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Monday, September 19, 2005
Corpse brides and roadside rabbits in high definition
The inaugural "high def" issue of the Oregonian hit stands on Sunday with two fairly great stories its new "O!" section.
The first covers Laika Entertainment, once Will Vinton Studios before Phil Knight dug his tentacles into it. As sad as the animator's boot was from his namesake, Knight's crew is really doing wonders with the place. They've got two features in development and have brought the co-directors of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "The Corpse Bride" into their fold. AND they let the employees bring their dogs to work (the studio is named after the first pooch in space).
The new studio also shares little in common with its predecessor and, as the article points out, little of Vinton's spirit remains. Laika's productions, while incorporating stop motion with CGI, don't seem to have much to do with Claymation. The studio(s) probably needed a lot of fixing up, new equipment, new animators, new staff, etc. So why did Knight stage a takeover when he could have just started a new studio from scratch? How much of the original staff remained? Did he really save that much cash by evicting Vinton? Maybe the shoe giant just liked the location.
Meanwhile Margie Boule laments the loss of local advertising landmarks like Zim's rooftop globe. There's still a few of them out there, like "Harvey," the giant rabbit statue that stands guard over a nautical shop in Aloha. And why aren't new "eyesores" replacing the old ones? Among the reasons given are uptight corporations and stodgy planning bureaus.
As for the recent remodel of the Oregonian, survey says....
....LAME! And where's the desperately needed overhaul of Oregon Live, people?