Come One; Come All To The #TheBoxtrolls Twitter Party!

We are just two months away from the release of “The Boxtrolls” movie. I am still reeling over what an amazing experience I had at the LAIKA studios! As you might remember from my last post, The Boxtrolls: My Visit With The Filmmakers,I traveled to Portland in early April to experience “The Boxtrolls” first hand. While meeting with the film makers was pretty mind blowing, nothing could prepare me for the set and puppet tours that we would be embarking on next.

the Boxtrolls puppets
Michael Hollenbeck works on one of the Red Hat puppets during production of LAIKA and Focus Features’ family event movie THE BOXTROLLS, opening nationwide September 26th.
Credit: John Leonhardt / LAIKA, Inc.

LAKIA studios is essentially a massive warehouse with high ceilings, sectioned off in to different departments and sets. 55 different sets were constructed for the movie, all of which looked like perfectly imperfect miniature cities. I say perfectly imperfect because not a single straight line was used to construct the set, props or puppets, which was pretty cool to see once it was made obvious. Take a close look at the set picture above and I guarantee that you will not see a single straight line! We even go to go on set and make a Boxtroll move on our own! It’s amazing how much fine detail goes in to the stop motion animation process. One tiny little movement can make the biggest difference! In the below picture you can see me with Boxtroll animator, Brad Schiff, checking out the scene I had just created!

the boxtrolls mary on set

10 Facts About “The Boxtrolls” Props and Puppets:

  1. An animator typically took 1 week to complete 3.7 seconds worth of footage, which is just under 90 individual frames.
  2. Each animator is responsible for four seconds of animation a week. Each second of animation is composed of 24 still frames.
  3. There are 14 different fabrics in Lord Portley-Rind’s white hat.
  4. The movie’s smallest costumes were for Eggs as a baby: the sweater, measuring 3.5” from cuff to cuff across the length of both arms and chest, and the baby socks measuring 5/8” long.
  5. The stop-motion flames “burning” in the furnace of the Mecha-Drill are courtesy of a working iPad displaying a loop video inside the “mouth” of the device.
  6. More than 20,000 props were handmade for the movie.
  7. 55 different sculpts of prop cheeses were created for “The Boxtrolls”
  8. The movie’s smallest prop was a tiny sewing thread and needle.
  9. Each character was made using a 3D printer for each character, since color variations were possible between printers!
  10. Some of the buildings didn’t fit the 5:1 scale of the set, even with the high ceilings, and had to be finished using CGI.

“The Boxtrolls” is definitely a movie that you will want to take your family to see, especially your teens and tweens. “The Boxtrolls” launches nationwide on Friday, September 26th, 2014. Be sure to follow them on Facebook, as well as on Twitter, for all of the latest film updates!