THE BOXTROLLS Comic-Con Panel Recap: Getting Lost in the Lovable, Grimy World of Underground Scavengers

by     Posted 5 days ago

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The Boxtrolls is one of my most-anticipated films of the fall.  LAIKA is one of the most exciting studios working today because they’re the only one wholly committed to the beautiful art of stop-motion animation.  But beyond their medium, they’re telling rich, interesting stories about weird outsiders traveling through strange worlds.  The Boxtrolls looks like their most ambitious yet, and today’s Comic-Con panel made me even more eager to see this strange, gorgeous movie.

Hit the jump for The Boxtrolls Comic-Con panel recap.

Meet Fish, Shoe, Oilcan and Sparky in 4 Brand New THE BOXTROLLS Character Posters

by     Posted 13 days ago

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You’ll probably pick up on this soon enough, but I’ve got a major thing for super cute animated creatures.  (Perhaps the result of growing up with pets?)  The “They’ve Got the Whole World in Their Hands” trailer for The Boxtrolls is easily one of the best of 2013 and since, every single thing we’ve seen from the movie’s promotional campaign suggests that it’s got some serious potential, largely due to the detail and expressivity of those incredibly novel and charming creatures – and now we get to take an even closer look at four of them.

With The Boxtrolls due to have a rather big presence at Comic-Con, Focus Features has unveiled four character posters each featuring a different boxtroll as he packs for San Diego.  Hit the jump to check out the Boxtrolls character posters for Fish, Shoe, Oilcan and Sparky as well as all of the details on what they’ve got going on at Comic-Con.  The Boxtrolls arrives in theaters on September 26th and features the voices of Isaac Hempstead WrightElle FanningBen Kingsley, Toni ColletteNick FrostSimon PeggRichard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, and Jared Harris.

Directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable Talk THE BOXTROLLS, Adapting Alan Snow’s “Here Be Monsters!”, Casting, and Eccentricities of Stop-Motion

by     Posted 17 days ago

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Though directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable make their stop-motion animation directorial debut on Laika’s The Boxtrolls, the duo was more than up to the task.  Stacchi brings co-directing and writing experience to go along with a career in the animation, art, and visual effects departments.  That paired quite well with Annable’s story work in the art and animation departments on Laika’s Coraline and ParaNorman, as well as his video game directing experience.  It’s no surprise that the two worked so well together cracking the “Here Be Monsters!” adaptation, especially considering just how important collaboration is within the stop-motion studio.

During my set visit to Laika, I got to sit in on a lengthy interview with Stacchi and Annable, which included commentary from producer David Ichioka.  They talked about the arduous story-cracking process, delegating responsibilities among the animators, the insane amount of planning that goes into a stop-motion production, just how creative their artists can be, and using motion-capture and extensive visual effects on this production.  Hit the jump for the extensive interview, and be sure to check out The Boxtrolls when it opens September 26th.

Comic-Con 2014 Schedule for Saturday, July 26th Includes MAD MAX, THE HOBBIT and Marvel Studios Presentations

by     Posted 19 days ago

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The Saturday schedule for San Diego Comic-Con 2014 has been announced.  Warner Bros. is bringing an eclectic presentation with appearances made by the recently pushed Jupiter Ascending, the highly anticipated Mad Max: Fury Road and Peter Jackson’s (likely) last foray into Middle Earth with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.  Legendary Pictures also has a presentation scheduled, but have declined to disclose which projects they’ll be presenting.  LAIKA Animation’s The Boxtrolls will also be making an appearance in the big hall followed by Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.   That’s all capped off by Marvel’s presentation later in the day followed by the big Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment Television panel which will feature a look at Constantine and the world premiere of Gotham among other shows.

Outside of Hall H there’s cool TV stuff like The Blacklist and what’s probably the final True Blood Panel.  Hit the jump to take a look at some highlights from Saturday’s schedule, and click here if you missed the Wednesday/Thursday or Friday schedules. Comic-Con 2014 runs from July 23rd to July 27th.

Producer David Ichioka Talks THE BOXTROLLS, Overcoming Stop-Motion Limitations, Evolving 3D-Printing Technology, and the Film’s Cast and Crew

by     Posted 21 days ago

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David Ichioka is well-versed in off-kilter animation, with experience ranging from Gumby Adventures and Bump in the Night, to The PJs and Happy Tree Friends.  His latest effort in the world of stop-motion animation is as a producer on Laika’s latest feature, The Boxtrolls.  Ichioka was kind enough to give us a presentation on the upcoming film that covered the nuts and bolts of the animation process and also gave us a more personal peek into the world of a stop-motion animator.

While on set of The Boxtrolls, Ichioka talked about the film’s setting and what made Laika’s style of stop-motion animation a perfect fit for its look, the decision to make The Boxtrolls a hybrid film by including motion-capture and visual effects work, and the evolution of stop-motion technology.  In addition to providing us with a jaw-dropping list of numbers related to the picture, he also commented on the film’s excellent voice cast, and the unique qualities of Laika’s CEO and lead animator, Travis Knight.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say, and be sure to check out The Boxtrolls when it opens September 26th.

Over 15 New Images from THE BOXTROLLS Reveal the Title Characters in All Their Stop-Motion Glory

by     Posted 22 days ago

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, than Laika’s stop-motion animation features are literally worth millions.  Their newest effort, The Boxtrolls, is composed of over 125,000 meticulously composed still-frame images painstakingly pieced together to bring the 87-minute film to life.  Today, we have 18 new behind-the-scenes images to show just a glimpse of the highly detail-oriented animation process.  For more on the inner workings of Laika and The Boxtrolls, be sure to check out my set visit report with 101 “Things to Know”, plus an interview Laika’s CEO and lead animator, Travis Knight.

Featuring the voices of Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, and Jared Harris, The Boxtrolls opens September 26th.  Hit the jump to check out the new images.

101 Things to Know about THE BOXTROLLS from Our Set Visit to Laika’s Studio

by     Posted 22 days ago

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If Hollywood gave out awards simply to honor the hardest working people in show business, the folks over at Laika would undoubtedly sweep the categories.  Known for their stop-motion animation films Coraline and ParaNorman, the studio’s newest effort pushes the medium’s boundaries in all conceivable directions.  The Boxtrolls, adapted from Alan Snow’s book “Here Be Monsters!”, has a family-friendly coming-of-age story about fathers and sons at its core, surrounded by cutting edge stop-motion animation and visual effects technology, an inspiring voice cast, and a team of incredibly dedicated artists and craftspeople.

While on set at Laika’s Portland, Oregon-based studio, I had a chance to talk to producer David Ichioka, directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable, and CEO/Lead Animator Travis Knight about The Boxtrolls.  Even more impressive than the interviews with those passionate filmmakers was my guided tour of working animation stages, concept design presentations, and the rapid prototyping facility, where I was informed of each stage of the process by veterans of their craft.  There’s a lot to get to, so I’ve gathered up 101 “Things to Know” about The Boxtrolls after the jump.

Laika’s CEO and Lead Animator Travis Knight Talks THE BOXTROLLS, Balancing Responsibilities, Adapting Alan Snow’s “Here Be Monsters!” & Stop-Motion Animation

by     Posted 22 days ago

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It’s not every day I get to participate in an on-set interview with the CEO of a movie studio like Laika.  It’s even rarer that said CEO happens to be as experienced and passionate an animator as Travis Knight.  You might think that being either the CEO or the producer/lead animator would be enough responsibility to fill your days with, and you’re probably right, but Knight manages to balance his schedule between the two extremes.  In fact, his executive duties help him keep Laika’s big picture in mind, while the extremely detailed stop-motion animation work allows him to focus in on necessary minutiae.

Knight was in the middle of shooting a sequence when we visited him on set.  He kindly took the time to talk about his experience as CEO and his plans for Laika’s future, including the ambitious goal of producing a new feature every year.  He effortlessly switched gears to walk us through the process of shooting scenes, which start way back in pre-production planning and involves quite a bit of organization before a puppet ever sets foot on stage.  Knight is an instantly likable fellow, which not only comes across in this interview, but in his work on Laika’s charmingly unique films.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say, and be sure to check out The Boxtrolls when it opens on September 26th.

Collider’s Most Anticipated Movies: July to September

by     Posted 28 days ago

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We’re halfway through the summer, and it’s been a pretty great one thus far.  Anticipated flicks like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Godzilla, 22 Jump Street, and more all paid off.  Now we’re entering into the second half summer 2014 and the beginning of the fall, and there’s still plenty to look forward to.

Once again, Adam, Dave, and Matt have each compiled a Top 5 list of most-anticipated movies for the next three months.  Hit the jump to find out what they can’t wait to see and why.

Full-Length THE BOXTROLLS Trailer Delves into the Plot of Laika’s Latest Stop-Motion Adventure

by     Posted 50 days ago

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Focus Features has released a new full-length The Boxtrolls trailer for Laika Studios’ new stop-motion animated feature.  Directed by Anthony Staachi and Graham Annabele, the film tells the story of the misunderstood titular trolls that live underneath the streets of Cheesebridge, where they attempt to raise an orphaned human boy as their own.  As with Laika’s other films, Coraline and ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls again revolves around outsiders, but it’s a story told with the studio’s signature charm and maturity.  This new trailer gets much deeper into the plot than the previous teasers, as we see that the young boy and his boxtroll brethren face danger in the form of the townspeople’s leaders.  Laika’s films are always a refreshing reprieve from many of the other same-feeling animation features that saturate the marketplace, and I can’t wait to see what they’ve put together with this latest adventure.

Hit the jump to watch the new The Boxtrolls trailer.  The film features the voices of Ben KingsleyToni ColletteElle FanningIsaac Hempstead-WrightJared HarrisSimon PeggNick FrostRichard Ayoade, and Tracy Morgan.  The Boxtrolls opens in 2D and 3D on September 26th.

Jared Harris Talks THE QUIET ONES, Auditioning, Keeping Up with MAD MEN, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., POLTERGEIST, THE BOXTROLLS, and More

by     Posted 97 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director John Pogue’s supernatural horror film The Quiet Ones.  The period pic stars Jared Harris as an unorthodox professor who sets up a series of dangerous experiments in order to explore the dark energy manifested by the damaged psyche of a young girl.  Naturally, things don’t go well.  The film also stars Sam Claflin, and Olivia Cooke.  Erin Richards and Rory Fleck-Byrne.  For more on The Quiet Ones, check out some creepy motion postersthe trailer, and all our previous coverage.

At the Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive interview with Harris.  He talked about making the film, whether he still has to audition for a role, Mad Men and his thoughts on this current season, Guy Ritchie‘s The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the Poltergeist remake and what it was like working with Sam Rockwell, voicing a character on Laika’s The Boxtrolls, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Nick Frost Talks CUBAN FURY, Shooting a Full-On Dance Fight Scene, Simon Pegg’s Cameo, Dance Training, the TINTIN Sequel, THE BOXTROLLS & More

by     Posted 108 days ago

Nick Frost CUBAN FURY Interview

Equal parts humor and heart, Cuban Fury tells the story of Bruce Garrett (Nick Frost), a man who gave up his dream of winning the UK Junior Salsa Championships, 25 years ago.  Now, he’s out of shape, unloved and doing a job he’s not passionate about, until the arrival of his smart, funny, gorgeous new American boss, Julia (Rashida Jones) reawakens his love of salsa dancing.  From an original idea by Nick Frost, the film also stars Chris O’Dowd, Olivia Colman, Ian McShane and Kayvan Novak.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Nick Frost talked about where the idea for this film came from, his secret dream to be a dancer, why he decided not to write the film himself, shooting a full-on dance fight scene, how Simon Pegg ended up doing a cameo, how grueling the dance training was, finding the right balance in tone, what this cast was like to work with, the film’s love story, how much he hates doing wire work, and the deleted scenes.  He also talked about doing the Fox comedy pilot Sober Companion with Justin Long, how he got involved with The Boxtrolls, the lack of an update on the Tintin sequel, and his experience making Business or Pleasure with Vince Vaughn.  Check out our Nick Frost interview after the jump.

CinemaCon: Posters for SPIDER-MAN 2, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, TF4, THE BOXTROLLS, EXPENDABLES 3, and Many More

by     Posted 130 days ago

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Continuing our coverage from CinemaCon 2014 (Comic-Con for theater owners), I snapped a ton of pictures of the many posters and theater standees on display today.  Included in this article are The Expendables 3, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Annie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Boxtrolls, Transformers 4, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Earth to Echo, Edge of Tomorrow, From the Rough, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Deliver Us From Evil, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Purge: Anarchy, Neighbors, and many more.  Hit the jump to check them out and look for a lot more updates from CinemaCon all week.

And click here if you missed the first posters for director Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer, Brett Ratner‘s Hercules, Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Gary Shore’s Dracula Untold.

New Trailer for Laika’s THE BOXTROLLS Features the Cowardly, Ugly, and Heroic Creatures

by     Posted 135 days ago

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Laika has released a new trailer for their stop-motion animated feature, The Boxtrolls.  The movie tells the story of the misunderstood titular trolls that live underneath the streets of Cheesebridge, where they attempt to raise an orphaned human boy as their own.  This trailer doesn’t go deep into the plot, but does highlight the personality of the boxtrolls, and although they’re capable of human speech, most of their dialogue here is the adorable gibberish that sounds like the minions from the Despicable Me movies.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film features the voices of Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Elle Fanning, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, and Tracy MorganThe Boxtrolls opens in 2D and 3D on September 26th.

New Trailer for Laika’s New Stop-Motion Animated Film THE BOXTROLLS

by     Posted 148 days ago

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The folks at Laika Studios are truly doing special work.  While other animation studios are chasing the almighty dollar with generic-looking animation and cheap, easy jokes and visual gags, Laika aims higher.  The studio’s last two efforts, Coraline and ParaNorman, pair gorgeous visuals with sophisticated and challenging storytelling, and that formula looks to continue with their next film The Boxtrolls.  Focus Features has released a new trailer for the pic, which tells the story of the misunderstood titular trolls that live underneath the streets of Cheesebridge, where they attempt to raise an orphaned human boy as their own.  This trailer doesn’t feature any of the dialogue just yet, but instead opts to show off the adorable characters brought to life through the Laika magicians in a series of scenes set to Cee Lo’s new cover “They’re So Square.”

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  Directed by Anthony Staachi and Graham Annabele, the film features the voices of Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Elle Fanning, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, and Tracy MorganThe Boxtrolls opens in 2D and 3D on September 26th.

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