Laika taps Rabe vp, top marketer

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Laika has named Cynthia Barton Rabe vp and chief marketing officer of its entertainment business.

Laika Entertainment, which produces animated features, is working on "Coraline," a stop-motion film produced in stereoscopic 3-D. Helmed by Henry Selick, it is scheduled for a 2008 release by Focus Features.

Rabe is a 20-year marketing executive, consultant and author of "The Innovation Killer: How What We Know Limits What We Can Imagine and What Smart Companies Are Doing About It."

"I am a person who is very interested in and motivated by innovation," Rabe said. Calling Laika a "perfect storm" for innovation, she cited the company's creative energy, the changing nature of animation and the company's desire to connect with audiences as the key factors.

"Cindy brings a breadth and depth of consumer marketing experience to Laika Entertainment which will be highly valuable in developing the innovative strategies we see as critical to our success," Laika CEO and president Dale Wahl said.

The company's planned animation campus is scheduled to open in 2009. Features in development include "Jack & Ben," an original story of brotherly love set in the animal kingdom. CG animation is planned for "Jack & Ben"; when asked about stereoscopic 3-D, Rabe said, "We're looking at options for it."

Also in development are "Here Be Monsters," based on the children's novel by writer-illustrator Alan Snow, and "The Wall and the Wing," based on a Laura Ruby children's book.
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