I’m pretty certain nothing Laika Entertainment does in the future will ever impress me more than last year’s eerily gorgeous ParaNorman, but I can’t wait for each and every time they try. The stop-motion animation masterminds are next gifting the world the oddball comedy The Boxtrolls, and they’ve taken a novel approach with their latest trailer, offering viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the painstakingly meticulous work that goes into creating these features. My fingers cramp up just thinking about it.
The trailer, via iTunes Movie Trailers, is a dialogue-free clip set to the song "He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands," a particularly fitting tune, considering the artists at Laika are responsible for creating each entire universe that their characters inhabit. They deftly take us through the entire process, from the skeletal wirework to the molding to the painting and stitching the costumes. As amazing as all that is, it’s the bizarrely detailed set design that rattles my brain. This image below shows a level of commitment that I don’t even have for this story that I’m currently writing. It’s truly astounding.
Sure, one could argue that the people that create CGI settings are doing the same thing, but I’m always more interested in tactile methods than digital ones. And sure, there will be some computer-aided effects in The Boxtrolls, but a good part of that is in removing things like the wire set-ups used to make the characters jump. I’d like the next trailer to be nothing but bits like that one part of the trailer, where the scenes’ handiwork is shown and then fades away.
Based on the Alan Snow children’s book Here Be Monsters, The Boxtrolls is co-directed by Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi, and tells the story of Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), a boy who was raised by the titular trash-collecting critters that live underground beneath the town of Cheesebridge, wearing boxes as their clothing. All is going well until a pest exterminator (Ben Kingsley) wants to rid the town of the beasts to rise in social rank, and the Boxtrolls have to rely on a young rich girl named Winnie (Elle Fanning) to help them find a life on the surface. Also, everyone loves cheese. Can’t go wrong with that.
The film also stars Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Toni Collette, Richard Ayoade, Jared Harris, Laraine Newman and Tracy Morgan. It will hit theaters and blow minds everywhere on September 26, 2014. Below you can watch the previously released trailer, which introduces the concept that families can be made up of anything, so long as it’s full of love. A nice sentiment, that one.