From the creators of Paranorman (nominated for an Oscar and the first animated film to be nominated for a GLAAD award), the upcoming 3D animated feature film The Boxtrolls shows gay families in the new, and adorable, trailer above.
In it, a sweet-faced toddler stands alone on a street as various combinations of parents in Victorian-era garb appear and disappear beside him. “Sometimes there’s a mother,” the narrator intones. “Sometimes there’s a father. Sometimes there’s a father and a father. Sometimes both fathers are mothers.”
Eventually, the little boy is spirited down a sewer by a friendly crew of crated monsters. “Families come in all shapes and sizes,” says the narrator. “Even rectangles.”
From the Portland-based Laika Studios, the inclusion of same-sex families comes at a great time with last week’s repeal of DOMA and Prop 8. Laika head Travis Knight says to The Hollywood Reporter of the gay-friendly teaser, that finding stories that send kids the right kinds of messages is a top priority.
“We’re not in any way trying to be activists. We’re just trying to be who we are,” Knight tells THR. “All art and all artists have a point of view, a way of looking at the world. We want to make films that are bold and distinctive and enduring and actually have something meaningful to say.”
While Boxtrolls, which features the vocal talents of Ben Kingsley and Toni Collette and is scheduled for a fall 2014 release, isn’t literally about same-sex parenting THR states, it does pose at its core what Knight calls “a very simple, albeit cardinal, question.” Namely, what is a family?
“The Boxtrolls are a very loving community that have been marginalized by the lies and distortions of others,” Knight says. “It doesn’t take someone who’s got a PhD to recognize that of course there are metaphoric elements to the message in our movie.”