As an Oregon local, I’ve had the opportunity to visit LAIKA Studios in person, and it’s nothing short of incredible. And now, visitors to Universal Studios Hollywood will also have the chance to get a glimpse behind-the-scenes:
LAIKA, the acclaimed animation studio and creators of the upcoming epic adventure film, Kubo and the Two Strings, which Focus Features releases in U.S. theaters on August 19, will present “From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience.”
This innovative, first-ever interactive event will feature an up-close look at the artistic detail and imagination behind LAIKA’s groundbreaking ten-year filmmaking history, which also includes the Academy Award-nominated films Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012) and The Boxtrolls (2014).
The special event will take place at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Globe Theatre from August 5-14 and is included in the price of admission to the theme park.
“From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience,” will showcase the evolution of LAIKA’s unique blend of handcrafted stop-motion animation and visual effects magic that will come to life in four imaginatively themed rooms. The extensive display of original sets, puppets and props will immerse guests in their singular, fantastical worlds.
“LAIKA’s films are an imaginative fusion of old-school movie magic and cutting-edge technological innovation,” says Travis Knight, LAIKA’s President & CEO who makes his directorial debut with Kubo and the Two Strings. “For the first time ever, we’re peeling back the curtain and inviting audiences into our worlds, to see where our dreams are born. This experience offers a rare glimpse into the remarkable creative process of the brilliant artists and mad geniuses of LAIKA. I’m thrilled that their cinematic wizardry will be beautifully on display at Universal Studios Hollywood.”
Set in a fantastical Japan, Kubo and the Two Strings follows the journey of clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson), a young boy whose relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (voiced by Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Beetle (voiced by Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey) and sets out on a thrilling quest to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family and fulfill his heroic destiny. The voice cast also includes Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tarawa, Brenda Vaccaro, and Rooney Mara.
Universal Studios Hollywood is a world-class theme park entertainment destination providing guests with a full day experience enjoying today’s most compelling rides and attractions, and behind-the-scenes Studio Tour. From the recently opened “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™,” “The Walking Dead” permanent daytime attraction, and “Despicable Me Minion Mayem,” Universal Studios Hollywood creates immersive worlds based on popular movies and television shows. For California residents, Universal Studios’ must-have Season Pass offers guests a chance to visit multiple times throughout the year, along with exclusive discount savings, special benefits and previews, such as the “From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience” limited-time experience.
Fueled by the vision of President & CEO Travis Knight, feature film animation studio LAIKA celebrated its 10th anniversary in December, 2015. Located just outside Portland, Oregon, LAIKA was awarded a Science and Technology Oscar plaque in recognition of its innovation in 3D printing in 2016. Its three films, Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), and The Boxtrolls (2014) were all nominated for Oscars® and PGA Awards as Outstanding Animated Film. Coraline earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critics’ Choice nominations, and was named one of the year’s 10 Best Films by the American Film Institute (AFI). ParaNorman (2012) garnered BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and GLAAD Media Award nomination and won two Annie Awards (the animation community’s Oscars equivalent) and was cited as the year’s best animated film by 14 critics’ groups. The Boxtrolls also earned Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe Award nominations and 13 Annie Award nominations, more than any other film that year. Kubo and the Two Strings, which marks the directorial debut of Travis Knight, will be released by Focus Features on August 19th, 2016.
Focus Features (www.focusfeatures.com) acquires and produces specialty films for the global market, and holds a library of iconic movies from fearless filmmakers. In addition to Kubo and the Two Strings, upcoming domestic releases from Focus include Tom Ford’s romantic thriller Nocturnal Animals, starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal; the real-life story of heroism The Zookeeper’s Wife, directed by Niki Caro and starring Jessica Chastain; the action spy thriller The Coldest City, directed by David Leitch and starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy; Colin Trevorrow’s The Book of Henry, starring Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher, and Jacob Tremblay; J.A. Bayona’s visually spectacular drama A Monster Calls, starring Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Lewis MacDougall, and Liam Neeson; and Jeff Nichols’ Loving, based on the love story of Richard and Mildred Loving, portrayed by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, which world-premiered at the 2016 Cannes International Film Festival.
Focus Features is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.
Universal Studios Hollywood is The Entertainment Capital of L.A. and includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour. As a leading global entertainment destination, Universal Studios Hollywood delivers highly themed immersive lands that translate to real-life interpretations of iconic movie and television shows. Recent additions include “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter ™” which features a bustling Hogsmeade village and such critically-acclaimed rides as “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and “Flight of the Hippogriff™,” Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor rollercoaster. Other immersive lands include “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” as well as “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons RideTM.” and the all-new “The Walking Dead” permanent daytime attraction. The world-renowned Studio Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood’s signature attraction, inviting guests behind-the-scenes of the world’s biggest and busiest movie and television studio where they can also experience such authentic and immersive thrill rides as “Fast & Furious—Supercharged.” The destination also features the Universal CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, including the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue.