Innovative animation studio LAIKA celebrates 10 years making macabre family films.
LAIKA, the award-winning animation studio behind some of the most celebrated and audacious horror-oriented, stop-motion family features in history, celebrates 10 years of bold and memorable filmmaking this month. For a company whose name means little barker in Russian, Portland, Oregon-based LAIKA has made quite a noise in the global film industry over a relatively short time.
LAIKA President , CEO and lead animator Travis Knight said of the occasion:
When LAIKA began we had a simple goal: to make movies that matter, 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, weve 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 were never satisfied. Theres an inherent restlessness at LAIKA. We always want to challenge ourselves.
LAIKA began its unconventional cinematic journey with the brilliant Neil Gaiman adaptation CORALINE in 2009, continuing with the visionary zombie feature PARANORMAN in 2012 and then, the moving monster movie THE BOXTROLLS in 2014. All three films featured LAIKAs unique and innovative 3D stop-motion and CG hybrid technique.
Knight, who makes his directorial debut with LAIKAs next film, KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS (release date: August 19, 2016) adds, Stripping everything else away, were simple storytellers. Were the heirs of flamboyant stage magicians, plainspoken raconteurs spinning yarns around a campfire, and knuckle-dragging troglodytes scrawling stick figures on a cave wall. We believe telling stories is one of the prime functions of the human mind and spirit. A good story can elicit empathy, opening us up to new possibilities, to new ways of thinking, to recognizing the shared humanity in which we all participate. And, in the end, thats ultimately LAIKAs reason for being.
Check out the new LAIKA 10th Anniversary promo reel below!