Jon Brion signed to create score for “ParaNorman”

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Two-time Grammy Award-nominated com­poser Jon Brion has signed to cre­ate the orig­i­nal score for Laika and Focus Fea­tures’ ani­mated com­edy thriller Para­Nor­man, cur­rently in pro­duc­tion at Laika’s Ore­gon stu­dios for release across the United States by Focus on August 17, 2012.

Fol­low­ing Laika and Focus’ ground­break­ing Acad­emy Award-nominated ani­mated fea­ture Cora­line, Para­Nor­man is only the sec­ond stop-motion ani­mated fea­ture to be made in 3D. Laika pres­i­dent and CEO Travis Knight made the announce­ment Tuesday.

Join­ing the voice cast of Para­Nor­man are Tucker Albrizzi (Good Luck Char­lie), Alex Borstein (Fam­ily Guy) and Jodelle Fer­land (The Twi­light Saga: Eclipse). Para­Nor­man is being directed by Sam Fell and Chris But­ler from Butler’s orig­i­nal screen­play. Fell was direc­tor of The Tale Of Des­pereaux and Flushed Away. But­ler was sto­ry­board super­vi­sor on Cora­line and sto­ry­board artist on Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.

Brion’s orig­i­nal score for Focus’ Acad­emy Award-winning Eter­nal Sun­shine of the Spot­less Mind earned him a Grammy Award nom­i­na­tion for Best Score Sound­track Album, among other hon­ors. He was pre­vi­ously a Grammy nom­i­nee in the same cat­e­gory for scor­ing Mag­no­lia. A highly accom­plished singer/songwriter, arranger and con­duc­tor, Brion is renowned for his pro­duc­tion work. He holds co-writing cred­its on albums by such artists as Kanye West, Beck, Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Rufus Wain­wright, the Eel, and Dido.

Knight said, “Jon Brion is so prodi­giously gifted, it’s almost unseemly. His vir­tu­oso com­po­si­tions are at once moody and imag­i­na­tive, clever and sub­tle. Jon’s inven­tive, genre-defying musi­cal sto­ry­telling will pro­vide the per­fect accom­pa­ni­ment to Para­Nor­man’s ground­break­ing visu­als and emo­tion­ally res­o­nant narrative.”

Brion stated, “I’ve been wait­ing for the right ani­ma­tion project for some time now. This pro­duc­tion and the peo­ple at Laika and Focus have an inspir­ing amount of heart. One can’t help being swept up in the passion.”

In Para­Nor­man, a small town comes under siege by zom­bies. Who can it call? Only mis­un­der­stood local boy Nor­man (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee), who is able to speak with the dead. In addi­tion to the zom­bies, he’ll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst of all, moronic grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse. But this young ghoul whis­perer may find his para­nor­mal activ­i­ties pushed to their oth­er­worldly limits.

The voice cast includes Acad­emy Award nom­i­nee Casey Affleck (The Assas­si­na­tion of Jesse James by the Cow­ard Robert Ford), Tem­pestt Bled­soe (The Cosby Show), Jeff Gar­lin (Toy Story 3), John Good­man (Mon­sters, Inc.), Bernard Hill (Titanic), Acad­emy Award nom­i­nee Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), Leslie Mann (Rio), Christo­pher Mintz-Plasse (How To Train Your Dragon), and Tony and Emmy Award win­ner Elaine Stritch (30 Rock).

Ari­anne Sut­ner, ani­ma­tion pro­ducer on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zis­sou, and Travis Knight are pro­duc­ing Para­Nor­man. Acad­emy Award win­ner Brian Van’t Hul (King Kong, Cora­line) is the movie’s visual effects super­vi­sor; Emmy Award win­ner Nel­son Lowry (Fan­tas­tic Mr. Fox, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride) is its pro­duc­tion designer; and Tris­tan Oliver (Fan­tas­tic Mr. Fox, the Acad­emy Award-winning Wal­lace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit) is the direc­tor of pho­tog­ra­phy on Para­Nor­man.

As on Cora­line, Focus holds world­wide dis­tri­b­u­tion rights to Para­Nor­man, and Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures Inter­na­tional will release it over­seas. Cora­line is Focus’ second-highest-grossing movie of all time, with over $75 mil­lion domes­ti­cally. The pic­ture 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 with an AFI Award.

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About Paul Anderson

Paul is an old-timer here at BCDB- his contributions go back to before the site! Paul is widely regarded as a Disney historian, and is also on staff at the Disney Museum in San Francisco. Paul is also a contributing historian for D23, the Disney Club. Paul has published several books and magazine articles on Disney history, too. You are welcome to drop Paul a line here.


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