As a 24 year-old, extremely online person, my relationship to TikTok is one of skeptical enthusiasm—I see the little videos when they scoot over to Twitter and they make me smile even as I suspect that most of the well-groomed teens who live on the other platform would eat me alive (and I would deserve it).
The stop-motion wizards at Laika have no such fear! Over the holiday weekend, the folks at Hillsboro's prestigious animation studio joined the ranks of Scarlett Johansson and Daryl Hannah with their entry in the "Fight Challenge," where you pretend you and your friends are kicking the shit out of each other for fun. (For the uninitiated: the word "challenge" is invoked very loosely here, though apparently harnessing TikTok's byzantine video editing software is no small feat.) It quickly went viral, racking up nearly 2 million views in a matter of days.
Running a crisp, clean minute, Laika's video is an unsurprising technical knockout, featuring some cameos from the studio's canonical creations like Coraline and the Boxtrolls, plus appearances from a killer ice cube, some sentient shoes, and a blue guy that gives off strong 1997's Flubber vibes. Check out the whole thing below:
Of all the Portland cultural institutions to go viral on TikTok, Laika feels perhaps the most natural and the least embarrassing. The Symphony, god love you: don't get any ideas.
In fact, Laika has been pretty prolific since they joined the platform last month, offering a slew of instructional and behind-the-scenes videos, plus some all-new homemade shorts. With the entire film industry essentially on hold, it's a lovely distraction, and a heartening reminder of the homegrown talent waiting to roar back to work when the coast is clear.