Laika and Focus Features announced today that Grammy Award nominee Jon Brion will score ParaNorman and that Tucker Albrizzi, Alex Borstein and Jodelle Ferland have been added to the voice cast:
Two-time Grammy Award-nominated composer Jon Brion has signed to create the original score for LAIKA and Focus Features animated comedy thriller ParaNorman, currently in production at LAIKAs Oregon studios for nationwide release by Focus on 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. LAIKA President and CEO Travis Knight made the announcement today.
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 being directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler, from Mr. Butlers 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 Burtons Corpse Bride.
Mr. Brions 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.
Mr. Knight said, Jon Brion is so prodigiously gifted its almost unseemly. His virtuoso compositions are at once moody and imaginative, clever and subtle. Jons inventive, genre-defying musical storytelling will provide the perfect accompaniment to ParaNormans groundbreaking visuals and emotionally resonant narrative.
Mr. Brion stated, Ive been waiting for the right animation project for some time now. This production and the people at LAIKA and Focus have an inspiring amount of heart. One cant help being swept up in the passion.
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, hell 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 Vant Hul (King Kong, Coraline) is the movies visual effects supervisor; Emmy Award winner Nelson Lowry (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Tim Burtons 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 years 10 Best Films by the American Film Institute (AFI) with an AFI Award.