The Boxtrolls Set Visit

I have been keeping a secret in for a long time, and I am finally able to announce it! I visited the set of “The Boxtrolls” film this past April! Phew, now that I have that off of my chest, I can share the rest of the magnificent details with you! “The Boxtrolls” is a brand new stop motion animation film being released by LAIKA, the same studio that brought you “Coraline” and “Paranorman.” I was one of a handful of bloggers invited to tour the movie set in Portland, Oregon. I want to start off by first by saying that Portland was a destination that I had dreamed of visiting for many years, and it was just as beautiful as I could have ever imagined. We stayed at the Sentinal hotel in downtown Portland, which was every bit as stunning as the city where it was located.

The Boxtrolls directors and producers
(L to R) Director Anthony Stacchi, Director Graham Annable, Producer David Ichiok and voice talent Nick Frost review a scene during production of LAIKA and Focus Features’ family event movie THE BOXTROLLS, opening nationwide September 26th. Credit: LAIKA, Inc.

After a scenic drive over to LAIKA, we were greeted by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable for breakfast. Anthony and Graham are both directors of “The Boxtrolls.” What a huge honor it was for me to enjoy a croissant and a cup of coffee with film directors! Prior to directing this film, Anthony Stacchi worked with visual effects in films such as Back to the Future, James and the Giant Peach and Hook. Graham Annable has worked animation and storyboard for LAIKA in the past, on “Paranorman” and “Coraline,” with “The Boxtrolls” being the first full feature film he has directed.

The Boxtrolls Travis Knight
Voice talent Isaac Hempstead-Wright visits with LAIKA CEO and Lead Animator Travis Knight during production of The Boxtrolls. Photo: LAIKA, Inc.

After enjoying our breakfast, we toured the facility. As we were touring one of the 5o different sets for the movie we ran in to Travis Knight. Travis is the CEO of LAIKA, and son of Phil Knight, co-founder and chairman of Nike. Are you like me and wondering how he came up with the name LAIKA for his studio? He named it after the first animal, a dog, launched in to outer space. How’s that for inspiration? In his jeans, t-shirt and sneakers, Travis was much more approachable than one could have ever imagined. Calm, cool and laid back. He was Portland. Travis is a very hands on CEO, as he is also the lead animator for the film. When we met him he was busy working on one of the final scenes of the movie, which was a 45 second bit that involved close to 1,100 individual frames. Somehow, he found the time to chat with us! When asked his thoughts on stop-motion animation he stated that it was the “worst possible way to make a film, but there was something magical about stop-motion animation.”  After seeing in person how tedious stop-motion actually is and then viewing the teaser trailer at the studio, we can agree with him 100%! You can check out the behind the scenes teaser trailer for yourself, below!

What defines a family? There is no right or wrong answer to that question, and Travis Knight wants you to know that. He states that “we hope that at the end, people can go home and have something to discuss with their family.”

“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!