'Kubo and the Two Strings' Puppets Highlight Laika Stop-Motion Exhibit at Universal Studios

Laika Carolyn - H
Courtesy of Laika

The hand-crafted puppets of Coraline, ParaNorman and characters from stop-motion studio Laika’s upcoming Kubo and the Two Strings are taking a bow at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Laika, the Portland, Ore.-based studio behind a trio of Oscar-nominated animated features — Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls — as well as Kubo and the Two Strings, which Focus Features releases in the U.S. on Aug. 19, is showing its art in a new exhibit. “From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical Laika Experience” opens this weekend and can be viewed at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Globe Theatre through Aug. 14. (The exhibit is included in the price of admission to the theme park.)

The exhibit starts with 2009’s Coraline — featuring stop-motion puppets of Coraline and the Other Mother, as well as the model of Coraline’s house — which the company began to make a decade ago. Viewers can then see the puppets and sets from ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and finally, Japan-set fantasy Kubo, with explanations of the steady advancements in their work.

Kubo includes Laika’s first puppet to be made entirely with a 3D printer, as well as a giant skeleton, which, at 16 feet tall, is believed to be the largest stop-motion puppet ever created.

Friday’s exhibit opening was a thrilling walk down memory lane for the filmmakers in attendance, some of whom have been with the studio for production on all four of its films. That includes Laika’s president/CEO Travis Knight, who makes his directorial debut with Kubo; Georgina Hayns, creative supervisor of puppet fabrication; VFX supervisor Steve Emerson and Brian McLean, director of rapid prototype.

“The process of putting this exhibit together was oddly moving,” Knight told The Hollywood Reporter. “All these experiences come flooding back, making these movies and bringing these characters to life. The real trick was trying to figure out what to bring down.”

Watch THR's Facebook Live tour of the Laika animation event at Universal Studios below:


LIVE at Universal Studios: THR takes you inside the LAIKA animation event from Coraline to upcoming Kubo and the Two Strings.

Posted by The Hollywood Reporter on Friday, August 5, 2016