Eden Prairie company helps create movie magic, may lead to an Academy Award

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Minnesota is a long way from Hollywood, but one Eden Prairie company may help a movie win an Academy Award in a few weeks.

Stratasys color 3D printing machines were used to help create the movie "Missing Link."

The Portland, Oregon, movie studio LAIKA made more than 100,000 facial expressions on the machine for the stop-motion animated film. 

"We had six of these machines running almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week, churning out over 106,000 different facial expressions," Brian McLean with LAIKA said. "Animators are moving those objects tiny increments and taking a picture, and when you take 24 pictures and you play them back really fast, you get one second of footage. Our characters are physical things — they are not just pixels." 

Missing Link won a Golden Globe and is nominated for Best Animated Feature in the Academy Awards.