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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Fangasm

The Studio Behind Coraline and ParaNorman Is Doing an Absurdist Steampunk Stop-Motion Fantasy. With Cheese. Rejoice!


A stop-motion steampunk fantasy that’s “Dickens by way of Monty Python,” is produced by LAIKA (ParaNorman and Coraline), and features the vocal talents of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Elle Fanning, and Game of ThronesIsaac Hempstead Wright? And it’s set in a town where people are obsessed with cheese?

Gimme.

The movie in question is The Boxtrolls, just announced as the next collaboration between LAIKA and Focus Features. (The image above is a cropped version of a piece of concept art. Click here for the whole thing; it’s really neat-looking.) Slated for release on October 14, 2014, it’s based on Alan Snow‘s Here Be Monsters series, which I apparently need to read because this movie sounds like someone went all Professor X on my head and figured out the exact kid’s movie I want to see. Here’s how LAIKA describes it:

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 ([Ben] 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.

The directors are Anthony Stacchi (Open Season) and Graham Annable, who served as the story artist on Coraline and ParaNorman. (He also worked on The Curse of Monkey Island. Woah, blast from the past.) In addition to the actors mentioned above, Tracy Morgan, Toni Collette, and Jared Harris will also provide their vocal talents. That is one heck of a cast.

As if I wasn’t enthused enough about this movie already, LAIKA CEO Travis Knight had this to say:

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.”

Cheese. Misfits. “Rip-roaring feats of derring-do.” Richard Ayoade. It’s so beautiful I feel like I might shed a tear.

(via: Super Punch)

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  • http://twitter.com/Loerwyn Kathryn

    Colour me interested but slightly miffed.

    Judging by the cast and what is said above, it seems like it’s going to be another film that banks on OH MY GOD BRITISH THINGS, which – as a British person – is rather bloody boring.

    But I’m sure Vera Brosgol will be/will have storyboarded it so I’m on-board regardless.

  • Rizz Rustbolt

    Hopefully Disney won’t try to deep-six this one as well.

  • Anonymous

    Why is cheese so funny? Anyway, I will gladly give them my money now.

  • http://twitter.com/cartoon_sara Sara Franks-Allen

    At this point, LAIKA would have to try pretty hard to make me not excited for their next release. ParaNorman was such a pleasant surprise, but now this film has to live up to how good its predecessor was.

  • http://www.facebook.com/privatewojtek Bear Philippe

    It’s banking on phenomenal actors. Why hate so much?

  • http://twitter.com/IAmSteamgirl Steamgirl

    Having just finished The IT Crowd and feeling rather empty without it, I’m up for anything that will cure my Richard Ayoade withdrawal.

  • http://twitter.com/Loerwyn Kathryn

    I’m not “hating”. I know this will be an enjoyable film with a great cast.

    But it looks like another American film that seems to do little more than go LOOK BRITISH THINGS! WE LOVE BRITAIN!, and as a British person it’s rather overdone and pretty boring by now. Yes, yes, Britain exists, we’re nothing special.

  • http://technicalluddite.com/ Hannele Kormano

    Graham Annable also did a cute game called Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent: http://www.telltalegames.com/puzzleagent2

  • Anonymous

    I must be the only person still put off whenever I see Tracy Morgan’s name, after that giant sexist, homophobic rant. I’m surprised to see him still getting so much work, honestly– when hearing his name or seeing his face immediately puts me off. I can’t be the only one. Anyone who says they’d “pull out a knife” and stab their kid if they ended up gay, is never getting back in my good graces.

    With that said, literally everything else about this film looks awesome.

  • http://wrongsirwrong.blogspot.com/ Magic Xylophone

    British, stop-motion, cheese obsession, mechanical tinkering? Laika is going after Aardman’s turf!