The local animation pioneers LAIKA, along with film partner Focus Features, who together are responsible for Coraline and the recently Oscar-nominated ParaNorman, just announced their third collaboration: The Boxtrolls. Production on the 3D stop-motion, CG hybrid is already in progress, and the release date has been set for October 17, 2014.

The Boxtrolls is based on Alan Snow's fantasy novel, Here be Monsters, which is set in the Victorian-era town of Cheesebridge and populated by the super rich who are consumed by their love of money, children, the smelliest cheeses, and a fear of the Boxtrolls who live below ground. According to legend, these creatures appear from the sewers to burgle the townspeople of their most prized possessions (cheese, children, $$$). In reality, these dumpster-diving and inventive creatures live in large customized communities underground, dress in cardboard boxes, and survive with the help of an ingrained charming wackiness. They have raised an orphan boy who will come in handy when an ambitious and crazed exterminator shows up to destroy their world underground.

The voice cast includes Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Elle Fanningm Issac Hempstead-Wright, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade and Tracy Morgan.

In the press release, LAIKA president Travis Knight said: “The Boxtrolls is a visually dazzling mash-up of gripping detective story, absurdist comedy, and steampunk adventure with a surprisingly wholesome heart. It’s Dickens by way of Monty Python. Tony and Graham have crafted a strange and beautiful world replete with fantastical creatures, good-for-nothing reprobates, madcap antics, and rip-roaring feats of derring-do. But at its core, like all LAIKA films, The Boxtrolls is a moving and human story with timelessness and powerful emotional resonance.”

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