Laika Onto Next Animated Adventure

Laika Ent., the toon shop formerly known as Vinton Studios, has announced a second feature film to follow the Henry Selick-directed Neil Gaiman adaptation, Coraline. According to Daily Variety, former Disney and Pixar animator and story man Jorgen Klubien will write and direct a CG flick titled Jack and Ben’s Animated Adventure.

Where the stop-motion/CG hybrid Coraline will see a human child immersed in a fantasy world, Jack and Ben will reportedly tackle the ever-popular talking animal formula as it follows the adventures of two brothers from a yet-undisclosed sector of the animal kingdom.

The film’s $50-70 million budgets are being financed largely by former Nike chairman and CEO Phil Knight, who bought Vinton Studios in 2003. Laika is currently in search of a distribution partner and hopes to have Coraline in theaters late in 2007. Jack and Ben is expected to bow shortly thereafter.

An eight-year veteran of the Pixar hit machine, Klubien was recently named director of story for feature film at Laika. Among other things, he wrote and illustrated the original concept for Pixar’s upcoming Cars. He also was story development artist on Monsters, Inc., Toy Story 2 and A Bug’s Life, for which he also was co-writer. Klubien’s duties at Knight’s company will include developing animated feature film properties, including his own original concepts as well as story ideas already in the Laika pipeline.