Animation here in the southland has been getting squeezed, but rollbacks far to the north are also happening:
Portland-based animation studio Laika Entertainment has laid off 65 people and axed its troubled project in development Jack and Ben’s Animated Adventure. The CG-animated feature was slated to be the studio’s follow-up pic after the upcoming Coraline. Mulan director Barry Cook was signed to direct the film.
This isn't wholly surprising, since Laika has had a lot of hires and outlays the last few years and nothing coming in. (The income half of the equation will start happening when Coraline gets released in February.)
No doubt it's an anxious time to be an animation start-up with a sizable overhead. Or any kind of start-up. We'll see what happens when Mr. Selick's picture hits the AMCs two months from now. Meantime, the company putting the best face on the cuts is totally understandable.
“Basically, we lost some people on the development side for a project we’re not working on any more, which is a natural part of the animation process because it takes so long to make these films and market them,” Begley said. “The layoffs were the result of the project being shelved and Coraline being no longer in production.” ...
“Phil Knight’s commitment to the company is complete and total, and it’s unfortunate what’s happened but it’s something we needed to do from a business point of view,” she said. “Everything at Laika is onward and upward.”
Yeah, hm hm. Onward and upward. Only if Coraline like, under-performs, what's the forward momentum going to look like then?