No CGI for Laika

I had thought that CORALINE, which was produced for about $65 million, wound up being a pretty successful animated film. It grossed over $75 million in the US alone and wound up with a worldwide gross of over $120 million (and that's before DVD and Blu-ray sales are factored in). But apparently the costs of running an indie animation studio was a little too much for Laika. The company, set up by Nike CEO Phil Knight, recently laid off 63 animators in their CGI department, refocusing their development solely on stop-motion animation.

Originally Laika was thought to release a mix of CGI-animated and stop-motion films but after scrapped JACK AND BEN'S ANIMATED ADVENTURE in December, the company has decided to leave CGI to Pixar. I'm guessing that the layoffs aren't exactly indicative of CORALINE's inability to make money (which it clearly did), just that CGI films are insanely more expensive to make (WALL-E's budget was reportedly over $180 million).

So what's next for Laika? They say the're almost ready to announce their next feature and CORALINE director Henry Selick is actively developing a number of projects. When we spoke to Selick in January, he said he wanted to get COUNT KARLSTEN off the ground next so perhaps that's the next film?

Extra Tidbit: Hasn't 2009 just been a great year for animation?
Source: Oregon Live



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