LAIKA Studios celebrates its tenth anniversary with a new behind the scenes featurette
LAIKA studios, the award-winning animation facility nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, celebrates its first decade this month. In a new behind-the-scenes featurette, LAIKA studios today looks back at their impressive trio of past releases (Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls) and ahead at their latest feature film, Kubo and the Two Strings. Take a look for yourself at some of the Kubo sets and puppets with the below LAIKA studios featurette.
“When LAIKA began we had a simple goal: to make movies that matter,” says Travis Knight, LAIKA’s President and CEO, who also is lead animator and a producer on its films. “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.”
All three films released so far have featured LAIKA Studios’ unique and innovative 3D stop-motion and CG hybrid technique. LAIKA’s original distribution partners, Focus Features and Universal Pictures International, remain the studio’s collaborators to this day.
“We have the bravest distributors in the world,” Knight continues. “They are lionhearted souls who took a chance on a ragged band of misfits from Oregon. Together, we share an abiding love for original stories and inventive storytelling… These last ten years have been magical. But as I look forward, I’m more excited for what the future holds. We’re just getting warmed up… Stripping everything else away, we’re simple storytellers. We’re 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, that’s ultimately LAIKA’s reason for being.”
Catch Kubo and the Two Strings on the big screen August 19, 2016.