Immersed in the Laika Boxtrolls Set Visit

With The Boxtrolls (Sept. 26), Laika tackles its first period piece — Victorian Steampunk — as well as its first creature-oriented tale about an orphan boy, Eggs, raised underground by cave-dwelling trash collectors. The result is a more stylized, theatrical look along with more ambitious storytelling. And judging by my set visit last year in Portland and footage screened last month, The Boxtrolls is sure to be one of the year’s best animated features and a prime Oscar contender.

Anthony Stacchi (Open Season) directs with Graham Annable (story artist on Coraline and ParaNorman). David Ichioka produces with Laika president/CEO/lead artist Travis Knight. And the script (adapted from Alan Snow’s Here Be Monsters!) is by Adam Pava and Irena Brignull.

“We aspire to make films that are bold, emotionally resonant, and a wee bit subversive, explains Knight, who takes time out from shooting a scene with the mechanically intricate Boxtrolls. He explains that the movie is a metaphor for Laika’s passion for stop-motion and the Boxtrolls’ hand-crafted tinkering. “Coraline was a modern fairy tale and ParaNorman was rooted in an ’80s Amblin-style adventure. But they were contemporary American stories with a glaze of the supernatural on top of them. The Boxtrolls is an absurdist, Dickensian, coming of age fable. Above all, and at its core, it shares qualities with all Laika films in that it’s a moving and human story [about fear, greed, prejudice, and family diversity].”

Stacchi, who hails from 2D and CG, enjoyed tinkering with stop-motion and marveled at the beautiful hybrid that Laika has evolved. “There is an inherent quality to the imagery of this movie that lends itself to stop-motion. There are no constraints here. We go to the horizon [with greater use of set extensions and greenscreen]. There is subsurface scattering on the faces because of the subtlety of the 3D printing. The CG is better. But we still use practical effects.”

Read the rest at Animation Scoop/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Costume, Movies, previs, stop-motion, Tech, Trailers, Virtual Production

Add a Comment