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Boxtrolls Travis KnightMore from my enchanting visit to LAIKA Studios to see the sets and meet the filmmakers for “The Boxtrolls,” the upcoming stop-motion film:

The story:

A family event movie from the creators of “Coraline” and “ParaNorman” that introduces audiences to a new breed of family – The Boxtrolls, a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright) in the amazing cavernous home they’ve built beneath the streets of Cheesebridge. When the town’s villain, Archibald Snatcher (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley), comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls, Eggs decides to venture above ground, “into the light,” where he meets and teams up with fabulously feisty Winnie (Elle Fanning). Together, they devise a daring plan to save Eggs’ family.

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Some stats:

• An animator typically took 1 week to complete 3.7 seconds worth of footage, which is just under 90 individual frames
• 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

Cheese is very important in this story. One thing I noticed as we looked at the sets was a number of signs with puns about cheese names:

Chevre au lait
Fun and Fancy Brie
Churn of the Century
Here Be Munsters (This one is a reference to the book that inspired the film, Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow)

And one more: Great Rinds Stink Alike

Be sure to check out the terrific comments from some of my friends who were also on the visit to LAIKA, Enza Ketchum and Sandie Angulo Chen.

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