Two years ago, there was a movie called Paranorman.
It didn’t do so good at the box office, despite it being one of the most important, game changing animated movies since the Disney renaissance. It made its money back, but it wasn’t the smash hit Frozen was.
And this is a fucking tragedy.
People read into Frozen that Elsa was an allegory for many things, one of them being LGBT. That’s cute. Meanwhile, Paranorman had the first ever openly, proudly gay character in an animated movie. ever. There was no allegory, there was no “well if you squint”. HE WAS GAY. HE HAD A BOYFRIEND. And Tumblr didn’t make this movie a smash success. There wasn’t a million mash ups with this and Return of the Guardians and HTTYD and Brave or whatever. There wasn’t long posts reading into Agatha Penderghast and how they handled bullying. This movie had a smallish following and fell off the map.
Now, Laika has a new movie coming out.
People are scared for Dreamworks right now. The news that if HTTYD 2 doesn’t do well, they’re going to lay off a bunch of animators is terrible. Don’t get me wrong. But Laika is a small company doing fantastic things. Everyone loved Coraline. Great, where was your money when it counted? Coraline didn’t do fantastic either. This is a SMALL STUDIO. THEY NEED ALL THE HELP YOU CAN GIVE THEM. All the money you threw at Frozen, a far inferior film, could’ve gone to a movie that mattered.
(just putting it out there, I liked Frozen. But Paranorman was not even in the same ballpark of quality).
what i’m trying to say is, Laika needs to be protected at all costs. It isn’t wrong to love the big three of Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar, but small companies deserve a chance to grow just as big. there is room in the industry for new and beautiful things, and Laika is SO going to be the frontrunner for this. Their movies are, so far, dark and challenging, beautiful and haunting, and innovative. Give them a reason and a means to make more movies.
Go see the Boxtrolls. Good, bad, mediocre, Laika deserves it.
Real talk: Boxtrolls is the most important movie I had the pleasure and privilege of seeing. But more than that it was obvious how much Laika cares about the people who watch it. The directors have SO much respect for their team its insane. Everyone does, and that’s obvious if you’ve ever been to one of their talks. The scriptwriter actually emailed me a while back thanking me for saying how much having a story like this meant to me, and even if it was only a small gesture, what other company would do that? Guys. This movie is amazing. Please, PLEASE go see it in theaters. Laika deserves to do every amazing thing they want to do but they need your support!