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.