Starting September 1, 2022, Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) will present Laika: Life in Stop Motion, a new exhibit and partnership with the Oscar®, Golden Globe, and BAFTA-winning animation studio LAIKA. This new installation will “take over” the animation section of the Museum’s dynamic core exhibition Behind the Screen. It will include puppets, sets, and video clips from Laika’s first five films. The installation also features 2-D Laika character figures and environments that visitors can use to create their own stop-motion animations at MoMI’s interactive stations, which the creator can share and post online.
“LAIKA has created unforgettable characters and stories using stop-motion animation, with hand-crafted techniques that date from the emergence of cinema,” said Barbara Miller, the Museum’s Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs. “At the same time, they have done more than any other studio to bring this art form into the digital age. They are perfect partners for this exhibit, which invites visitors of all ages to appreciate the painstaking work of stop-motion animation, and experiment with making their own short films.”
“Laika has established a unique identity in the world of cinema with its original and timeless stories amid advancing stop-motion animation with technological innovations,” said David Burke, Chief Marketing Officer & SVP Operations: Laika, LLC. “We share with MoMI a love of cinema and are delighted that the ‘hands on’ element of our exhibit allows fans to enjoy and embrace Laika’s singular way of filmmaking.”
Laika: Life in Stop Motion will be on view through August 27, 2023. It will be accompanied by screenings of Laika films in the Museum’s Redstone Theater.
Creators of the Oscar®-nominated animated films Missing Link (2019), Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), The Boxtrolls (2014), ParaNorman (2012), and Coraline (2009), LAIKA is credited with reviving the venerable cinematic technique of stop-motion animation by marrying it to the most cutting-edge technological advances in the filmmaking sector. All of LAIKA’s films have been nominated for Best Animated Film Oscars. Kubo and the Two Strings was also nominated for the Visual Effects Academy Award, only the second time in history that an animated film was recognized in this way. Kubo won the BAFTA Award; Missing Link received the Golden Globe in 2019, and LAIKA was awarded a Scientific and Technology Oscar in 2016 for its innovation in the use of 3-D printers in animated filmmaking. View LAIKA filmography.
Laika’s sixth film, Wildwood, is currently in production at the studio outside Portland, Oregon.
MoMI has presented numerous exhibitions devoted to animation. These have included Tim Burton: Drawings (2003), Gumby and the Art of Stop-Motion Animation (2005), The Art of Rise of the Guardians (2012), What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones (2014), Plymptoons: Short Films and Drawings by Bill Plympton (2014), The World of Anomalisa (2015), Reimagining the Cel: Experiments in Animation from the 1980s (2019), D’Oh! Animating America’s Favorite Family (2020), and “A Wonderful, Awful Idea”: Animating the Grinch Who Stole Christmas (2021). In addition, the Museum’s core exhibition Behind the Screen, which explores the many crafts and creative processes behind moving images, has a section devoted to animation and its link to the birth of cinema.
Fueled by the vision of its President & CEO Travis Knight, the animation studio Laika was founded in 2005. Located just outside of Portland, Oregon, Laika was awarded a Scientific and Technology Oscar® in 2016 for its innovation in 3-D printing. All of Laika’s five films—Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), The Boxtrolls (2014), Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), and Missing Link (2019)—were nominated for the Academy Award® for Outstanding Animated Feature. Kubo and the Two Strings also won the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film and received an additional Oscar® nomination for Visual Effects. Missing Linkwas awarded the Golden Globe® as Best Animated Film. Laika is in production on its next animated feature film Wildwood, to be directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, Bumblebee) and based on the series of books by Colin Meloy. The studio is developing The Night Gardener, a stop-motion animated movie based on an original idea by Ozark creator Bill Dubuque, as well as its first live-action film based on John Brownlow’s thriller novel Seventeen. @laikastudios
Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) is the only institution in the United States that deals comprehensively with the art, technology, enjoyment, and social impact of film, television, and digital media. In its acclaimed facility in Astoria, New York, the Museum presents exhibitions; screenings; discussion programs featuring actors, directors, and creative leaders; and education programs. It houses the nation’s largest collection of moving image artifacts and screens over 500 films annually. Its exhibitions—including the core exhibition Behind the Screen and The Jim Henson Exhibition—are noted for their integration of material objects, interactive experiences, and audiovisual presentations. For more information about MoMI, visit movingimage.us.