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Laika names Sandell production head

'Coraline' producer joined stop-motion toon shop in 2005

Laika has named “Coraline” producer Mary Sandell head of production at the Portland, Ore.-based stop-motion animation studio.

“Mary is an exceptional leader,” said Laika prexy-CEO Travis Knight, who announced the appointment Wednesday. “I’ve known her virtually my entire professional career and continue to be amazed by the depth of her talents.”

Sandell, who joined Laika in 2005 and previously held a variety of production roles with predecessor Vinton Studios, has more than 20 years’ experience managing commercials, feature films and television series.

“ParaNorman,” Laika’s second 3D stop-motion animated feature film after “Coraline,” will be released Aug. 17 by Focus Features.

“I am excited about the opportunity to head up production as Laika moves toward expanding its film release schedule,” Sandell said.

Laika recently optioned the novel “Goblins,” from author Philip Reeve, for Mark Gustafson to direct.

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