Boxtrolls Image

Yesterday was an exciting day for me. I was channel surfing and all of a sudden there was a Boxtroll on the screen. It then occurred to me that I was witnessing my very first The Boxtrolls movie trailer on network TV! The reality set in that the movie is close to it’s big screen premiere, on Friday, September 26th, 2014. Seeing The Boxtrolls come to life on my TV screen was truly remarkable, considering they are puppets! It is simply amazing to see the outcome of precise camera work and lots of time spent! Seeing the preview brought back the memories of my visit to the LAIKA studio in Portland, Oregon. I was fortunate enough to tour the set of The Boxtrolls with a very small group of bloggers, and boy were we in for a treat! As you may remember from my previous post, The Boxtrolls: My Visit With The Filmmakers, I was lucky enough to interview the film’s directors and the CEO of LAIKA, Travis Knight. We also toured the movie’s many sets, each one more magical than the next. One of the most memorable sets is pictured below.

the boxtrolls set creation
Matias Liebrecht works on Eggs during production of The Boxtrolls. Photo: Jason Ptaszek / LAIKA, Inc.

Set creators were faced a scene where the main character, Eggs, was in a sewer. Even if you haven’t personally been in a sewer, everyone knows that they are drippy and wet, but how were they supposed to portray this in a stop-motion animation film? The set creators spent a lot of time and came up with a brilliant solution. They used a two panes of mottled glass, like you would find in a shower and small pieces of masking tape. They projected light through the glass, while slowly rotating it. This created the rippled water effect that you see in the picture above. The crazy part about this? After all of the time and design put in to this feature, they only used it for three shots in the entire movie! I can’t wait to see it come to life on the screen! The Boxtrolls set was full of amazing features and fun facts that you would never realize just by watching the film.

Fun Facts About The Boxtrolls

  • An animator typically took 1 week to complete 3.7 seconds worth of footage, which is just under 90 individual frame.
  • There are 14 different fabrics in Lord Portley-Rind’s white hat.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • More than 20,000 props were handmade for the movie.
  • 55 different sculpts of prop cheeses were created for “THE BOXTROLLS.”
  • The movie’s smallest prop was a tiny sewing thread and needle.

Take a look at The Boxtrolls movie preview above, and then try to picture everything I just told you happening behind the scenes! Bet you can’t, and that’s the point! Be sure to mark your calendars for the official release of The Boxtrolls, just a little over a month away!