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Animation Studio LAIKA Entertainment Acquires Alan Snow's International Bestseller "Here Be Monsters"

Animation Studio LAIKA Entertainment Acquires Alan Snow's International Bestseller "Here Be Monsters"

PORTLAND, OR -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 04/03/06 -- LAIKA Entertainment has purchased the film rights for one of the UK's current bestselling children's novels, writer/illustrator Alan Snow's "Here Be Monsters" and will develop it as an animated feature film. LAIKA paid a "significant" six-figure sum after outbidding international competitors for film rights to the book.

LAIKA CEO Dale Wahl announced the acquisition, saying, "Great animated feature films begin with engaging stories and appealing characters. This book has both, as well as a wonderful sense of humor. It's a great addition to our development and production slate, which currently includes the CG and stop-motion movie 'Coraline' and the CG film 'Jack & Ben's Animated Adventure.'"

"Here Be Monsters" will be published in the United States this July by Simon and Schuster and was published in the UK by Oxford University Press. LAIKA Entertainment's Director of Worldwide Scouting Operations Fiona Kenshole first saw drawings for the book five years ago. "I knew there was something special about them," says Kenshole. "It's been a long effort to bring it to LAIKA, but I'm convinced that a magical chemistry will develop between LAIKA Entertainment's creative team and the unique ideas in Alan Snow's book."

According to LAIKA Entertainment's Supervising Director Henry Selick, "Like 'Shrek,' 'Here Be Monsters' is packed with multi-layered humor appealing to both child and adult audiences. It has a winning combination of the familiar elements of a boy's fight against evil, set in an extraordinary world, with a whimsical cast of characters."

About the book: Illustrated throughout with more than 500 of the author's incredible black-and-white drawings, the story centers on a young boy who tries to save his town from a dastardly takeover plot.

About the author: An award-winning illustrator of children's books, Alan Snow wrote "Here Be Monsters" as the first volume of a trilogy titled "The Ratbridge Chronicles." He wrote the recent best-selling "How Santa Really Works," and has illustrated over 160 children's books. His expertise covers a wide range of projects including books, design and computer animation, as well as the design of a children's science museum in Japan, and a toy robot currently on sale worldwide.

About LAIKA:

LAIKA is owned by Phil Knight, co-founder and Chairman of Nike. The company was rebranded as LAIKA in the summer of 2005, when it absorbed Vinton Studios, an animation leader and innovator for more than 30 years.

LAIKA Entertainment currently has two animated feature films in production. "Coraline," based on the international bestselling children's novel by Neil Gaiman, is being adapted for the screen and directed by Henry Selick ("The Nightmare Before Christmas," "James and the Giant Peach") with Dakota Fanning voicing the lead character. "Jack & Ben's Animated Adventure," a heartwarming original story of brotherly love set in the animal kingdom, is being directed by Jorgen Klubien. LAIKA's CG short, "Moongirl," also directed by Selick, was recently awarded the Short Film Special Jury Prize at the Ottawa International Film Festival and the Grand Owl Award, Best Animation at the Fantasy Worldwide International Film Festival, Toronto. It also won the Best Animated Film at the Memphis International Film Festival, at the Los Angeles International Children's Festival, and the San Fernando Film Festival in 2006.

LAIKA/House produces animated commercials and shorts for global clients including Coca-Cola, Wrigleys, ESPN and Esure UK.

Throughout its history, the company has won 11 CLIO Awards, three London International Advertising & Design Awards, five Mobius Advertising Awards, two Cannes Lion International Advertising Festival awards, two Academy Awards® out of five nominations, 11 Prime time Emmy Awards, and honors from the New York International Film & TV Festival, Annecy Awards, Annie Awards, and the World Animation Celebration Festival. For more information, please visit www.laika.com

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