Elle Fanning Talks THE BOXTROLLS, Her Inspirations for the Voice, the Appeal of Fantasy, Future Projects, and More

by     Posted 10 hours ago

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Elle Fanning is superb voicing the feisty, upper-crust 11-year-old Winnifred Portley-Rind in LAIKA’s beautiful 3D stop-motion animated fantasy-adventure, The Boxtrolls, opening September 26th.  When scheming social climber Archibald Snatcher (Sir Ben Kingsley) attempts to exterminate the kind creatures that raised the orphan boy Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright), Winnie helps her new friend devise a daring plan to save his adopted family.  Not only was Fanning drawn to playing the sassy character with a big heart and a dark imagination, but she liked what the unique story had to say about love and courage.

At a recent roundtable interview, Fanning talked about finding the right frame of mind to play her character, her inspirations for Winnie’s voice, how her voice-over experience compared to regular acting, what it was like using a posh English accent, how she created the right environment in the recording booth, the appeal of fantasy and how it provides a fun escape, her interest in ballet, her plans to attend college after high school, what she’s learned from traveling around the world, her desire to one day write and direct, and her upcoming projects: Young Ones, Low Down, Trumbo and A Storm in the Stars.  Check out what she had to say after the jump:

Sir Ben Kingsley Talks THE BOXTROLLS, What Convinced Him to Voice an Animated Villain, His Opinion of the Shakespearean Snatcher, and More

by     Posted 3 days ago

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Sir Ben Kingsley lends his extraordinary voice to the diabolical Archibald Snatcher in LAIKA’s breathtakingly beautiful 3D stop-motion animated adventure, The Boxtrolls, loosely based on Alan Snow’s best-selling children’s book Here Be Monsters!  The mischievous, trash-collecting creatures known as Boxtrolls live beneath the cobblestoned streets of Cheesebridge where they struggle to elude the evil Snatcher who claims they have stolen an orphan (Isaac Hempstead Wright).  Snatcher is determined to exterminate them in exchange for admittance into the town’s elite White Hats.  Opening September 26th, the film also stars Elle Fanning, Nick Frost and Tracy Morgan.

At our roundtable interview, Kingsley revealed what convinced him to bring to life an animated villain, why he found Snatcher a great character to play, how the script rang true as a refreshing family film, his unique approach to voicing his character, how he found the recording experience very freeing, why he appreciated a narrative that revealed the darker side of life, his satisfaction at seeing what the animators did with his character, the parallels between Snatcher and tragic Shakespearean characters like Richard III and Iago, and his enthusiasm for his upcoming films Learning to Drive and Robot Overlords.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Simon Pegg and Director Peter Chelsom Talk HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS, Script Changes, Guerilla-Style Filmmaking, TIFF, and More

by     Posted 4 days ago

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Now playing in limited release in North America is director Peter Chelsom’s dramedy Hector and the Search for Happiness.  Based on the book of the same name by François Lelord, the film stars Simon Pegg as Hector, an eccentric psychiatrist who’s going nowhere and whose patients aren’t getting any happier.  One day, he musters up the courage to set out on a quest to find out if happiness really exists.  Led by a great performance by Pegg, the film’s definitely worth checking out.  The film also stars Rosamund Pike, Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette, Stellan Skarsgard, and Jean Reno.  For more on Hector and the Search for Happiness, click here to watch the trailer, and here’s all our previous coverage.

Recently I landed an exclusive video interview with Simon Pegg and Peter Chelsom.  During our wide-ranging conversation, we talked about how they came to work together, how Pegg’s childhlike curiosity made him perfect to play Hector, the guerilla-style filmmaking they employed for some of the scenes, script changes, deleted scenes, future projects like Star Trek 3 and Mission Impossible: 5, and so much more.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE BOXTROLLS Clip and New Featurette Covering the Creation of the Boxtroll Language

by     Posted 11 days ago

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The folks at Laika have already done such an incredible job making the Boxtrolls feel like real, living, breathing creatures that it’s easy to forget that there’s actually human beings in a sound booth voicing them.  Now, thanks to the brand new The Boxtrolls featurette, “Trolls Rights Off the Tongue,” you get to meet the men responsible for configuring the Boxtrolls’ language, Dee Baker and Steve Blum.

On top of that, we’ve also got a new clip from the film featuring Winnie (voiced by Elle Fanning) trying to teach Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright) to dress like a proper boy with a little help from the Boxtrolls.  Hit the jump to check out The Boxtrolls clip as well as that featurette.  The movie also features the voices of Ben KingsleyToni ColletteNick FrostSimon PeggRichard AyoadeTracy Morgan and Jared Harris, and is due to hit theaters on September 26th.

THE BOXTROLLS Motion Poster Puts Sparky to Work

by     Posted 42 days ago

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I know I can’t get enough of Laika’s The Boxtrolls and hopefully it’s the same for you as well because even after our San Diego Comic Con coverage and the teaser trailer that dropped last week, we’ve got a brand new motion poster for the film to share.

Hit the jump to check out The Boxtrolls motion poster featuring Sparky, Fish, Oil Can, Shoe and the rest of the gang trying to show off the film’s title prior to its September 26th debut.  The movie features the voices of Isaac Hempstead WrightElle FanningBen Kingsley, Toni ColletteNick FrostSimon PeggRichard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, and Jared Harris.

THE BOXTROLLS Teaser and Poster Introduce You to the Trolls Themselves

by     Posted 47 days ago

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Laika is on a roll with Coraline, ParaNorman and now The Boxtrolls.  It’s sometimes a slow roll because of their dedication to painstakingly crafting their films, but it’s worth it.  Stop-motion animation takes forever, and pulling it off in such a gorgeous manner must take even longer.  Now we have a new teaser and poster that bring us a little closer to the world we’ll be visiting in a little over six weeks.

Hit the jump to check out The Boxtrolls teaser and poster that introduces the characters of Fish, Oil Can, Knickers, Wheels, Sweets, Eggs and Sparky.  The Boxtrolls arrives in theaters on September 26th and features the voices of Isaac Hempstead WrightElle Fanning, Ben KingsleyToni ColletteNick FrostSimon PeggRichard AyoadeTracy Morgan, and Jared Harris. You can also check out our Comic-Con panel recap!

Sir Ben Kingsley Talks THE BOXTROLLS, His Career, Voicing Bagheera in THE JUNGLE BOOK, The Mandarin, EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, and More at Comic-Con

by     Posted 49 days ago

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Produced by Laika and based on the children’s novel Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow, the stop-motion animated feature The Boxtrolls is about a young orphaned boy named Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright), who is raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors who he must save from evil exterminator Archibald Snatched (voiced by Ben Kingsley).

While at Comic-Con for a presentation in Hall H, actor Ben Kingsley spoke at a roundtable interview about why he was so taken with this film, how freeing he found the voice recording experience, voicing the leopard Bagheera for Jon Favreau’s live-action feature The Jungle Book, starting his career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, how much he enjoyed playing The Mandarin in Iron Man 3, how Sexy Beast changed people’s perception of him, what he learned from the experience of making Gandhi, being a part of Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings, where his desire to keep working comes from, and how he’s always wanted to play a man in uniform.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Comic-Con: Isaac Hempstead-Wright and Elle Fanning Talk THE BOXTROLLS, Visiting the Set, GAME OF THRONES Season 5, Reading Spoilers Online, and More

by     Posted 50 days ago

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Produced by Laika and based on the children’s novel Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow, the stop-motion animated feature The Boxtrolls is about a young orphaned boy named Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays Bran Stark on Game of Thrones), who is raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors who he must save from evil exterminator Archibald Snatched (voiced by Ben Kingsley).

While at Comic-Con for a presentation in Hall H, co-stars Isaac Hempstead Wright and Elle Fanning (who voices Winnie Portley-Rind) spoke at a roundtable interview about why they wanted to be a part of The Boxtrolls, how they got their roles, how amazing they think the finished film is, how they feel about the way their characters turned out, what they did to prepare for their roles, recording one voice session together, what they most identify with in their characters, and getting to visit the stop-motion set during production.  Fanning also talked about possibly playing Mary Shelley in a film and doing How to Talk to Girls at Parties, written and directed by John Cameron Mitchell from a short story by Neil Gaiman, while Hempstead Wright talked about how he’ll get to do some more action stuff on the upcoming season of Game of Thrones, what he thinks about the show’s massive popularity, and how he’s Googled what happens because he doesn’t read the books.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

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

by     Posted 59 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 67 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 71 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 73 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 75 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 76 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 76 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.

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