‘Wildwood,’ Led by Carey Mulligan, Receives Release Window from Laika Studios
Animation is currently experiencing a surge in popularity, with the recent success of Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pinocchio,” which won an Oscar last year, and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” currently breaking box office records. In line with this trend, Laika Studios, based in Portland, is preparing for the release of their next stop-motion animated feature, “Wildwood.” Although the film has been in production for a considerable time, Travis Knight, the CEO and director of Laika, has confirmed to Empire Magazine that “Wildwood” will finally grace the big screens sometime in 2025.
Knight also provided some insights into the upcoming movie and offered a glimpse of what’s to come. A new image features him seated next to a gothic-style clay-modeled house, which will be showcased in the film. “Wildwood” is based on a book by Colin Meloy, the frontman of The Decemberists, and is set in Portland. The story follows a young woman who stumbles upon a forbidden and enchanted forest. Additionally, the film will feature an epic battle, unlike anything the studio has attempted before. Knight explains, “It’s the most challenging aspect we’re tackling in this movie.” However, he expresses confidence that the sequence will come together, stating, “We’re gradually making progress and tentatively venturing into it, like, ‘Oh God, oh God, oh God, how are we going to accomplish this?’ But I believe it will work. You can let me know once the film is completed.”
For those unfamiliar with stop-motion animation, it is one of the most demanding art forms. It involves photographing and physically manipulating objects within each frame, resembling an advanced flipbook-style animation. The technique requires a significant amount of time, from the initial modeling to filming and final processing. Knight explains, “Stop-motion films often have a tabletop appearance because they are literally shot on a tabletop. Moving a physical object frame by frame and attempting to give it life is a unique challenge. Add to that the kineticism typically found in live-action action movies… It’s incredibly difficult.”
Image via Empire Magazine
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What Is “Wildwood” About?
The movie revolves around a young girl named Prue McKeel, voiced by Carey Mulligan, whose brother Mac is taken by a group of crows to an enchanted forest. To rescue him, Prue, along with her clumsy classmate Curtis, ventures into the forbidden forest. Although Prue may believe she has outgrown fairy tales, she soon finds herself at the heart of one, encountering peculiar talking animals, cunning bandits, and powerful individuals with sinister motives.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Wildwood animated feature
When will “Wildwood” be released?
The release of “Wildwood” is scheduled for sometime in 2025, as confirmed by Travis Knight, the CEO and director of Laika Studios.
What is stop-motion animation?
Stop-motion animation is a unique art form that involves photographing and physically manipulating objects frame by frame to create the illusion of movement. It is a time-consuming process that requires meticulous attention to detail.
What is the plot of “Wildwood”?
“Wildwood” follows the story of a young girl named Prue McKeel, voiced by Carey Mulligan. When her brother is taken to an enchanted forest by a murder of crows, Prue, along with her classmate Curtis, embarks on a journey to rescue him. Within the forest, they encounter talking animals, roguish bandits, and powerful figures with sinister intentions.
Who is involved in the making of “Wildwood”?
Laika Studios, known for their previous films like “Coraline” and “Kubo and the Two Strings,” is behind the creation of “Wildwood.” The CEO and director of Laika, Travis Knight, leads the production, and the talented actress Carey Mulligan lends her voice to the main character, Prue McKeel.
How challenging is stop-motion animation?
Stop-motion animation is considered one of the most demanding art forms. It requires precision and patience, as physical objects are meticulously moved and photographed one frame at a time. Creating lifelike movement and adding dynamic action sequences to the animation adds an extra layer of difficulty to the process.
Is “Wildwood” based on a book?
Yes, “Wildwood” is based on a book written by Colin Meloy, who is also the frontman of the band The Decemberists. The film adaptation brings the enchanting story from the pages of the book to the big screen with Laika’s unique stop-motion animation style.