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Laika, LLC, simply known as Laika (stylized as LAIKA), is an American
stop-motion Stop motion is an animation, animated filmmaking technique in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments between individually photographed frames so that they will appear to exhibit independent motion or change when the series of ...
animation studio An animation studio is a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal personality, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objectiv ...
specializing in
feature film A feature film, or feature-length film, is a narrative film (motion picture or "movie") with a running time long enough to be considered the principal or sole presentation in a commercial entertainment program. The term ''feature film'' original ...
s, commercial content for all media,
music video A music video is a short film, of variable length, that integrates a song or album packaged in book form, like a photograph album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record ...
s, and
short film A short film is any motion picture that is short enough in running time not to be considered a feature film. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a short film as "an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes ...
s. The studio is best known for its stop-motion feature films '' Coraline'', ''
ParaNorman ''ParaNorman'' is a 2012 American stop-motion animated Animation is a method in which Image, figures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent cel, celluloid sheet ...
'', '' The Boxtrolls'', '' Kubo and the Two Strings'' and '' Missing Link''. It is owned by Nike co-founder
Phil Knight Philip Hampson Knight (born February 24, 1938), is an American billionaire businessman. He is the co-founder and chairman ''emeritus'' of Nike, Inc., and was previously chairman and CEO of the company. As of July 23, 2020, Knight was ranked b ...
and is located in
Hillsboro, Oregon Hillsboro () is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located ...
, part of the
Portland metropolitan area The Portland metropolitan area or Greater Portland is a metropolitan area in the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington (state), Washington centered on the principal city of Portland, Oregon. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) identifie ...
. Knight's son, Travis Knight, acts as Laika's president and CEO. 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.


History

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 Philip Hampson Knight (born February 24, 1938), is an American billionaire businessman. He is the co-founder and chairman ''emeritus'' of Nike, Inc., and was previously chairman and CEO of the company. As of July 23, 2020, Knight was ranked b ...
, whose son Travis Knight worked at the studio as an animator. In 1998, Knight made his initial investment. In 2002, Phil Knight acquired the financially struggling Will Vinton Studios to pursue feature-length productions. The following year, Henry Selick, director of ''
The Nightmare Before Christmas ''The Nightmare Before Christmas'' (also known as ''Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas'') is a 1993 American Stop motion, stop-motion animated film, animated musical film, musical dark fantasy film directed by Henry Selick (in his featur ...
'', joined the studio as a supervising director. In July 2005, the successor to Will Vinton Studios, Laika, was founded – named after Laika, the dog sent to space by the Soviet Union in 1957. 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''. The studio laid off a significant portion of its staff in 2008, when its second planned feature, ''Jack & Ben's Animated Adventure'', was cancelled. 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. At the end of the year, the studio laid off more staff in its computer animation department to focus exclusively on stop-motion. Their second stop-motion feature film, ''
ParaNorman ''ParaNorman'' is a 2012 American stop-motion animated Animation is a method in which Image, figures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent cel, celluloid sheet ...
'', directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler opened on August 17, 2012. It received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, 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, 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. Their third film, '' The Boxtrolls'', was released on September 26, 2014. 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, 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 ''The Nightmare Before Christmas'' (also known as ''Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas'') is a 1993 American Stop motion, stop-motion animated film, animated musical film, musical dark fantasy film directed by Henry Selick (in his featur ...
''). 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 (novel), Wildwood'' and Philip Reeve's fantasy book ''Goblins'', 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. Their fifth film, '' Missing Link'', directed by Chris Butler was released on April 12, 2019. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature and eight nominations at the Annie Awards. It won a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature. On February 8, 2021, Laika signed a distribution deal with Shout! Factory for the United States, covering the studio's first four films. On March 31, 2021, Laika announced that they're adapting their first live action film based on the action thriller novel ''Seventeen'' by John Brownlow who is said to be a fan of Laika's previous work. It was also confirmed that the studio is currently working on their sixth stop-motion animated film.


Filmography


See also

* List of companies based in Oregon


References


External links

* * * {{Authority control American companies established in 2005 Companies based in Hillsboro, Oregon American animation studios Film production companies of the United States Mass media companies established in 2005 Privately held companies based in Oregon 2005 establishments in Oregon