Laika embraces its hometown roots of Portland for the primary time with Colin Meloy’s YA fantasy a few magical forest.
Laika has begun manufacturing on its sixth stop-motion characteristic, “Wildwood,” the studio’s first fantasy journey set within the pure great thing about hometown Portland, Oregon. Laika President & CEO Travis Knight (“Bumblebee,” “Kubo and the Two Strings”) directs, and legendary cinematographer Caleb Deschanel (“The Proper Stuff”) makes his first foray into stop-motion. The six-time Oscar nominee brings his naturalistic fashion to handcrafted animation after lensing the digital world of Jon Favreau’s “The Lion King.”
“Wildwood” relies on the primary in a trilogy of YA fantasy novels by Colin Meloy, lead singer and songwriter for Portland-based The Decemberists, and illustrated by artist Carson Ellis. The mission a few secret forest has been in growth at Laika for a decade. No distribution has been introduced, although there are clearly a number of streaming alternatives obtainable at Neflix, Amazon, and Apple.
Right here’s the synopsis: “Past Portland’s metropolis limits lies Wildwood. You’re not alleged to go there. You’re not even alleged to understand it exists. However Prue McKeel is about to enter this enchanted wonderland. Her child brother Mac has been taken by a homicide of crows into the forest’s depths, and he or she — alongside together with her hapless classmate Curtis — goes to get him again. Prue may assume she’s too previous for fairy tales, however she’s simply discovered herself on the heart of 1…crammed with unusual speaking animals, roguish bandits, and highly effective figures with the darkest intentions.”
“As a deep-dyed native son of Oregon, I’ve rainwater, microbrew, and fair-trade espresso coursing via my veins,” mentioned Knight, who received the BAFTA for his directorial debut at Laika, “Kubo and the Two Strings,” which he adopted with the live-action “Transformers” standalone “Bumblebee.”
“With ‘Wildwood,’ I’ve the chance to inform a madly bold story of magic, surprise, and hazard set within the place I grew up,” added Knight. “My very personal Portland will be a part of that pantheon of unforgettable fantasy realms, with a stirring epic that can kindle imaginations, elevate spirits, and break hearts.”
For Deschanel, diving into stop-motion at Laika is like returning to movie faculty. “I’m at all times seeking to doing one thing I’ve by no means executed earlier than,” he emailed IndieWire. “Which suggests engaged on a mission the place I do not know what the hell I’m doing. I filmed ‘By no means Look Away’ in German, which I don’t converse — and photographed ‘Lion King’ in a digital world I knew nothing about. ‘Wildwood’ might be filmed with stop-motion animation which is definitely one of many oldest types of animation, however using among the latest expertise to make it that rather more expressive. As soon as once more, I do not know what I’m doing. However, actually, I’m actually simply overseeing some amazingly gifted individuals who have executed this many occasions earlier than. I’m studying from them. It’s an thrilling course of — fascinating.”
“Wildwood” is produced by Arianne Sutner and scripted by Chris Butler, each of whom received the Golden Globe for “Lacking Hyperlink,” which Butler directed.
Laika continues to push the boundaries of stop-motion with an bold hybrid of sensible parts and cutting-edge CG enhancement. Every style is completely different and “Wildwood” affords a Tolkien-like alternative. All 5 earlier Laika movies had been nominated for the Greatest Animated Characteristic Oscar:”Coraline,” “ParaNorman,” “Boxtrolls,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” and “Lacking Hyperlink.” Moreover, the studio earned the Academy Sci-Tech Oscar for its industry-leading fast prototyping, 3D printing system for character animation. Not too long ago, the studio acquired the rights to “Seventeen,” the motion thriller novel by screenwriter John Brownlow (“Sylvia”), which it plans to make as its first live-action characteristic.