In the new trailer for "The Boxtrolls," the latest 3D animated feature from Laika Studios, a cheerful toddler stands alone on a street as various adults appear beside him.
"Sometimes there's a mother," the narrator says. "Sometimes there's a father. Sometimes there's a father and a father. Sometimes both fathers are mothers."
Families may come in "all shapes and sizes," but the boy in this trailer is all alone -- until some friendly box-dwelling monsters scoop him up and take him down to the sewers with them.
Travis Knight, stop-motion animator and president and CEO of Laika, wants to tell stories that send kids the right kinds of messages.
"There are going to be people who simply don’t agree with that and we understand, but we also won’t flinch from the consequences of that," Knight told The Hollywood Reporter. "The kinds of films we make have to be consistent with our values and how we look at the world and sometimes that means putting yourselves out there a little bit."
That the trailer, available on iTunes, was released just after historic Supreme Court decisions on DOMA and Prop 8 was just a happy coincidence, as Knight notes that incredibly tedious, time-consuming nature of marrying stop-motion and CG techniques.
Knight, son of Nike founder Phil Knight, says that although the movie isn't about any particular same-sex parents, the film asks, "what is a family?"
"The Boxtrolls are a very loving community that have been marginalized by the lies and distortions of others," Knight said. "It doesn’t take someone whose got a PhD to recognize that of course there are metaphoric elements to the message in our movie."
Due for a fall 2014 release, "The Boxtrolls" is based on Alan Snow's fantasy adventure novel "Here Be Monsters," and features the voices of Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg and Tracy Morgan.