Anyone who saw "Paranorman" (co-directed by out director Chris Butler) knows the film's punchline when cheerleader Courtney (voiced by Anna Kendrick) asks meathead jock, Mitch (voiced by Casey Affleck), to a romantic movie, only to find out he's gay with a boyfriend.
Having an out gay person as a lead character was a first for a mainstream animated film, and the film not only received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature, but also a GLAAD Media Award Nomination as well.
The teaser trailer for their latest stop-motion animated feature, "The Boxtrolls," is all about what makes a family. The audience sees a baby on a street as various parental figures appear and disappear around him, while the narrator says: "Sometimes there is a mother, sometimes there is a father, sometimes there are two fathers..."
Travis Knight, the president and CEO of Laika, told The Hollywood Reporter, "We’re not in any way trying to be activists. We’re just trying to be who we are."
The trailer ends with the baby's "family" actually being a group of trolls in boxes that take care of the child (don't ask), not the mother or two fathers. And though the film doesn't actually deal with gay parenting (as far as we know), Knight says, "The Boxtrolls are a very loving community that have been marginalized by the lies and distortions of others... It doesn’t take someone whose got a PhD to recognize that of course there are metaphoric elements to the message in our movie."
"The Boxtrolls" hits theatres in September 2014.