I’ve been pretty excited for “The Boxtrolls”, solely because it’s from the fledgling Laika studios. The animation company’s track record is darn good, with two stop-motion feature releases—and two Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature. I’m digging those odds. Plus, Laika obviously has a taste for the macabre—and the spooky stuff is where I cut my teeth. In fact, Laika’s “Coraline” from 2009, appeared on my Top Ten list by the end of that year. It was directed by the renowned Henry Selick(the true helmer of 1993’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, not Tim Burton as many erroneously state), and it grossed 125 million in theaters. Next up was 2012’s “ParaNorman”, which pulled down over a hundred million dollars as well. Those are pretty solid numbers for a studio that doesn’t contain either Disney or Pixar on its letterheads, and the film’s budgets are about a third of what “Toy Story 3” or “Frozen” cost to make. And both “Coraline” and “ParaNorman” were laden with ghosts and witches and zombies and the undead. Cool. “The Boxtrolls” will be a 3D stop-motion release, just like it’s two predecessors, and it’s been directed by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable. The makers of “The Boxtrolls” seem to have created a dark, fascinating, unique world, and it has all the makings of an early autumn hit. It opens in North America on September 26th, and sports voice work from Elle Fanning, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Toni Collette, Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, and the currently recuperating Tracy Morgan.
“The Boxtrolls” is coming!