Adult Animation Revolution: Laika Studios Teases New Gritty Neo-Noir Project ‘The Night Gardener’

by Tito W. James

Stop-Motion animation studio Laika is partnering with Ozark creator Bill Dubuque on their next film The Night Gardener. Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) The Night Gardener is a gritty neo-noir folktale set in rural Missouri centered on a young man in rural Missouri fighting to keep his family together in the wake of a tragedy.

Laika’s best films like Kubo and Coraline explore darker themes than most feature animation. This tendency towards that macabre has garnered the animation studio a loyal fanbase of young adults while scaring away squeamish parents. With the success of films like Ilse of Dogs and The House,  Laika would be wise to pitch The Night Gardener to an older audience. The inclusion of Knight as the director bodes well for the project. After listening to the director’s commentary for Kubo and the Two Strings I believe that Knight is one of the most perceptive directors working today.

The Night Gardener is now in production.

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