It’s no exaggeration to say that one of the best names in storytelling today is Laika! I’ve said it before, shouted it to the heavens, and will do so continuously and vigorously until the rest of the world sees it too. Which is why I couldn’t be more excited for their next release, Wildwood!
While not as much of a household name as Pixar, Laika (through projects like Coraline, Paranorman, and Kubo and the Two Strings) has been even more consistent with their quality, has been key in preserving the gorgeous art form that is stop-motion animation, and has broken convention by thinking differently and more maturely about animation than its rival studios. And while last year they announced production on their latest feature, Wildwood, today they’ve officially revealed the full voice cast for the film, which includes Carey Mulligan, Mahershala Ali, Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Awkwafina, Amandla Stenberg, Maya Erskine, and more!
While in the past, Laika has received controversy for whitewashed casting for classics like Kubo and the Two Strings (the one major blemish of an otherwise amazing film), it seems with Wildwood they are dedicating themselves to improving the diversification of their projects, with three Asian cast members, three Black cast members, and a Native American member all joining the cast in prominent roles. This is not only exciting, but also noteworthy, and we think it signifies and reflects the best judgement for the studio’s future projects as well.
The epic synopsis from the studio goes as follows:
Beyond Portland, Oregon’s city limits lies Wildwood. You’re not supposed to go there. You’re not even supposed to know it exists. But Prue McKeel is about to enter this enchanted wonderland. Her baby brother Mac has been taken by a murder of crows into the forest’s depths, and she – along with her hapless classmate Curtis – is going to get him back. Prue might think she’s too old for fairytales, but she’s just found herself at the center of one. One filled with strange talking animals, roguish bandits, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. Wildwood is a tale of love, loss, sacrifice and secrets, and of the magic you can find on your doorstep, if you’re willing to look for it.
In addition to the cast, the studio also revealed a new first look image from the film which you can view here:
It already sounds like this may be one of their finest projects to date. And that’s really saying something!
Wildwood from Laika will be coming out soon!