On the 3rd of November 1957, the Soviet Union launched a rocket carrying the first living creature into space.
Laika is an animated short that follows the brief life of the Soviet space dog, Laika. The story is told from the perspective of Laika as the events of the fiercely competitive space race unfold around her. In the face of her own mortality, she imagines a way to escape the confines of the sweltering cabin through her memories of better times.
Laika incorporates a hand-drawn aesthetic to emphasise the emotional impact of the story. Through photographic research, the foundations of the characters and backgrounds were built. It combines traditional and digital techniques by using hand-drawn assets and digital painting. Concentrating on movement, the animation is loose and fluid to allow for the raw emotion of the piece to seep through.
Laika explores the blind trust and unconditional love dogs place in people. Pursuing the strong bond between canines and humans, it depicts how easily a friendship can be established and then broken. Through the innocent eyes of a dog, we experience first hand the tragic betrayal of trust.