Boxtrolls best scene

The films from Laika are, in a way, like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood — part of the story of the films themselves is the story of how they are made. The process is very different, of course, as Linklater worked for more than a decade on one film, while Laika uses painstaking stop-motion animation to create the illusion of life over a production period that lasts a couple years per film.

We’ve all seen in-process video of Laika artists at work, but the final shot of the studio’s most recent film, The Boxtrolls, illustrates the process in a beautifully meta fashion. It may be The Boxtrolls best scene — and there are no spoilers involved, even for those who haven’t seen the film. Check it out below.

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fourth laika movie

Laika has produced three gorgeous stop-motion features so far: Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls. Now there’s a new one coming, as the fourth Laika movie has been announced as Kubo and the Two Strings. It’s an original story from Paranormal writers Marc Haimes and Chris Butler which the company describes as “a sweeping, swashbuckling adventure set in a mythical ancient Japan.”

As usual, the film is being animated at the company’s home base in Oregon, and is being directed by company founder Travis Knight, who is also producing with Arianne Sutner (ParaNorman). The film uses, as the press release calls it, Laika’s “innovative 3D stop-motion and CG hybrid technique.”

Get the full voice cast list and more info on Kubo and the Two Strings below.  Read More »

Laika hand-drawn

Laika has made a name for themselves with their hand-crafted stop-motion animated feature films like Coraline, ParaNorman and the upcoming movie Boxtrolls. But the Portland-based animation studio wants to help hand-drawn animation make a comeback. During the Boxtrolls Hall H presentation at 2014 San Diego Comic Con International, Laika head Travis Knight would like to do a 2D hand-drawn animated feature film. Find out more about a possible Laika hand-drawn animation feature film, after the jump.

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In February 2012, I visited the the Portland based animation studio Laika to watch production of their latest stop motion animated feature film ParaNorman. The 2009 adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s Coraline earned the group critical and public acclaim, and many have been waiting to see what the hand-crafted independently owned production would create next.

This is the first time I’ve ever had the chance to visit a stop-motion animated production, and what I learned about the process both amazed and shocked me. I was surprised to find out how much artistry and patience goes into a film like this, more than you could ever imagine. Also, Laika is brining innovation to their artform, introducing 3D color printers to the mix. Find out how they used 3D color printers to create the characters you’ll watch on screen, along with 50 other fun factoids I learned on set. I’ve also included a ton of behind the scenes photos, showing the artists at Laika creating their own brand of magic, and a video blog I recorded with Steve from Collider. All this and more, after the jump.

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