October 10, 2018 : The California Raisins And Its Connection To Laika Studios

About a week ago, Will Vinton passed away. I didn’t recognize the name, but it was on several animation blogs. While his name didn’t ring a bell, his work definitely did. He was considered ‘The Guy’ for Claymation – having coined (and trademarked) the term as well as animating notable figures such as the California Raisins.

However, I came across this interesting article, which started on Vinton’s beginnings but then went into detail about the studio he formed after gaining notoriety. Not being complacement with just Claymation, they delved into CGI and was behind the work on the M&M spots.

I also learned that his Studio eventually turned into Laika Studios – although without Vinton involved (having been forced out). It was an interesting read into the latter studio’s origins, formation, and growth.


posted by Pi Visuals at 10:48 pm



September 3, 2009 : I Don’t Think The Onion Liked It

Most people probably heard about the failure that was Delgo. Its backstory made it tough to root against – an animator wanting to make a CGI movie not just outside of Hollywood (like Coraline) but also without a major studio backing. Unfortunately, its pipeline was plagued with an avalanche of horrible decisions and poor execution. Still, this review of the movie by The Onion’s A.V. Club was too funny not to mention. Ouch.

No Sir, I Don't Like It

Also – Hayao Miyazaki’s new movie, Ponyo, is out in theatres. Like most of his work, it looks pretty sweet. My favorite is still Princess Mononoke.

posted by Pi Visuals at 12:46 pm

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February 25, 2009 : Hopefully People Will Laika Coraline

Coraline opened a few weeks ago; and while I’m not a huge fan of stop motion films, I am hoping it does well.


The main reason I am rooting for the movie is that it was made by Laika. They are an animation studio that has done mostly commercials and music videos, and this is there first feature film. Laika’s style runs the gamut – including stop motion,  3D, and 2D. Therefore, the success of this film can lead to more films, which are more to my liking. At the same time, Laika is also based out of Portland, Oregon. So props to them for trying to go outside of California to be a successful major studio.


Financially, Coraline seems to be doing decently well. The cost to make the film was ~$70 Million, which apparently was higher than it should have been  but I’m sure that’s always the case). The current North American gross is nearly $58 Million; and with the solid reviews and positive word of mouth, the movie could potentially reach $100 Million before it leaves the theaters. I’m sure the DVD sales will help out the bottom line as well. All in all, not a box office smash, but hopefully a big enough success to warrant another movie.

As a plug for the movie, it does have a decent cast (Teri Hatcher, Dakota Fanning, John Hodgman, etc.), an established director in Henry Selick, and music by They Might Be Giants.

Lastly, in case you were wondering, I was not up all night thinking about the title for this post… I got to bed around 2, 2:30.

posted by Pi Visuals at 10:51 am

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