Laika, known for its incredible stop-motion animated films like Coraline, The Boxtrolls, and the newly-released Kubo and the Two Strings, surely has a bright future ahead. And CEO and President of the studio, Travis Knight, is not only very satisfied with what Laika has done so far, but also has wonderful ideas for its upcoming projects. Knight also directed Kubo and the Two Strings, which has gone on to be one of the best films of the year. While 2016 has already been a pretty decent year for animation, Kubo has blown any competitors out of the water.
Knight has had a major presence in all of Laika’s films, both in the big and small picture areas. In promotion for Kubo, Knight spoke to Cartoon Brew, and discussed where he sees the studio heading next. All four of Laika’s films have featured child protagonists, along with including some refreshing adult-orineted storytelling. However, Knight revealed that their next film will be quite a change from what they have done before, stating that Kubo is the end of “cycle” for Laika.
This film is a good bye in a number of different ways. The themes that it deals with – loss and grief. But it also deals with healing, compassion, forgiveness and empathy. And so, it is, effectively, the end of this first cycle of films that we’ve done at the studio. The things we’ve got coming are completely different. Our next film does not feature a child protagonist. I don’t even know that there are any children in it at all. I wouldn’t say it’s adult-oriented. But it’s a different kind of a film for us. It’s still intended for families, but it’s a different kind of a story.
Looking at the past four films, there’s no telling what they may be creating next. Even though Laika does use some CGI in their work, stop-motion is still well at the forefront of its creative process. And since he revealed that their future work may not always have child protagonists (as is the custom for the genre), who knows what will be in for. Knight went on to talk about just how different their next project will be.
It’s a blend of things we haven’t really tackled before. We’ll probably announce before the end of the year. It’s really interesting aesthetically, tonally. Completely different from what we’ve done before. The thing that excites me is that I know that the handful of films we’ve got coming down the road and they’re so totally different from what we’ve done. The film following the next one, it’s just so unusual, so interesting.
Their projects often take many years to produce, so it may be quite a while before we get to see Laika’s fifth film. But Knight is definitely a very capable artist to have as the studio’s leader, and he seems to have only great things to say about what potential Laika possesses.
Kubo and the Two Strings is currently playing in theaters.