San Francisco, CA -- The Cartoon Art Museum  presents original works of art from the feature film ParaNorman, produced by LAIKA, the Portland-based animation studio owned by Nike co-founder and Chairman Philip H. Knight, and released nationwide by Focus Features on August 17, 2012. The exhibition features concept art, puppets, costumes and more from the upcoming film, LAIKA’s second stop-motion animated film to be shot in 3D. In stop-motion animation, everything seen on screen actually exists in the real world, as opposed to computer-generated animation.
The first part of this exhibition opens on Saturday, August 11, 2012, and features concept art, a behind the scenes look at the character design of ParaNorman, and an exclusive Animator’s Face Kit, as used by LAIKA’s animators. A larger exhibition of puppets and concept art opens at the Cartoon Art Museum on Saturday, October 6, 2012.
When a small town comes under siege by zombies, who can it call? “Norman!”
From Focus Features and LAIKA, the companies behind the Academy Award-nominated animated feature Coraline, comes the comedy thriller ParaNorman. Following Coraline, ParaNorman is the second stop-motion animated feature to be made at LAIKA in 3D, unifying the two stunning art forms to tell an all-new frightfully funny, magically emotional, and hilariously spooky story.
ParaNorman is set in the town of Blithe Hollow, whose locals profit from mining the town’s history as the site, 300 years ago, of a famous witch hunt. Local young teen Norman Babcock (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee of Let Me In) spends much of his days appreciating the finer points of scary movies and studying ghost lore. In fact, Norman is gifted with the ability to see and speak with the dead, such as his beloved grandmother (Elaine Stritch). Most days, he prefers their company to that of his flustered father (Jeff Garlin), spacey mother (Leslie Mann), and deeply superficial older sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick). At middle school, Norman dodges bullying Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), confides in the impressionable Neil (Tucker Albrizzi), and tries to tune out his blowhard teacher Mrs. Henscher (Alex Borstein).
Norman is unexpectedly contacted by his odd uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman), who floors him with the revelation that a centuries-old witch’s curse is real and is about to come true, and that only Norman will be able to stop it from going into overdrive and harming the townspeople. Once a septet of zombies – led by The Judge (Bernard Hill) – suddenly rises from their graves, Norman finds himself caught in a wild race against time alongside Courtney, Alvin, Neil and Neil’s muscle-bound older brother Mitch (Casey Affleck) as Sheriff Hooper (Tempestt Bledsoe) chases them all. Worse, the town is up in arms and taking up arms.
Norman bravely summons up all that makes a hero – courage and compassion – as he finds his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.
Fueled by the vision of its owner, Nike co-founder and Chairman Philip H. Knight, LAIKA (www.laika.com  ) and its President and CEO Travis Knight, LAIKA Inc. is an animation company specializing in feature films and commercials. LAIKA, located in Portland, Oregon, has a 30-year history of presenting the artistry of award-winning filmmakers, designers, and animators in the field of animated entertainment and commercials. LAIKA’s first feature, Coraline, was released by Focus Features in 2009 and was the first stop-motion animated feature to be conceived and photographed in stereoscopic 3D. The film was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Outstanding Animated Feature, and won the prestigious Cristal Award at the Annecy International Animation Festival. In addition to its entertainment division, LAIKA has a commercial division, LAIKA/house, which produces some of the most ionic animated spots in the advertising industry. The company has won two Academy Awards, 11 Emmy Awards, 11 Clio Awards, three London International Advertising & Design Awards, five Mobius Advertising Awards and two Cannes Lion International Advertising Festival awards.
Source: The Cartoon Art Museum