Archive for the ‘LAIKA’ Category

The Boxtrolls: LAIKA Announces Third Animated Feature

FEBRUARY 7, 2013: Marking their third project together, LAIKA and Focus Features, the two companies behind the current Academy Award-nominated animated feature ParaNorman, announced today that LAIKA has begun production on The Boxtrolls. The new movie will be released nationwide by Focus on September 26, 2014. Focus CEO James Schamus and LAIKA President & CEO Travis Knight made the announcement today.

As on the previous animation collaborations ParaNorman and Coraline, Focus will hold worldwide distribution rights to The Boxtrolls, and Universal Pictures International will release the movie overseas (with eOne Distribution handling Canada). Coraline (2009) earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature Film; and was named one of the year’s 10 Best Films by the American Film Institute (AFI). In addition to its Academy Award nomination, ParaNorman (2012) is in the running for the BAFTA Awards’ animated feature prize. ParaNorman has won two Annie Awards (the animation community’s Oscars equivalent) and been cited as best animated feature film by 14 critics’ groups, more than any other 2012 animated feature.

The Boxtrolls is a 3D stop-motion and CG hybrid animated feature based on Alan Snow’s bestselling fantasy adventure novel Here Be Monsters. The Boxtrolls is being directed by Anthony Stacchi (co-director of the hit animated feature Open Season) and Graham Annable (story artist on Coraline and ParaNorman), and produced by David Ichioka and Mr. Knight. The voice cast includes Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley, Academy Award nominee Toni Collette, Elle Fanning (marking her fourth movie with Focus), Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Game of Thrones), Emmy Award nominee Jared Harris (Mad Men), Simon Pegg (Star Trek), Nick Frost (of Focus’ upcoming The World’s End), Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd), and Tracy Morgan (30 Rock).

The Boxtrolls is a comedic fable that unfolds in Cheesebridge, a posh Victorian-era town obsessed with wealth, class, and the stinkiest of fine cheeses. Beneath its charming cobblestone streets dwell the Boxtrolls, foul monsters who crawl out of the sewers at night and steal what the townspeople hold most dear: their children and their cheeses. At least, that’s the legend residents have always believed. In truth, the Boxtrolls are an underground cavern-dwelling community of quirky and lovable oddballs who wear recycled cardboard boxes the way turtles wear their shells. The Boxtrolls have raised an orphaned human boy, Eggs (voiced by Mr. Hempstead-Wright), since infancy as one of their dumpster-diving and mechanical junk-collecting own. When the Boxtrolls are targeted by villainous pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Mr. Kingsley), who is bent on eradicating them as his ticket to Cheesebridge society, the kindhearted band of tinkerers must turn to their adopted charge and adventurous rich girl Winnie (Ms. Fanning) to bridge two worlds amidst the winds of change – and cheese.

Mr. Knight said, “The Boxtrolls is a visually dazzling mash-up of gripping detective story, absurdist comedy, and steampunk adventure with a surprisingly wholesome heart. It’s Dickens by way of Monty Python. Tony and Graham have crafted a strange and beautiful world replete with fantastical creatures, good-for-nothing reprobates, madcap antics, and rip-roaring feats of derring-do. But at its core, like all LAIKA films, The Boxtrolls is a moving and human story with timelessness and powerful emotional resonance. We’re thrilled to partner with Focus Features and Universal to bring this remarkable story to family audiences around the world.”

Mr. Schamus commented, “Following our successful collaborations on ParaNorman and Coraline, we are delighted to be embarking on a third wondrous adventure with the LAIKA artisans who transform everyday materials into living creatures infused with dimension, humor, and soul. With a wonderfully appealing menagerie of fun characters, and a generous, open heart at its center, The Boxtrolls will be a must-see for family audiences.”

About Focus Features

Focus Features and Focus Features International ( comprise a singular global company. This worldwide studio makes original and daring films that challenge the mainstream to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world that deliver global commercial success. The company operates as Focus Features in North America, and as Focus Features International (FFI) in the rest of the world. Current and upcoming Focus Features releases include Joe Wright’s epic love story Anna Karenina, nominated for 4 Academy Awards; Paul Weitz’s comedy/drama Admission, starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd; Derek Cianfrance’s drama The Place Beyond the Pines, starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Eva Mendes; Closed Circuit, the suspense thriller directed by John Crowley and starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall; and The World’s End, the third installment of Edgar Wright’s trilogy of comedies starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

ParaNorman Wins Two Annie Awards

FEBRUARY 2, 2013: ParaNorman picked up two trophies at the annual Annie Awards showcase, held at UCLA’s Royce Hall.  Presented by the International Animated Film Society (ASIFA-Hollywood), the movie won best Character Animation in a Feature Production (Travis Knight) and best Character Design in an Animated Feature Production (Heidi Smith).  For more information on the awards ceremony, click here.

ParaNorman Honored With Academy Award Nomination

JANUARY 10, 2013:  ParaNorman has received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature.  The Academy Awards ceremony will be held at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on February 24.  For a full list of nominees, go to:

BAFTA’s Nominate ParaNorman

JANUARY 9, 2013:   The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has nominated ParaNorman for Best Animated Film. The BAFTA Awards ceremony will take place on February 10 at The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.  BAFTA Film Awards honor the best in the art forms of the moving image. For more information, please click here.

ParaNorman Picks Up Five VES Noms

JANUARY 7, 2013:  ParaNorman received five Visual Effects Society (VES) Award Nominations.  The eleventh Annual VES Awards ceremony will take place on February 5 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The nominations are in the following categories:

  • Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture (Travis Knight, Chris Butler, Sam Fell, Brad Schiff);
  • Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture (Graveyard: Phil Brotherton, Robert Desue, Oliver Jones, Nick Mariana);
  • Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture (Main Street: Alice Bird, Matt Delue, Caitlin Pashalek);
  • Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture (Practical Volumetrics: Aidan Fraser, Joe Gorski, Eric Kuehne, Andrew Nawrot);
  • Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture (Angry Aggie Ink-Blot Electricity: Michael Cordova, Grant Laker, Susanna Luck, Peter Vickery.  For more information, click here.

ParaNorman Wins Regional Awards

DECEMBER 20, 2012: The results are in and ParaNoman has won critical acclaim from across the country.  Thus far, the feature has captured awards from the following organizations:

  • Best Animated Film (The Village Voice Critics’ Poll);
  • Best Animated Feature (Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association);
  • Best Animated Feature (San Francisco Film Circle Critics);
  • Best Animated Film (Boston Online Critics Association);
  • Best Animated Feature (Las Vegas Film Critics Society Sierra Awards);
  • Best Animated Feature (Washington, DC Area Film Critics);
  • Best Animated Film (San Diego Film Critics Society);
  • Best Animated Feature (Southeastern Film Critics Association);
  • Best Animated Feature (Chicago Film Critics Association);
  • Best Animated Feature (Toronto Film Critics Association);
  • Best Animated Feature (Utah Film Critics Association);
  • Best Animated Feature (Denver Film Critics Society);
  • Best Animated Feature (Online Film Critics Society);
  • Best Animated Film (Alliance Of Women Film Journalists);
  • Best Animated Film (Central Ohio Film Critics Association).


ParaNorman Nominated For Eight Annie Awards

DECEMBER 3, 2012: ParaNorman received eight Annie Award nominations in the following categories: Best Animated Feature; Character Animation in a Feature Production (Travis Knight); Character Design in an Animated Feature Production (Heidi Smith); Directing in an Animated Feature Production (Sam Fell, Chris Butler); Production Design in an Animated Feature Production (Nelson Lowry, Ross Stewart, Pete Oswald, Ean McNamara, Trevor Dalmer); Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production (Emmanuela Cozzi); Writing in an Animated Feature Production (Chris Butler); Animated Effects in an Animated Production (Andrew Nawrot, Joe Gorski, Grant Laker).  The ceremony will be held on February 2, 2013 at Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA.  For more information, click here.

Cartoon Art Museum Hosts ParaNorman Exhibit

OCTOBER 18, 2012: View a collection of rarely seen visuals during the Art of ParaNorman exhibition at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco.  The show runs through February 17, 2013. In addition, Chronicle Books will soon host a larger event within the exhibit, where the museum will welcome some very special guests.  Click the following links for current information and updates: website, Facebook.  To follow on Twitter: @cartoonart.

ParaNorman: Own It Now On Blu-ray And DVD

NOVEMBER 27, 2012: ParaNorman is now available for purchase on Blu-ray and DVD combo packs, On Demand and Digital Download, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.  The Blu-ray and DVD features preliminary animatic sequences, with commentary from Sam Fell and Chris Butler.  In addition to a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creation of the world of ParaNorman — from character-build to the voice cast — the combo packs include seven short segments, showcasing Norman and his unique cast of co-stars.  Click for more information.

SPARK Animation ’12 Features VFX Presentation With Brian Van’t Hul

SEPTEMBER 14, 2012: Visual Effects Supervisor Brian Van’t Hul presented The Handcrafted Visual Effects of ParaNorman on September 14 at the Vancouver International Film Centre. The talk was part of the SPARK Animation ’12 festival in Vancouver, BC. For more event information, access

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