Watch: Go Behind the Scenes of 'Anomalisa,' the Year's Best Animated Movie for Adults

Watch: Go Behind the Scenes of 'Anomalisa,' the Year's Best Animated Movie for Adults

Nov 30, 2015


Debuting to great buzz at the Telluride Film Festival in September, followed by critical acclaim at the Toronto fest, Anomalisa is heading to select theaters on December 30. Its official plot description may sound rather ordinary: "An inspirational speaker (David Thewlis) becomes reinvigorated after meeting a lively woman (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who shakes up his mundane existence." So what is it that makes Anomalisa unique?

First, it's a stop-motion animated film that's intended for adults, rather than children. (It's rated R "for strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language.") Second, it's from Charlie Kaufman, who became known as the screenwriter of off-beat movies like Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind before becoming a director as well with Synecdoche, New York in 2008.


Kaufman and codirector Duke Johnson have spent the past three years working on Anomalisa, along with a dedicated crew of craftspeople, and this behind-the-scenes video gives a glimpse of the work involved in creating more than 1,200 faces, over 1,000 costumes and props, and more than 118,000 frames of film.


The recently-released trailer taps into the core theme of Anomalisa, according to our own Peter Hall, yet "it's also not a wholly accurate reflection of the movie's tone," which, yes, is funny, but is also "somber, thoughtful [and] introspective."


The movie looks beautiful and wholly distinctive, unlike nearly anything else released this year. As noted, Anomalisa opens in select theaters on December 30 before opening wide across the country in January. We recommend marking your calendar so you don't miss it, especially if you've enjoyed any of the films Charlie Kaufman has worked on before.

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