LAIKA Inc. will build a state-of-the-art feature film animation campus to house its burgeoning entertainment division. LAIKA owner/chairman of the board Philip H. Knight has purchased 30 acres of land in Tualatin, Oregon, just 12 miles south of Portland, as the future site of LAIKAs world-class animation facility, scheduled to open in 2008.
With its expanding film production schedule, LAIKA anticipates its employee roster to soar to more than 400 within the next two years.
The LAIKA campus is an essential part of our strategy to be a major force in the global animated film business, and will play a key role in defining the culture we want to establish for our entertainment division. said LAIKA president/ceo Dale Wahl. This facility will be a sought after destination for the highest caliber of animation talent in the world.
The first phase of campus construction will include buildings dedicated to CGI animation, stop-motion animation, and core corporate services, including reception, executive offices, conference rooms, fitness center, cafeteria and theater. Groundbreaking is planned for early 2007. The architectural firm and construction company will be announced shortly. The addition of a world-class feature film animation studio to the Portland area is a major boost for the local creative community, says Steve Oster, exec director of the Oregon Film & Video Office. An undertaking of this scale also has enormous positive implications for the economic growth and cultural enrichment of the region. Were thrilled that Phil Knight and LAIKA are stepping up to the plate in such a big way.
LAIKA Entertainment has a world-class roster of talent and projects and I felt it was time to provide them with a full-time home, said Knight. Just as we anticipate our films will look like no others before them, so too will this campus make a bold and distinct architectural statement.
LAIKA (www.laika.com) is owned by Phil Knight, co-founder/chairman of Nike. The company was rebranded as LAIKA in the summer of 2005, when it absorbed Vinton Studios, an animation leader and innovator for more than 30 years.
LAIKA Ent. has two animated feature films in production CORALINE and JACK & BENS ANIMATED ADVENTURE and was a production entity on the Oscar nominated animated film Tim Burtons Corpse Bride. The company recently purchased the rights to one of the U.K.s current bestselling childrens novels, writer/illustrator Alan Snows, HERE BE MONSTERS.
LAIKA/house, the commercial division of the company, produces animated commercials and shorts for global clients including Coca-Cola, Wrigleys, Samsung, ESPN and Esure UK. LAIKA/house will continue to operate at the companys current headquarters at 1400 NW 22nd Avenue in Portland.