House Special Launches in Portland

A new commercial studio, House Special, launched in Portland, Oregon last week. The company was started by Lourri Hammack, Kirk Kelly and Al Cubillas, who ran Laika’s former commercial division Laika/house.

How Will Vinton Lost His Studio to a Rapper Named Chilly Tee

Laika does amazing work as an animation studio, no doubt about it, but the studio’s history is somewhat less admirable. The company was built on top of Will Vinton’s eponymous Portland studio in a shrewd corporate takeover by multi-billionaire Nike co-founder Phil Knight. After Knight took control of the company in 2002, he placed a failed rapper named Chilly Tee with slight experience in animation, who also happened to be his son Travis Knight, in charge of the entire company.