To mark its 10th anniversary this month, LAIKA—the Portland, Oregon-based animation studio behind “Coraline” (2009), “ParaNorman” (2012), “The Boxtrolls” (2014), and the upcoming “Kubo and the Two Strings”—pulls back the curtain on its inventive, handcrafted style in this new featurette.
Alongside clips from the studio’s output and behind-the-scenes glimpses of its painstaking miniature sets and costumes, LAIKA president and CEO Travis Knight, who’s also lead animator and a producer on the films, explains how the company overcame the form’s steep learning curve by focusing on the tiny elements that enliven any film. “We are a passionate group of artists,” he says, “who believe that the smallest details help tell the bigger story.”
After amassing multiple critics’ and Annie awards, in addition to Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, the studio appears to be in fine fettle for its next ten years. “Laika” may mean “little barker” in Russian, but on the basis of its work so far, it’s clear that LAIKA packs a bite.