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Oregon Industry

ANIMATION

BY: BRIAUNA SKYE-MCKIZZIE

“We received the award for this process that’s changing how stop-motion animation films are produced.” — Brian McLean, Rapid Prototyping Department, Laika

Laika’s giant skeleton on the Hall of Bones set for Kubo and the Two Strings has a wingspan of 20 feet. Photo courtesy of Laika/Focus Features/Universal Home Entertainment

Oregon has a history of creative pioneers, including Mad Magazine cartoonist Basil Wolverton, Mel Blanc (the voice of the characters of the Looney Tunes, Flintstones, and The Jetsons), Will Vinton (page 42) studios who put stop-motion animation on the map with ground-breaking shorts of the California Raisins, and Matt Groening the creator of The Simpsons. Today, HouseSpecial (page 42) continues pioneering with creating the M&M chocolate candies into CG-animated celebrities. Speaking about the recent boom in animation activity, HouseSpecial’s chief creative officer said “all the ingredients for Portland being an animation community are here. It’s like a garden. You put all the compost in. You care for it and then suddenly it explodes to life.”

Mr. Peanut

HouseSpecial continues Oregon’s creative pioneering while protecting original brands we know and love. Photos courtesy of HouseSpecial

28  SourceOregon 2017 | A Publication of the OMPA

HouseSpecial makes its home in Portland due in part to the hotbed of animation resources. And now it’s home to Mr. Peanut, the 100-year-old advertising icon. HouseSpecial has evolved Mr. Peanut from his original 2D self to a fully realized 3D character complete with his own miniature world. The campaign

is now in its seventh year, as Mr. Peanut continues to battle his nemesis, the dangerous Richard the Nutcracker. All the sets and puppets were built in house and animated frame-by-frame.

Kubo and the Two Strings Oregon-based animation studio Laika (page 50) released a beautiful love letter to Japanese tradition and culture—a cutting-edge stop-motion technology film, Kubo and the Two Strings. The film depicts the life of Kubo, a boy who solves the mystery of his past and fulfills his destiny. In addition to the new film, Laika was honored with an Academy Achievement Award for changing the stop-motion animation industry by creating character facial expressions using 3D printers. Its latest film draws on this achievement with the jawdropping design of the Sisters, villainesses who wear capes made of 861 individual laser-etched feathers. Perhaps even more impressive for the film is the giant skeleton, the largest stop-motion puppet ever built, standing at over 16 feet tall. For comparison, puppets usually stand between 6 and 15 inches tall. Laika visual effects supervisor Steve Emerson said, “The skeleton could have been CG, but when you’re in a room surrounded by enthusiastic artists that you

Profile for Oregon Media Production Association

SourceOregon 2017  

Enjoy OMPA's annual publication exclusively highlighting the award winning work of Oregon Media Production Association members. 2017 theme...

SourceOregon 2017  

Enjoy OMPA's annual publication exclusively highlighting the award winning work of Oregon Media Production Association members. 2017 theme...

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