Saturday, September 27, 2014

"BoxTrolls" Opens Strong and Is Widely Accepted by Critics and Audiences Alike

Drumroll please -The BoxTrolls are here y'all!!

Laika's two previous films, Coraline [2009] debuted with $16.85 mil as well as ParaNorman debuted with $14 mil in 2012, and now their third feature, The BoxTrolls makes their second strongest debut at $16.5.  Aardman/Dreamwork's Chicken Run still stands the only Stop Motion feature to break $100 mil in 2000.

BoxTrolls been widely accepted by the critics as well as the audience, Rotten Tomatoes rates it "fresh" at 71% and the audience raises it at 75%.  Mary Houlihan at The Chicago Sun-Times writes:

"It's a world that runs in a parallel universe akin to that of Charles Dickens, with creatively named characters involved in seemingly outlandish adventures in a Victorian-era city where a moral or two plays out in the end."

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Let's Talk About "The BoxTrolls"

Laika's greatly anticipated third feature in association with Focus Features, The BoxTrolls, rolls into U.S. and Canadian theaters tomorrow (or tonight if you're a die hard fan), so I think there's no better time to talk about it than now.

With every great movie, there's a one or two sentence emotional journey that your main character goes through and/or struggles with during the film that's surrounded by a fantastical world, real or imagined.   No doubt that the fantastical Victorian/Dickinson world that we've seen in so many of The BoxTrolls trailers and Instagram photos is utterly gorgeous.  Little has to be said about how grand of a scale and the shocking amount of detail that's put into The BoxTrolls, this goes for the sets and puppets that even goes beyond the stunning feat Laika pulled off with ParaNorman.  We have Eggs as the main character in The BoxTrolls, an adventurous, curious, and slightly crude in his mannerisms little boy.  Though I am as of now not yet seeing the film, unsure of the emotional tagline that he has. This is a note that usually goes unnoticed by reviewers and critics but certainly plays a role in the film's quality.  Let me stage this for you, in ParaNorman the emotional tagline was friendship.  In Disney's Frozen it was a relationship story of two sisters.  This is the thing that ties a film together.  Though something that is not shown in a movie's trailer.

The BoxTrolls (How To Prepare Fish)

So I'm very curious to see what BoxTrolls have to offer here.  Whatever that [emotional tagline] may be, a strong story surrounding the tagline is just as important.  And I am certain that this is an element The BoxTrolls has, it can be seen in the trailers and clips and synopsis.


I consider Laika, as I've stated before, the Pixar of Stop Motion.  So there is definitely an emotional journey and certainly a good story.  One thing can be said about BoxTrolls is that it's a stroke of artistic genius.  The puppets are the most incredible and I could just drool all day over their 3D printed faces.  In case you're unfamiliar, Laika has a rapid prototype printer where they print off hundreds of thousands of replacement animation faces.  This adds a since of realism that cannot be replicated in any other medium.  This film feels a bit lighter in tone and family-friendlyness compared to Coraline or ParaNorman.  So I believe that, equipped with that, I wouldn't be surprised if this is Laika's biggest success box-officewise so far.  Also, I think their release date and timing is very good.  Just look at Marvel's The Guardian's of the Galaxy, which hasn't even hit the cheap theaters yet and it's been out for two months because it was such a hit.  As a final line, if you can't tell I am extremely excited to see this and I'm sure it'll be great.  Though of course the true acid test will come out tomorrow, fingers crossed guys and gals!

If you want more BoxTrolls goodness and BTS go visit their WebsiteTumblr, and Instagram.

More BTS:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Laika Give Us a 15-Second Puppet 'Making-of' The BoxTroll Fish

Laika, the Portland-based company has released this little tidbit of Stop Motion genius (some call it madness).  And in case you're wondering, this specific BoxTroll is Fish.  In case you are unaware, Laika/Focus Features' The BoxTrolls hit theaters in 3 days, guys!

"LAIKA artists pride themselves on using only the freshest and finest ingredients when crafting the creative characters and concoctions in their films. See their full, homemade recipe for bringing a fresh Boxtroll to life in the new featurette, “How To Prepare Fish” on #TheBoxtrolls YouTube channel. #WHPthemakingof"

Thursday, September 18, 2014

RED Interactive and Laika Release 'BoxTrolls' Interactive Game

With the The BoxTrolls' release just around the corner (Sep. 26), Laika, in association with RED Interactive have released their movie tie-in game, The BoxTrolls: Slide 'n' Sneak.  The premise of the game is as you [the player] make your way through Cheesebride, you're on a rescue mission to rescue the captures BoxTrolls from the evil Red Hats' factory lair.

So if your looking for BoxTrolls awesomeness to prep yourself for the movie, this is it.  The game is free to download for iOS and soon will be launched on Android markets.

The BoxTrolls: Slide 'n' Sneak

Gameplay as a BoxTroll

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How Laika is Revolutionizing Stop Motion Animation

Portland Monthly Magazine just did a extensive 'making of' article on Laika's The BoxTrolls for their Fall Arts Preview.  Sculptures, armatures, art, 3D printed faces, and sets, yes, this article has it all.  I highly recommend this.  I will say that this is a microcosm of a BoxTrolls making of book.  So go do yourself a favor and go study this article!

Laika’s first two films, Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012), each grossed more than $100 million and received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature. The Boxtrolls, Laika’s third feature, hits screens nationwide September 26, with voices from the likes of Sir Ben Kingsley and Tracy Morgan. The film conjures the studio’s most imaginative realm yet: the decadent, Victorian village of Cheesebridge, where humans live aboveground and garbage-scavenging boxtrolls live below. The $50 million project is the result of 350 people shooting 125,280 individual poses over the course of 18 months. 


Chiodo Bros. Teach In-depth Online Course on Stop Motion

The Chiodo Bros., a Stop Motion company that's worked on projects such as Elf, Robocop, The Simpsons, and a whole lot more are going to be teaching a four-week long web course on the Stan Winston School of Character Arts website.  Sadly, I just found out about this today and they are already half way through the course.  But you can still go here to sign up.

The course promises to take you: "From initial concept to building your own Stop Motion puppet, to building a miniature set and animating a sequence, the [Chiodo] brothers will show you everything you need to know!"

It's going to be an online live web course so it does require a bit of diligence as to when to tune in.

Go here to see the promo video:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

'BoxTrolls' Instagram: For all Your BTS Needs

I have been searching for this and finally found it.  The source for BoxTrolls BTS and making of.  Jam-packed with animation time-lapses, art, slogans, and all else to satisfy our geeky Laika needs.

Go check it out here:

Monday, September 15, 2014

"BoxTrolls" Take over Box-Offices 1# in UK and #2 in Mexico

The box-office numbers are in for Laika's The BoxTrolls overseas release.  In the UK it's in #1 with $3.4 million.  Laika's previous films Coraline and ParaNorman opened with similar numbers in the UK at $3.7 and $2.3 million.

The BoxTrolls opened #2nd in Mexico at $1.8 million.  Collectively, in Denmark and Sweden Boxtrolls made a debut of $260,000.  Taking Laika to new heights for best-ever Laika openings in those markets.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A "BoxTrolls" Featurette!

As is the 'norm' so to speak in our little world of Stop Motion.  Laika, the makers of the upcoming The BoxTrolls (in partner with Focus Features like their past two films: ParaNorman and Coraline) have in the past released little epic featurettes.  This years there's no disappoint with The BoxTrolls.  And it's embedded/linked in below...

A hashtag last year to spread the word for Laika was #WeirdWins for Laika's ParaNorman.  This year it's just simply #TheBoxTrolls! Enjoy spreading Laika love all over the interwebs! :)


Directed by Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi and based off Alan Snow's novel Here Be Monsters! comes Laika's The BoxTrolls, coming to a theater near you sooner than you think!

By the way, I've gotta say that it's good to be back after taking a month long break to get back into Stop Motion blogging again!

And the new poster....