Laika Announces “Wildwood” – Based on the Novel by the Decemberists’ Colin Meloy – As the Award-Winning Studio’s Next Animated Film, Directed by Travis Knight
Laika’s next animated feature film is “Wildwood,” based on the bestselling novel written by Colin Meloy, lead singer and songwriter for The Decemberists, and illustrated by artist Carson Ellis. The announcement was made today by Travis Knight, President & CEO of the award-winning animation studio, who will direct the film. Wildwood is currently in production at Laika’s facility outside Portland, Oregon.
“As a deep-dyed native son of Oregon, I have rainwater, microbrew, and fair-trade coffee coursing through my veins,” said Knight, who won the BAFTA for his directorial debut film “Kubo and the Two Strings” and also helmed the live-action hit “Bumblebee.” “With ‘Wildwood,’ I have the opportunity to tell a madly ambitious story of magic, wonder, and danger set in the place I grew up. My very own Portland will join that pantheon of unforgettable fantasy realms, with a stirring epic that will kindle imaginations, lift spirits, and break hearts.”
“Colin and Carson’s novel is a lyrical work of art,” Knight continued. “The entire Laika family is fully committed to honoring it with a film of breathtaking spectacle and aching beauty. I can’t wait to share it with the world. Although we’re doing this in stop-motion, so, you know, I’ll have to.”
Brought to life by Laika’s world-class artists and craftspeople, Wildwood continues the studio’s rich tradition of captivating, handcrafted storytelling. LAIKA’s previous films – Missing Link, Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman, and Coraline – have all received Oscar nominations and numerous awards including the BAFTA and Golden Globe.
“Wildwood” will be the first fully animated feature film lensed by multiple Oscar and BAFTA nominee, cinematographer Caleb Deschanel. The superlative creative team also includes producer Arianne Sutner and screenwriter Chris Butler, both of whom won the Golden Globe for the studio’s “Missing Link.”
Beyond Portland’s city limits lies Wildwood. You’re not supposed to go there. You’re not even supposed to know it exists. But Prue McKeel is about to enter this enchanted wonderland. Her baby brother Mac has been taken by a murder of crows into the forest’s depths, and she – along with her hapless classmate Curtis – is going to get him back. Prue might think she’s too old for fairytales, but she’s just found herself at the center of one. One filled with strange talking animals, roguish bandits, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions.
“Wildwood” is a tale of love, loss, sacrifice and secrets, and of the magic you can find on your doorstep, if you’re willing to look for it.
Laika was founded in 2005 in Oregon by President & CEO Travis Knight. The studio’s five films “Coraline” (2009), “ParaNorman” (2012), “The Boxtrolls” (2014), “Kubo and the Two Strings” (2016) and “Missing Link” (2019) have all been nominated for the Academy Award for Outstanding Animated Feature. “Kubo and the Two Strings” won the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film and received an additional Oscar nomination for Visual Effects. “Missing Link” was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Animated Film. Laika has also been awarded a Scientific and Technology Oscar plaque in 2016 for its innovation in 3D printing. Recently, the studio announced its first live action feature film based on the action thriller novel “Seventeen” by screenwriter John Brownlow.