‘The Boxtrolls’ is the next film from ‘ParaNorman’ animators

Feb. 07, 2013 | 1:02 p.m.
Concept art for "The Boxtrolls," coming to theaters in October of 2014. (LAIKA)

Concept art for “The Boxtrolls,” coming to theaters in October 2014. (Laika)

The creative weirdos/geniuses at Laika — the Portland-based animation studio that brought you “Coraline” and “ParaNorman” — have just announced their next feature film: “The Boxtrolls.”

The film is based on “Here Be Monsters,” a children’s fantasy novel by Alan Snow, and will open in theaters in October 2014.

It will tell the story of the people of the Victorian-era town of Cheesebridge, who are obsessed with stinky cheese, and the shy, troll-like tinkerers who live beneath the streets.

The trolls are called Boxtrolls because they cover themselves in cardboard boxes, the way a hermit crab covers itself with a snail shell.

Ben Kingsley will voice the villainous Archibald Snatcher, a pest exterminator who is trying to eliminate the Boxtrolls as his ticket to Cheesebridge society. Isaac Hempstead-Wright, last seen playing Bran Stark in “Game of Thrones,” will play Eggs, a human boy raised by the Boxtrolls. Elle Fanning  will voice Winnie, the rich girl from town whom he befriends.

Like Laika’s previous projects, the film will be a combination of 3-D stop-motion and CG.

Although the film was officially announced Thursday, a Laika representative told the Los Angeles Times that “The Boxtrolls” had been in development  for two years. He added that almost none of the film had been shot yet.

“We’ve just moved from pre-production to production, when the actual animation happens.”

— Deborah Netburn

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