Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Out of the Box
LAIKA's third film, The BoxTrolls, is not due out until the autumn of next year... But that's not stopping Focus Features from getting the word out right now with a teaser! Despite what I may think of the way they advertise LAIKA's films, I will commend them for actually drumming up buzz a year and a half before the studio's next film even opens.
Since Universal's international distribution arm wants to be unfair and block it from YouTube in your country, you'll have to head over to iTunes to give it a watch for the time being...
Taking the Pixar route, this teaser shows us a fun little set of jokes, the setting and the BoxTrolls themselves. This will probably not be in the finished film. Visually, it's a lot like ParaNorman with its unconventional human designs, fun troll designs and the jagged, asymmetrical architecture. I absolutely loved that building style in ParaNorman. In this Victorian setting, it looks wonderful and refreshing. Aside from the usual lovely animation, this teaser is already notable (and soon, it'll be controversial) for its overt nods to same-sex couples.
LAIKA already got heat for a particular reveal in ParaNorman (which I won't spoil for you if you haven't seen it), so I imagine that this film will get some flack right off the bat. LAIKA isn't afraid to do this, though, and good for them I say. Being a studio whose films don't get the really wide audience that most other animated films get, they can somewhat slip under the radar with something like this. It begs the question: When will other studios do that? Or something similar?
All that aside, this is a great little teaser and the film is going to be another gem. LAIKA showed us with two back-to-back masterpieces that they a "new Pixar" of sorts, a studio that's going to try new things whilst also delivering good films. Their films may not be box office smashes, but they are a refreshing break from a lot of the animated films that litter the landscape today.