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Discover the VFX Behind LAIKA’s ‘Boxtrolls’

The Cinefex blog takes an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the visual effects created for LAIKA’s newest animated feature, ‘The Boxtrolls.’

The Cinefex blog has an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the visual effects created for LAIKA’s newest animated feature, The Boxtrolls, the third film to come from the Portland-based studio following the success of Coraline and ParaNorman.

Directed by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable, and adapted from the book Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow, The Boxtrolls tells the story of Eggs, a human boy raised by Boxtrolls -- strange cavern-dwelling creatures who live in hiding beneath the cobbled streets of Cheesebridge. When Eggs meets Winnie, the feisty daughter of Cheesebridge dignitary Lord Portley-Rind, the upper and lower worlds collide and the sinister truth behind the dastardly Archibald Snatcher’s mission to exterminate the Boxtrolls is revealed.

At its heart a stop-motion feature, The Boxtrolls is described by LAIKA as a hybrid film integrating the traditions of stop-motion with the latest advances in visual effects.

Coraline was almost entirely shot in camera,” LAIKA visual effects co-supervisor Steve Emerson is quoted as saying. “There is some CG in that film, but for the most part the director, Henry Selick, was after something entirely practical and in-camera. The big shift for us came with Paranorman. That’s when our producer and lead animator, Travis Knight, started talking about this vision of creating hybrid films.”

In the LAIKA lexicon, hybrid filmmaking means taking a stop-motion film and expanding it visually beyond the confines of the animation stage.

“As a genre, stop-motion is typically confined to smaller environments and a limited number of characters,” Emerson continues. “With hybrid, the idea is to use technology to open up these worlds, and do things that you wouldn’t typically do in stop-motion, like have large crowds, or big effects, or wide vistas.”

Check out the Animation/VFX breakdowns below, and head over to the Cinefex blog to read more:


Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.