LAIKA Animates Starbucks for the Holidays

LAIKA/house, the commercial division of the animation studio formerly known as Vinton Studios, has produced a series of holiday-themed animations for the Starbucks chain of coffee shops. Crated in conjunction with ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, the three pieces will be projected on buildings, shown on airline flights and broadcast via a special website.

Titled Airport Pick-up, Men Decorate and Surprise Gift, the animated works are described as ‘charming little holiday vignettes about events that happen only during this very special time of year.’ All three blend a traditional illustrative look with light-hearted insights into how Americans celebrate the holidays.

‘The appeal of these little films is that they are simple and insightful. It’s not a gag-based fantasy, but more like illustrating a real moment,’ says LAIKA/house director Aaron Sorenson, who worked with Patrick Long, one of the company’s new illustrators, to create the visual style for the spots.

The best way to see the shorts is by logging onto www.theredcup.com. If you live in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Sacramento, Dallas, Portland, San Diego or and Seattle, you may even catch them projected larger than life on the side of one of your local skyscrapers. In addition, Airport Pick-up is screening on United Airlines’ domestic flights all this month.

LAIKA Entertainment, the feature animation side of the company, is in pre-production on the films Coraline, written and directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach), and Jack & Ben’s Animated Adventure, written and directed by Jorgen Klubien, an animator and writer lists The Lion King, Toy Story2, Monsters, Inc. and A Bug’s Life among his credits. The Portland, Oregon-based company’s new short film, Henry Selick’s Moongirl, recently won the Short Film Special Jury Prize at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and is nominated for the Annie Award for Best Short Animated Film. Visit the studio online at www.laika.com.