Runs till Summer 2024
MoPOP‘s Hidden Worlds, The Films of LAIKA exhibit is all kinds of wonderful, and there’s lots of time to plan a trip Seattle, WA to go see it!
Once I stepped onto the third floor, there were a few stations to learn about the art of making cinema through stop-motion. The best part is to see the sets and puppets from this studio’s movies up close. After seeing this exhibit, I was ready to rewatch all the movies and the making of featurettes again! But this time, I’ll have to wait for my 4K steelbook order of the set to arrive. That’s because I want the extra resolution to see if I can spot where the mould lines are from the bits that help make these models come alive.
Upon entry, fans are treated with a history of this medium. This detail is needed to help introduce newcomers to how this form of animation started. And as for where it’ll go, Studio Laika is no doubt at the helm! They recently announced their next project, titled Wildwood, and I can’t wait. In terms of how it’s made, various minidocs are featured throughout the medium-sized exhibit. I suspect the videos are from the Laika Archives (available on YouTube) than made exclusively for this display. I didn’t stick around to view them all, but they looked familiar.
People can compare what’s shown in these videos to the production art posted on the walls. Although not every display had a write-up on how some puppets are exquisitely made, I’ll be wanting to make notes. With one doll showing where the joints are open, I could see where the ball and connectors were located when I looked up close! It’s all fascinating, and I’m motivated to go home to play with my LEGO minifigs to make stop-motion works there. It’s not the same as animating a Laika puppet, but it is something I’m sure most wannabe filmmakers have to experiment with!
My love for this medium has only grown since looking at Hidden World’s exhibition that showcases about maybe 1/5th of their collection. I’m sure there’ll be more to cycle in during the year, so one visit isn’t enough!
Although the souvenir department was lacking, I wasn’t expecting much. The museum gift shop might have made a killing had they got a deal to bring in “The Art of” line of books. At the right price, I would’ve bought them all!
And to make sure I made the most of admission, I also toured the Pearl Jam showcase, as it’s about to close shop soon. Other displays include Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop and Wild Blue Angel: Hendrix Abroad, 1966-1970, along with the regular permanent collections. It has been years since I last walked through them and to find something new was great! For example, the Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic included the Magic of the Gathering’s special Godzilla prints (from the Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths set) from 2020, and I really want a print of the alchemical symbols presented like the periodic table from science 101! I noticed the removal of one display concerning the use of music in horror. Unless it was tucked somewhere else, I didn’t find this time around.
For first timers, an entire afternoon can be spent at the museum of pop culture. There are nine unique displays and an interactive room. With the medical crisis not being as scary, I’m certain to return to making annual trips to Seattle, and MoPOP too, as time permits between this operation and Emerald City Comic Con.