Saturday, September 19, 2009

One Animation Studio Going In a Different Direction

Think c.g.i. animation is all the rage? Think again.

Laika, Phil Knight's Portland movie studio, laid off 63 in its computer animation department this morning after deciding to focus exclusively on an old-fashioned filmmaking technique called stop motion.

The studio originally planned to develop both stop motion and computer-animated films, but said today that it has recently concluded it would rather specialize in stop motion. For the foreseeable future, Laika said, it will only use computer animation on a limited basis, to augment stop motion ...

As Disney Animation Studio moves again toward hand-drawn toonage, Laika decides that the Henry Selick style of making animation is their best card to play.

Today's layoff, which reduces Laika's work force from 243 to 180, is the second round of cuts in its computer animation department. In December, it laid off 65 after scrapping a computer-generated feature called "Jack and Ben's Animated Adventure."

Now. If they can just have Henry direct all of their product, they'll be all set.


Anonymous said...

Maybe they should focus on learning how to tell stories instead of focusing on the technique.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, "Coraline" really needed more sassy , street-smart funny animals (and fart gags) . Get with it artsy Laika people.

Anonymous said...

Coraline was technically beautiful but the storytelling was definitely more of a personal film than universal appeal.

Anonymous said...

yes, we wouldn't want to have any movie have a personal appeal. god bless pleasing everyone.

Anonymous said...

Hey, 11:38-the poster didn't say it was wrong, he was just making an observation. One I agree with.

I saw it, I liked it enormously-and it IS more of a personal approach to storytelling, one that rambled a bit too much to no better effect. It didn't add up to a film that worked 100% for me and I think it's because of a lack of building tension, some needed clarity and just basically a more compelling and complete narrative. If it had been just that much better I believe it would have been perhaps a HUGE hit instead of the more modest hit it was. I'm glad it was still a definite hit, though.

Films can always be better, even personal" ones-ask Tim Burton(who's made some "personal" stinkers on occasion).

Anonymous said...

Agreed--just as Don Bluth, who managed to make films that were both unpopulare AND non-personal (unless you take his "wisecracker" status into account).

Anonymous said...

"Coraline" was as much a "personal" take on storytelling as "The Legend of Zelda".

It was a video game structure applied to a cinematic experience with questionable character development.

Guy Maddin uses "personal" narratives. David Lynch uses "personal" narrative. Coraline -that was just weak story structure.

Anonymous said...

I must respectfully disagree with Anonymous 11:22:00 AM. Coraline clearly developed as a character by the end of the film.

In the beginning, Coraline was not satisfied with her life -- she missed her friends, she didn't like her new home, she didn't like her dad's cooking, she wanted her parents to spend more time with her, and she wanted material things like gloves. Her parents' love was not enough.

The Other Mother offered Coraline friends, a fantastic home, great food, tons of attention, and beautiful material things like gardens and toys and a sweater. However, the Other Mother does not love Coraline the way her true mother does.

In the beginning, Coraline likes what she sees from the Other Mother. By the end, she rejects everything the Other Mother offers. Her life with her true parents has not changed, but Coraline has. She has a new perspective on her life by the end of the film.

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