Portland-based Laika has released a terrific video reel commemorating 10 years of bold storytelling and innovative stop-motion (Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and next year’s Kubo and the Two Strings).
Under the leadership of Travis Knight, president/CEO/producer/lead animator, Laika (“little barker” in Russian) has grown into the industry’s pre-eminent stop-motion studio, technologically embracing the old and the new in an exciting hybrid, while tackling important social issues of identity, family, creativity and responsibility in its movies.
And continues to flourish as a result of its distribution partnership with Focus Features and Universal Pictures International.
“When Liaka began we had a simple goal: to make movies that matter, said Knight, who makes his directorial debut with the samurai adventure, Kubo and the Two Strings (Aug. 19, 2016). “Laika is devoted to telling new and original stories in new and original ways. We aspire to make films that are bold, distinctive, and enduring. We are committed to telling stories that are thematically challenging, aesthetically beautiful, emotionally resonant, and a wee bit subversive.
“By combining stop-motion animation with cutting-edge creative approaches, we’ve embraced the fusion of art and craft and technology, honoring tradition while looking toward the future. We invented new systems and technologies for liberating the camera, to make our films more cinematic. We created new techniques for building and animating our puppets, to make our characters more lifelike and to connect more immediately and intimately with audiences. We discovered new processes for integrating practical and digital visual effects, to make our worlds more authentic. But we’re never satisfied. There’s an inherent restlessness at LAIKA. We always want to challenge ourselves.”