PARANORMAN, Featuring Elaine Stritch, Anna Kendrick and More, Hits Theaters Today, 8/17
Focus Features' animated comedy thriller ParaNorman gets its nationwide release by Focus today, Friday, August 17th, 2012. Following LAIKA and Focus' groundbreaking Academy Award-nominated animated feature Coraline, ParaNorman is only the second stop-motion animated feature to be made in 3D. Jon Brion created the score for the film.
Joining the voice cast of ParaNorman are Tucker Albrizzi (Good Luck Charlie), Alex Borstein (Family Guy), and Jodelle Ferland (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse). ParaNorman is directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler, from Mr. Butler's original screenplay. Mr. Fell was director of The Tale of Despereaux and Flushed Away. Mr. Butler was storyboard supervisor on Coraline and storyboard artist on Tim Burton's Corpse Bride.
Mr. Brion's original score for Focus' Academy Award-winning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind earned him a Grammy Award nomination for Best Score Soundtrack Album, among other honors. He was previously a Grammy nominee in the same category for scoring Magnolia. A highly accomplished singer/songwriter, arranger, and conductor, Mr. Brion is renowned for his production work. He holds co-writing credits on albums by such artists as Kanye West, Beck, Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright, the Eels, and Dido.
In ParaNorman, a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee), 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.
In addition to those actors previously mentioned, the voice cast includes Academy Award nominee Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Tempestt Bledsoe (The Cosby Show), Jeff Garlin (Toy Story 3), John Goodman (Monsters, Inc.), Bernard Hill (Titanic), Academy Award nominee Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), Leslie Mann (Rio), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (How to Train Your Dragon), and Tony and Emmy Award winner Elaine Stritch (30 Rock).
Arianne Sutner, animation producer on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and Travis Knight are producing ParaNorman. Academy Award winner Brian Van't Hul (King Kong, Coraline) is the movie's visual effects supervisor; Emmy Award winner Nelson Lowry (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride) is its production designer; and Tristan Oliver (Fantastic Mr. Fox, the Academy Award-winning Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) is the director of photography on ParaNorman.
As on Coraline, Focus holds worldwide distribution rights to ParaNorman, and Universal Pictures International will release it overseas. Coraline is Focus' second-highest-grossing movie of all time, with over $75 million domestically. The picture 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) with an AFI Award.
Fueled by the vision of its owner, NIKE Co-Founder and Chairman Phil Knight and its President and CEO Travis Knight, LAIKA Inc. is an animation company specializing in feature films and commercials. LAIKA, located in Portland, Oregon, has a 30-year history of presenting the artistry of award-winning filmmakers, designers, and animators in the field of animated entertainment and commercials. LAIKA's first feature, Coraline, was released by Focus Features in February 2009 and was the first stop-motion animated feature to be conceived and photographed in stereoscopic 3D. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Outstanding Animated Feature, and won the prestigious Cristal Award at the Annecy International Animation Festival. LAIKA/house is a world-renowned commercial animation studio acclaimed for its skill in storytelling and character performance in a variety of animation media, including 2D, CG, and stop-motion. Its work has garnered the attention of top advertising agencies and has attracted clients such as Starbucks, Apple, Coca-Cola, ESPN, M&Ms, and Planters. For more information about LAIKA, please visit www.laika.com.
Focus Features and Focus Features International (www.focusfeatures.com) comprise a singular global company. This worldwide studio makes original and daring films that challenge the mainstream to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world that deliver global commercial success. The company operates as Focus Features in North America, and as Focus Features International (FFI) in the rest of the world.
Focus Features and Universal Pictures International are part of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.