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LAIKA to Animate Stop-Motion 'Goblins' Feature

LAIKA has optioned “Goblins,” from award-winning children’s writer Philip Reeve, and has signed Mark Gustafson to direct the 3D stop-motion animated film.

Press release from LAIKA:


Portland, OR -- LAIKA has optioned Goblins, the Scholastic novel from award-winning novelist Philip Reeve (Mortal Engines) which will be published in the U.K. on April 5, 2012, and in the U.S. in Fall, 2013 and has signed Emmy, Annie, and CLIO Award-winning director Mark Gustafson (The PJs, Animation Director on The Fantastic Mr. Fox) to direct the 3D, stop-motion animated film. LAIKA produced the Oscar® and BAFTA® nominated feature film Coraline,  and is currently in production on the 3D, stop-motion feature ParaNorman.

Goblins, set in an extraordinary world of brilliantly original monsters and magical creatures, tells the story of riotous, ill-mannered, and all-around bloodthirsty goblins who live in the gigantic ruins of Clovenstone Castle, and spend their time mindlessly fighting, looting, and menacing neighboring villages. Only clever young Skarper understands that an ancient and powerful magic created by a vanquished sorcerer is rising again. Soon giants, cloudmaidens, swamp monsters, treewarriors, rampaging goblins and hapless humans will be swept into a fabulous magical conflict that will determine the fate of their world, and delight discerning audiences of all ages.

Goblins is a fantasy with bite,” said Travis Knight, LAIKA’s President & CEO. “It practically shimmers with verve, caustic humor, and piercing wit. Philip Reeve has pulled off a helluva feat, masterfully crafting a sly send-up of classic fantasy archetypes and adventures while lovingly honoring their underlying forms. Goblins is a thrilling, high energy swashbuckler teeming with wonderful surprises; at once hilarious and twisted, sincere and endearing. In the hands of LAIKA’s freakishly talented artists and guided by the ineffably gifted Mark Gustafson, it will make a strange, stirring, and altogether beautiful film.”

“I am delighted that LAIKA has optioned Goblins,” said Philip Reeve. “I love the look and feel that they achieved in films like Coraline and Moongirl, and I think the studio’s distinctive approach, led by the deft directing hand of Mark Gustafson, will be the perfect way to bring Clovenstone and its goblins to life.”

Goblins is a fantastic book, full of action, humor, charm and surprising characters,” said Mark Gustafson. “Philip Reeves has done a wonderful job of turning a familiar genre on its ear and creating a beautifully intricate universe unlike anything I’ve seen before. I’m personally thrilled to have the opportunity to work with my amazingly talented colleagues at LAIKA to realize the world of Goblins.”

Philip Reeve is represented by Philippa Milnes-Smith of The Law Agency in London; Mark Gustafson by The Gotham Group in Los Angeles.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.