‘Anomalisa’: See How Charlie Kaufman Made a Stop-Motion Animated Film in New Featurette

     November 30, 2015


The stop-motion animated darkly comic drama Anomalisa is one of the best-reviewed films of the year, and I have a feeling it’s going to have a very good next few weeks as critics groups begin to roll out their end-of-year awards. The picture hails from the wholly unique mind of Charlie Kaufman, as he co-directs with Duke Johnson the story of a man crippled with the mundanity of his life who crosses paths with a fascinating young woman while on a business trip in Cincinatti. Paramount Pictures has now unveiled a behind-the-scenes featurette for the film, which offers a look at how Kaufman and Johnson made this story come to life.

The project actually began as a sound play, which was then adapted into a feature film through the help of crowdfunding. The shoot was an arduous one as the budget was tight, but the result is a hilarious, sad, sweet, depressing, and strange existential crisis odyssey into the mind of one individual whose desires and frustrations with life are universal. In short, it’s a Charlie Kaufman movie, and it’s pretty darn great.

Watch the fascinating behind-the-scenes featurette below. The film features the voices of David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Tom Noonan and opens in theaters on December 30th.


Image via Paramount Pictures


Image via Paramount Pictures


Image via Paramount Pictures

Here’s the official synopsis for Anomalisa:

Michael Stone, husband, father and respected author of “How May I Help You Help Them?” is a man crippled by the mundanity of his life. On a business trip to Cincinnati, where he’s scheduled to speak at a convention of customer service professionals, he checks into the Fregoli Hotel. There, he is amazed to discover a possible escape from his desperation in the form of an unassuming Akron baked goods sales rep, Lisa, who may or may not be the love of his life. A beautifully tender and absurdly humorous dreamscape, from the brilliant minds of Charlie Kaufman (SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK) and Duke Johnson (“Community” episode, Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas), this stop-motion animation wonder features the vocal cast of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan and David Thewlis and a stirring strings-based score by Carter Burwell. The darkly comedic and surreal stop-motion journey of a man’s long night of the soul, ANOMALISA confirms Charlie Kaufman’s place amongst the most important of American filmmakers, and announces Duke Johnson as a major creative force.


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