Animation Studio Laika to Keep Staff on Payroll Amid Virus Crisis

Animated feature - Missing Link - Publicity -H 2020
Courtesy of Laika Studios/Annapurna Pictures

Laika, the independent animation studio behind Oscar-nominated films such as 2009's Coraline, 2016's Kubo and the Two Strings and 2019's Missing Link, says its Portland, Oregon-area studio will remain closed at least through May 1, while "all employees are being paid in full with all benefits in place" during this time.

"When this ends, and it will end, the world will need storytellers more than ever," Laika president and CEO Travis Knight said Thursday in a memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. "The world will need hope and inspiration and empathy and high-spirited joy. The world will need beauty and poetry and restorative works of art. The world will need you."

Added Knight, "Telling stories is one of the prime functions of the human mind and spirit. Good stories open us up to new possibilities, to new ways of thinking, to recognize the shared humanity in which we all participate. That has always been Laika’s reason for being. And it will remain so. And we will do it as we always have. Together."

Laika, known for its hybrid stop-motion and CG approach to animation, doesn't have a scheduled 2020 release.