LAIKA’s ‘From Coraline to Kubo’ Experience To Open At Universal Studios Hollywood

LAIKA, a stop-motion animation film studio has announced that a new special interactive experience will be featured at Universal Studios Hollywood this August. In conjunction with the release of the studio’s new film, Kubo and the Two Strings, “From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience” exhibit will be set up at the theme park from August 5-14.

“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),” states today’s press release for the event.

“From Coraline to Kubo” will be set up at Universal Studio’s Hollywood Globe Theatre and the entrance fee will be included in the price of admission to the theme park. The experience will show and explain how the technology of LAIKA’s films has changed for the studio who crafts unique stories with a mix of stop-motion puppetry and digital visual effects. Set up within four themed rooms, the exhibit will display original sets, puppets, and props from the four movies.

“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.”

The LAIKA display is a good fit for Universal Studios Hollywood which has always pulled back the curtain for its guests to show how movies are various TV shows are created, but “From Coraline to Kubo” will be set up a long way from “home.” LAIKA, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in December of last year, is based just outside of Portland, Oregon.

“Founded in 2005, LAIKA has grown to occupy a unique and distinctive place in American cinema by continuously expanding the boundaries of the 120-year-old technique of stop-motion animation,” says the company.

“We are a community of storytellers, artists, inventors, technicians, and craftspeople from around the world, committed to fusing filmmaking’s state-of-the-art technologies with a handmade animation tradition as old as film itself. Our mission is to bring to the screen the kinds of emotional, innovative, and exhilarating stories we as filmmakers loved growing up.”

All three of the studio’s previous films (Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls) have been nominated for Academy Awards and PGA Awards for Outstanding Animated Film. Last year, The Boxtrolls was nominated for 13 Annie Awards (animation’s equivalent to the Oscars) and won two.

The story of Kubo and the Two Strings is set in a fantastical version of Japan and follows the incredible journey of the young boy, Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson), who is used to living a non-eventful life. The trouble begins when Kubo accidentally summons a spirit from his past and must be aided by a monkey (Charlize Theron) and a beetle (Matthew McConaughey). During the adventure, Kubo tries to “unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family and fulfill his heroic destiny.” (Not bad for a day’s work.) The rest of the voice cast includes Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro, and Rooney Mara.

Kubo and the Two Strings will arrive in theaters on August 19, five days after the close of “From Coraline to Kubo.”

[Photo courtesy of LAIKA]