LAIKA Brings Back The Monsters

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The Boxtrolls

The Box­trolls

LAIKA and Focus Fea­tures, whose cur­rent ani­mated fea­ture Para­Nor­man is in the run­ning for an Oscar, announced today that they have begun pro­duc­tion on The Box­trolls. The new movie will be released nation­wide by Focus on Octo­ber 17th, 2014 accord­ing to Focus CEO James Schamus and LAIKA President/CEO Travis Knight.

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.”

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About Dave Koch

Editor and publisher of the Big Cartoon DataBase, Dave has been involved in cartoons since opening the Cartoon Factory animation art gallery in 1993. You may contact Dave here.

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