Laika (company)

Laika, LLC, simply known as Laika (stylized as LAIKA), is an American stop-motion animation studio specializing in feature films, commercial content for all media, music videos, and short films. The studio is best known for its stop-motion feature films Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings and Missing Link. It is owned by Nike co-founder Phil Knight and is located in Hillsboro, Oregon, part of the Portland metropolitan area. Knight's son, Travis Knight, acts as Laika's president and CEO.

Laika, LLC
Private
IndustryAnimation, film production
GenreAnimation
PredecessorWill Vinton Studios
FoundedJuly 20, 2005; 15 years ago (2005-07-20)
HeadquartersNorthwest Bennett Street, ,
U.S.
Key people
Phil Knight (Chairman)
Travis Knight (President and CEO)[1]
ProductsFilms
Number of employees
362 (2020)[2][3]
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

Laika had two divisions: Laika Entertainment for feature films and Laika/house for commercial content. The studio spun off the commercial division in July 2014 to focus exclusively on feature film production. The new independent commercial division is now called HouseSpecial.[4][5]

HistoryEdit

In the late 1990s, Will Vinton Studios, known for its stop-motion films and commercials, sought funds for more feature-length films and brought in outside investors, which included Nike, Inc. owner Phil Knight, whose son Travis Knight worked at the studio as an animator. In 1998, Knight made his initial investment.[6] In 2002, Phil Knight acquired the financially struggling Will Vinton Studios to pursue feature-length productions.[7] The following year, Henry Selick, director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, joined the studio as a supervising director. In July 2005, the successor to Will Vinton Studios, Laika, was founded, and named after Laika, the dog sent to space by the Soviet Union in 1957.[8] It opened two divisions: Laika Entertainment for feature films and Laika/house for commercial work, such as advertisements and music videos. They also announced their first projects, the stop-motion film Coraline, and the CGI animated film Jack & Ben's Animated Adventure.[6]

 
Laika's headquarters in Hillsboro, Oregon

The studio laid off a significant portion of its staff in 2008, when its second planned feature, Jack & Ben's Animated Adventure, was cancelled.[9] The following year, the studio released its first feature film, Coraline, which received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, a nomination at the BAFTAs for Best Animated Feature, a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, and eight nominations at the Annie Awards, winning three, for Best Music in an Animated Feature, and Best Character Design and Production Design in a Feature Production.

After directing Moongirl and Coraline, and unsuccessfully renegotiating his contract, Selick departed Laika in 2009.[1] At the end of the year, the studio laid off more staff in its computer animation department to focus exclusively on stop-motion.[7]

Their second stop-motion feature film, ParaNorman, directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler opened on August 17, 2012. It received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature,[10] as well as a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the BAFTAs, and eight nominations at the Annie Awards, winning two, for Character Animation and Character Design in an Animated Feature Production.

After working on stop-motion commercials for clients such as Apple Inc., Fox Sports, ESPN and Coca-Cola,[11] Laika spun off its advertising portion in July 2014, to focus on feature film production exclusively. The new independent commercial division is now called HouseSpecial.[4][5]

Their third film, The Boxtrolls, was released on September 26, 2014.[12] It was based on Alan Snow's fantasy-adventure novel, Here Be Monsters! and was directed by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature,[13] a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature, and nine nominations at the Annie Awards, winning two, for Voice Acting and Production Design in an Animated Feature Production.

Their fourth film, Kubo and the Two Strings, directed by Travis Knight was released on August 19, 2016. It received two nominations at the Academy Awards, for Best Animated Feature and Best Visual Effects (as only the second animated film to receive that nomination, after The Nightmare Before Christmas). It won the BAFTA for Best Animated Feature. It also received a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the Golden Globes, and ten nominations at the Annie Awards, winning three, for Character Animation, Production Design and Editorial in a Feature Production.

Laika has considered Colin Meloy's fantasy novel Wildwood[14][15] and Philip Reeve's fantasy book Goblins,[16] for potential feature film adaptations.

In March 2015, the company announced it would expand the studio in an effort to allow for production of one film per year.[17]

Their fifth film, Missing Link, directed by Chris Butler was released on April 12, 2019.[18] It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature and eight nominations at the Annie Awards.[19][20] It won a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature.[21]

FilmographyEdit

Feature films
Title Release date(s) Budget(s)[22] Box office gross[22] Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic[23]
Coraline February 6, 2009 $60 million $124.6 million 90% (268 reviews)[24] 80 (38 reviews)[25]
ParaNorman August 17, 2012 $107.1 million 88% (182 reviews)[26] 72 (33 reviews)[27]
The Boxtrolls September 26, 2014 $109.3 million 77% (172 reviews)[28] 61 (37 reviews)[29]
Kubo and the Two Strings August 19, 2016 $77.5 million 97% (219 reviews)[30] 84 (38 reviews)[31]
Missing Link April 12, 2019 $102.3 million $26.2 million 89% (168 reviews)[32] 68 (30 reviews)[33]
Contract works
Title Release date Budget Gross Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Note(s)
Corpse Bride September 16, 2005 $40 million $117.2 million 84% (195 reviews)[34] 83 (35 reviews)[35] Production
Slacker Cats August 13, 2007 N/A N/A N/A N/A Television series; last episode was originally aired on January 23, 2009
King of California September 14, 2007 $10 million $1.03 million 63% (67 reviews)[36] 63 (22 reviews)[37] Animation sequences
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas November 4, 2011 $19 million $36.2 million 68% (131 reviews)[38] 61 (29 critics)[39] Stop-motion/claymation sequence[40]
Short films
Title Release date(s) Note(s)
Moongirl August 12, 2005 Production

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Kapko, Matt (October 6, 2009). "Breaking News: Henry Selick Leaves Laika". Animation World Network. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
  2. ^ Laika to Expand Studio by 70 Percent
  3. ^ Hayden, Erik (August 14, 2020). "Animation Studio Laika Lays Off Staffers Amid Pandemic". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Amidi, Amid (July 28, 2014). "House Special Launches in Portland". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Milligan, Mercedes (July 28, 2015). "Kelly Salmon Named HouseSpecial Northeast Rep". Animation Magazine. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Williams, Christina (July 2006). "Laika ramps up Oregon animation industry". OregonBusiness.com. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Rogoway, Mike (September 18, 2009). "Laika lays off 63, scrubs plans for computer-animated features". The Oregonian. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  8. ^ McLean, Tom (December 29, 2015). "LAIKA Reflects on 10 Innovative Years". Animation Magazine.
  9. ^ Rogoway, Mike (December 17, 2008). "Laika lays off 65, shelves CG film". The Oregonian. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  10. ^ Sarto, Dan (January 10, 2013). "'ParaNorman', 'Wreck-It Ralph' and 'Frankenweenie' lead Oscar Nominations". Animation World Network. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  11. ^ Siemers, Erik (May 20, 2014). "Laika spins off ad business to focus on feature films". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  12. ^ "The Boxtrolls". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 1, 2013.
  13. ^ Amidi, Amid (February 7, 2013). "Laika's Next Feature Will Be "Boxtrolls"". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  14. ^ Debruge, Peter (September 7, 2011). "Laika to adapt The Decemberists singer's 'Wildwood'". Variety. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  15. ^ Manny (January 31, 2015). "LAIKA Studios comes to Wizard World Portland!". Screen Invasion. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  16. ^ L. Dickey, Josh (April 18, 2012). "Laika puts Brit book 'Goblins' in pipeline". Variety. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  17. ^ Giegerich, Andy (March 11, 2015). "Laika plans major Hillsboro expansion". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  18. ^ Kit, Borys (April 25, 2018). "Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis Starring in Animated Film From Laika". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  19. ^ "Your everything-but-Disney guide to the Oscars' Best Animated Film nominees". EW.com. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  20. ^ "47th Annie Awards" (Press release). Annie Awards. December 4, 2019. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  21. ^ "Golden Globes: What to Make of '1917' and 'Rocketman' Wins, 'Irishman' and JLo's Losses". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Laika Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  23. ^ "Laika's Profile". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  24. ^ "Coraline (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  25. ^ "Coraline". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  26. ^ "ParaNorman (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  27. ^ "ParaNorman Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  28. ^ "The Boxtrolls". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  29. ^ "The Boxtrolls Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  30. ^ "Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  31. ^ "Kubo and the Two Strings Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  32. ^ "Missing Link (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  33. ^ "Missing Link Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  34. ^ "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
  35. ^ "Corpse Bride Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  36. ^ "King of California". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  37. ^ "King of California (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  38. ^ "A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  39. ^ "A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  40. ^ Williams, Alex (November 7, 2011). "Q&A: 'Harold and Kumar' director shares challenges of 3D debut". The Daily Texan. Archived from the original on February 1, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2011. We hired this company LAIKA who did "Coraline" and "Nightmare Before Christmas" out of Portland and they did it, which is also crazy.

External linksEdit