LAIKA and Focus Features have announced that they will band together for a stop-motion animated project titled ParaNorman (for release in 2012), as well as another feature that will be released in 2014. The two companies previously joined forces to create Henry Selick’s wonderful 2009 film Coraline. More info, including plot and voice cast for ParaNorman, after the jump.
The press release from Focus Features announcing the two-picture distribution deal (which you can read in full here) reveals the plot of ParaNorman as such:
In the comedy thriller, a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman, 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.
It sounds like it’s perfectly suited to the guys who visualised the world of Coraline, as you can see above. And as is the case with all animated movies, there are some reasonably big talents in the cast, which will include: Casey Affleck, John Goodman, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bernard Hill, Jeff Garlin, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Elaine Stritch (who plays the hilarious character of Jack Donaghy’s mother on 30 Rock). Most of these names seem like the sort of people who will bring a great amount of life to the animated characters.
All the way back in February 2010, it was announced that Jan Pinkava (artist and animator for Toy Story 2 and A Bug’s Life, co-director of Ratatouille and writer / director of Geri’s Game) would be coming over from Pixar to write the film Little White Lie for LAIKA. The studio were also announced to be working on an adaptation of Alan Snow’s Here Be Monsters! So hopefully we’ll see these two projects also emerge from secrecy soon.
Coraline was tied for my favourite movie that came out in 2009 (alongside District 9, of course), so I am of course hugely excited to see more from LAIKA. Hell, I’m just looking forward to more stop-motion.
ParaNorman will be out on August 17th, 2012.