When parkgoers visit Universal Orlando Resort to ride the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure this summer, they’ll be greeted by the most life-like animated figure Universal has created yet. Today Universal Orlando unveiled a first look at the hyper-realistic animated figure of Hagrid that will come face-to-face with guests during their journey on the highly themed coaster.
The animated figured was created by the folks at Universal Creative, who are responsible for creating the park’s rides and attractions, and it stands at a whopping 7 feet 6 inches tall—the exact proportion of Hagrid in the Harry Potter film series. To bring Hagrid to life, they created a digital scan of actor Robbie Coltrane’s mouth, which in turn was used to create Hagrid’s teeth. Indeed, the animated figure features an extensive motion profile of 24 different body movements and facial expressions, all in lock step with Coltrane’s iconic performance from the movies.
Hagrid’s costume was designed by the same team that created his onscreen wardrobe, and Coltrane himself recorded a custom script for the animated figure as he worked closely alongside the Universal Creative team to ensure that the Hagrid who greets guests on the ride feels like the same Hagrid from the movies.
The all-new attraction—located where the Dragon Challenge coaster used to be in Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park—combines a new level of storytelling and innovative coaster technology with rich environments and sets. To that end, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure includes an actual forest with over 1,200 live trees that bring the Forbidden Forest of the Harry Potter books and films to life. Guests will fly deep into the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid as their guide, braving the mysteries and thrills beyond the grounds of Hogwarts castle on a groundbreaking coaster experience unlike any other.
Those creatures include Fluffy, Cornish pixies, the Devil’s Snare, and a centaur, as well as a creature from the books that’s never been brought to life before: the Blast-Ended Skrewt. Indeed, the animated Hagrid figure on the ride will be seen trying to contain this new creature, which is described as a cross between a giant scorpion and an elongated crab.
“Hagrid is such an iconic character and an integral part of the Harry Potter franchise, so we were excited to develop a truly innovative and authentic animated figure to bring him to life for this experience,” said Thierry Coup, Senior Vice President of Universal Creative. “We worked tirelessly to make sure Hagrid’s full essence was captured with the utmost attention to detail for our guests to feel completely immersed in this all-new adventure.”
While Universal is known for some impressive animated figures like King Kong on Skull Island: Reign of Kong and the dinosaurs on Jurassic Park River Adventure, it’ll be interesting to come face-to-face with this lifelike human (or giant, rather) figure on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Get a closer look at the figure in the video and image below. The attraction opens at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter on June 13, 2019.