“The film is a spectacular achievement of artistry, one that we are incredibly pleased to be a part of,” said Paramount Pictures CEO Brad Grey. “Charlie is a filmmaker of immense vision and craft and he and Duke have created a film that stands alone as one of the year’s best.”
An absurdist tale of a miserable self-help author depressed by the mundanity of his everyday life and in search of idealized love, Anomalisa stars the voices of David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Tom Noonan. Johnson and Kaufman adapted Anomalisa from the Being John Malkovich and Kaufman’s play of the same name, staged only twice for composer Carter Burwell’s “Theater of the New Ear” series. Burwell also provides the stop-motion film’s score.
Kaufman and Johnson’s adaptation was originally funded by a Kickstarter campaign, launched by the animation studio Starburns Industries, which also produces Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty. The Kickstarter project raised over $400,000, launching Anomalisa into being, and eventually into Paramount’s orbit. Now that it has found a major distributor, those who don’t frequent the film festival circuit can see for themselves how, or if, Kaufman and Johnson’s existential stop-motion animation is expanding the art form’s parameters and expectations.
“Anomalisa has been a three year labor of love,” co-directors Kaufman and Johnson explained in a statement with producer Rosa Tran. “We are thrilled the film has now found a home at Paramount with people who are passionate about the film and are committed to sharing it with the world.”