempt to raise an orphaned human boy as their own.  This trailer doesn’t feature any of the dialogue just yet, but instead opts to show off the adorable characters brought to life through the Laika magicians in a series of scenes set to Cee Lo’s new cover “They’re So Square.”

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  Directed by Anthony Staachi and Graham Annabele, the film features the voices of Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Elle Fanning, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, and Tracy MorganThe Boxtrolls opens in 2D and 3D on September 26th.

First Teaser Trailer and Poster for THE BOXTROLLS, from the Makers of CORALINE and PARANORMAN

by     Posted 289 days ago

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Focus Features has released the first teaser trailer and poster for the upcoming animated feature The Boxtrolls.  The film comes from Laika, the stop-motion animation studio behind Coraline and last year’s excellent ParaNorman, and tells the tale of the titular trolls who live underneath the streets of Cheesebridge.  Legend has it that the Boxtrolls steal the townspeople’s children and cheese, but the truth of the matter is that the monsters are raising an orphaned human boy named Eggs as one of their own.  This teaser unsurprisingly shows off some gorgeous animation and character creation from Laika, while also teasing a charming story about misunderstood outsiders.  In an animation marketplace dominated by unprovoking, inoffensive family fare, Laika is truly doing something unique by telling stories that reflect our ever-changing social culture and the “modern family.”

Hit the jump to check out the teaser trailer and poster.  Directed by Anthony Stacchi (Open Season) and Graham Annable, the film features the voices of Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade and Tracy Morgan.  The Boxtrolls is due out September 26, 2014.

Travis Knight (President & CEO of LAIKA) Talks PARANORMAN, Audience Reactions to the Film, Laika’s Future Plans, and More at the VES Awards

by     Posted 1 year, 64 days ago

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On the red carpet at the VES Awards, I managed to get a few minutes with President & CEO of LAIKA Travis Knight.  While some studio heads only decide which films to make, Knight also still works as an animator and had a hand in crafting a few key scenes in ParaNorman.  During the interview we talked about the reaction to the film by audiences, the process of making the movie, how much the structure of the story changed during production, the latest camera technology, and Laika’s plan to eventually release one film a year.  Hit the jump for the interview.

Laika Announces THE BOXTROLLS Featuring the Voices of Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Tracy Morgan and More, Plus the Film’s First Concept Image

by     Posted 1 year, 69 days ago

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Laika and Focus Features are teaming up once again for The Boxtrolls.  Their third production will be the 3D stop motion and CG hybrid animated adaptation of Alan Snow’s “Here Be Monsters.”  The story centers on a posh Victorian-era town of people obsessed with finery and stinky cheese, but are plagued by an underground society of foul monsters who steal their children…and cheese.  Similar in themes to their previous productions Coraline and ParaNorman, the under-dwellers are not exactly what the citizens’ legends say they are.

Directed by Anthony Stacchi (Open Season) and Graham Annable (a story artist on Coraline and ParaNorman), The Boxtrolls features an impressive voice cast featuring Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade and Tracy Morgan.  The Boxtrolls is due out October 17, 2014.  Hit the jump to see the full synopsis along with the first concept image from the film.

PARANORMAN Blu-Ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 135 days ago

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Here’s the thing about ParaNorman: it’s not the family romp it claims to be. The ads push the child hero, and the kid-friendly animation, peppered with the expected amount of grown-up in-jokes. They’re not lying, but at the same time, they miss film’s overall tone: dark, creepy, and often quite sad. That’s actually a good thing – it helps make ParaNorman one of the more original animated features in recent years – but it might catch newcomers by surprise. Hit the jump for my full review of the Blu-ray.

Laika Sets September 26, 2014 Release for Untitled Animated Film

by     Posted 1 year, 190 days ago

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Fresh off the success of this year’s endearing stop-motion animated film ParaNorman, Laika Studios has set a September 26th, 2014 release date for their next feature.  The title of the project hasn’t yet been revealed, but it’s likely one of two films the studio recently put into production: Goblins or WildwoodGoblins is an adaptation of the book by Philip Reeve which centers on a clever young goblin who lives among his slightly less-mannered brethren.  An ancient evil that only he understands is rising and threatens to bring all monsters and mythical creatures into “an epic magical conflict.”  Fantastic Mr. Fox’s Mark Gustafson is directing.

The other possibility is an adaptation of the adult fantasy novel Wildwood, by The Decemberists lead singer Colin Meloy.  Hit the jump for more.

Will LAIKA Save Director Henry Selick’s Cancelled Stop-Motion Film? [Update: No]

by     Posted 1 year, 203 days ago

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Fresh off the success of Coraline, director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) signed a deal with Disney to make stop-motion animated films for the Mouse House.  He was set to adapt Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book in the long-term, but his first Disney stop-motion feature was scheduled for release in October 2013.  All appeared to be going well until this past August, when the studio decided the project was moving too slowly (and reportedly too dark), so they abruptly cancelled production.

Selick was free to shop the project around to other studios to see if he could get it made elsewhere, and now it looks like he may have found a new home for the film.  Hit the jump for more. [Update: Sadly, Oregon Live reports that a source close to LAIKA tells them the talks with Selick went nowhere and the studio won't be financing this project after all].

Travis Knight (President & CEO of LAIKA) Talks PARANORMAN and Future LAIKA Projects

by     Posted 1 year, 237 days ago

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LAIKA’s awesome 3D stop-motion feature, ParaNorman is now playing in theaters.  Directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell, the film centers on a young boy who can see the dead and must use this gift to lift a curse that threatens his small town.  ParaNorman features the voices of Kodi-Smit McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, John Goodman, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Jodelle Ferland and more.  For more on the film, here’s six clips, a very cool featurette called Time Lapse, and all our previous coverage.

At the recent Los Angeles press day I spoke to Travis Knight (President & CEO of LAIKA).  We talked about making ParaNorman, the fact that he’s the head of the studio and still an animator, how they decide who animates what section of each film, the challenge of doing a movie for all ages but also having zombies and scary moments, the next project at LAIKA, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

PARANORMAN Review

by     Posted 1 year, 243 days ago

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I’ve always been slightly bewildered by the zombie genre.  Occasionally, it will be a social satire (the original Dawn of the Dead) or a spoof/homage (Shaun of the Dead), but I’m not sure what to do with games like Left 4 Dead or Zombieland.  They’re certainly entertaining, but they seem based on the desire to kill humans without having to deal with the nasty morality of that decision.  Zombies aren’t people too, but they were humans once, and it’s odd to take such glee in destroying them.  It’s a license to kill with the knowledge that zombies are out to hurt you first.  But what if the zombies weren’t malevolent?  What happens when we shoot first, and don’t bother asking questions later?  ParaNorman is a sharp, witty comedy with a ton of heart that puts a thoughtful twist on the zombie genre, and how a righteous cause can be anything but right.

Fantastically Moody New Trailer for PARANORMAN

by     Posted 1 year, 244 days ago

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A new web-only trailer for LAIKA’s (Coraline) stop-motion animated film ParaNorman has gone online, and the film continues to look absolutely gorgeous.  This trailer is framed by narration from the character voiced by John Goodman as he explains that a witch’s curse is descending on the town and Norman is the only person who can stop it.  While the other trailers have played up the film’s top-notch humor and swell animation, this clip reminds us of the pic’s supernaturally enhanced, moody atmosphere.  I continue to be ridiculously excited for ParaNorman and Friday can’t get here soon enough.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer, and if you missed Steve’s interviews be sure to check out what Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and directors Sam Fell and Chris Butler had to say about the film.  The voice cast also includes Kodi Smit-McPhee, Casey Affleck, and Leslie MannParaNorman opens in 3D on August 17th.

35 Things to Know About PARANORMAN From Our Set Visit; Plus Video Blog Recap and 30 Behind-the-Scenes Images

by     Posted 1 year, 336 days ago

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In the middle of February, I was able to visit LAIKA Studios in Hillsboro, Oregon to get an early look at their upcoming 3D stop-motion movie ParaNorman.  As a big stop-motion fan, it was incredibly cool to get a behind-the-scenes look at how it all comes together, and to see where they made their last film, Coraline.  While I assumed the process of making a stop-motion movie doesn’t change, when I visited LAIKA I learned that new technology is helping to make ParaNorman one of the most technically advanced stop-motion movies ever made, and some of what they’re using is straight out of an episode of Star Trek.  And the best part: the technology will soon be in everyone’s homes!  Hit the jump for more.

Wes Anderson and Animation Studio LAIKA Team up to Sell Smartphones

by     Posted 2 years, 25 days ago

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Director Wes Anderson and LAIKA (the animation studio behind Coraline) have teamed up to create commercials for Sony’s Experia smartphones.  The slogan for the phones is that they’re “Made of Imagination”, which is surprising since I thought phones were made of electronic components.  Silly me.  Kids, who are “the most imaginative people”, were asked what they thought made the Experia work.  Anderson then took their explanation and turned it into the narrative for a commercial.  Watching Anderson’s commercial, I wish it was for a real movie rather than something designed to sell phones.

Hit the jump to check out the teaser video, and Anderson’s take on one child’s explanation of the phone’s mechanics.

New Trailer and Poster for PARANORMAN

by     Posted 2 years, 45 days ago

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The new US trailer for the stop-motion animated film ParaNorman has gone online. From Chris Butler (Coraline) and Sam Fell (The Tale of Despereaux) comes the story of Norman, a mysterious and misunderstood boy with the ability to see and talk to ghosts. This new trailer gives us a much better idea of what the plot of ParaNorman will actually be about. It also gives us a good look at some other characters in the film and the famous voices associated with them. While the previous trailer did a good job of piquing my interest, the new one actually made me look forward to the summer release. It hits on all the right notes of comedy and charisma.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster. The film features the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Casey Affleck, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, and Alex Borstein. ParaNorman opens in 3D on August 17th.

Laika to Adapt WILDWOOD, the Youth Novel by The Decemberists Lead Singer Colin Meloy

by     Posted 2 years, 222 days ago

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The Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy was always more storyteller than singer, so it’s about time he put down the guitar and try a full-on novel.  The wise folks over at Laika think it’s good—or at least good enough for a movie.  The animation studio behind Coraline has optioned the rights to Meloy’s young-adult fantasy novel Wildwood.  The story is set in alternate version of Portland, Oregon, where both Laika and The Decemberists are based.  The book is intended to be the first in a trilogy about 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.”  Laika president Travis Knight hopes the movie will be the first in a trilogy.

Hit the jump for more from Knight (including a Lord of the Rings comparison) and a full synopsis of the book.

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