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 Laika's 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. Butler's 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 Burton's Corpse Bride.
Mr. Brion's 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, Beck, Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright, The Eels, and Dido.
Mr. Knight said, "Jon Brion is so prodigiously gifted it's almost unseemly. His virtuoso compositions are at once moody and imaginative, clever and subtle. Jon's inventive, genre-defying musical storytelling will provide the perfect accompaniment to ParaNorman's groundbreaking visuals and emotionally resonant narrative."
Mr. Brion stated, "I've 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 can't 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, he'll 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).