By Jazz Tangcay
September 15, 2021
Laika studios has announced its sixth stop-motion movie, “Wildwood.”
The feature is based on the novel written by Colin Meloy, lead singer and songwriter for The Decemberists, and illustrated by artist Carson Ellis. The announcement was made Wednesday 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.
The synopsis for the film reads: “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.”
“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.”
Laika’s previous films “Missing Link,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “The Boxtrolls,” “ParaNorman,” and “Coraline” have all received Oscar nominations.
Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel will shoot the film. The creative team also includes producer Arianne Sutner and screenwriter Chris Butler, both of whom won the Golden Globe for the studio’s “Missing Link.”
Butler is repped by UTA and attorney Rob Szymanski.