Animation House LAIKA Names Head of Production

Mary Sandell - H 2012
<p>Mary Sandell - H 2012</p>
The Portland-based company behind "Coraline" and "ParaNorman" has tapped Mary Sandell to the post.

LAIKA, the Portland-based animation house behind stop-motion animated feature Coraline and this summer’s ParaNorman, has appointed Mary Sandell as its head of production.

Sandell was a producer on Coraline and joined the company in 2005. Prior to that he worked as a producer on DreamWorks’ animated series, Father of the Pride, which aired on NBC. She was also a producer on The PJ’s, the stop-motion TV series from Eddie Murphy and Imagine.

Sandell is considered a vet in the field, having over 20 years working in commercials, films and TV.

“Both a standard-bearer for business and a champion of artists, Mary is that rare creative executive who fully earns the title,” said LAIKA CEO and president Travis Knight. “Her ferocious intellect, tireless work ethic, and intense passion for animation make Mary Sandell the perfect partner to move LAIKA's film slate from shadowy notions to fully realized works of art.”

LAIKA’s ParaNorman is due to open Aug. 17. The company recently optioned the Scholastic novel Goblins by Philip Reeve and set Mark Gustafson to direct.