Aug 14, 2012


A model of the title character's house from "ParaNorman" on display at an Arclight theater.

There's a nice article about Laika in the New York Times today. While not tremendously in-depth, it's a neat bit of context for the release of the Portland studio's"ParaNorman" this Friday.
Moving Ahead in Stop Motion/With ‘ParaNorman,’ Laika Aims to Push Animation Boundaries

It's a wonderful and fairly astounding thing that not one but several studios are busy making animated features in this viscerally appealing, supposedly "throwback" technique.  At SIGGRAPH in 2008 Laika had a booth filled with puppets, sets and props from their then-unreleased "Coraline"; I could have stared at it all for hours, and the resulting film was a happy experience-different, moody, ambitious, and in many moments and respects very beautiful.

When I was launched on the Aardman/Dreamworks production "Flushed Away" in 2008 I went into the conference room to hear a pitch of the film and get my first assignment. Before they began the directors, David Bowers and Sam Fell, put a puppet of a character from "Chicken Run"-Fetcher the rat-into my hands. At that point it was going to be a stop motion, not CG, film. Looking at this little plasticine figure in his miniscule tatty clothes, charming, completely solid and three dimensional, was an inspiration; I just wanted to see him move-to act.
Artists have a tremendous soft spot for handmade things, don't we?