UPDATES THROUGHOUT: Boxtrolls producer Travis Knight gave an update on cast member Tracy Morgan during the Focus Features panel for the pic today at Comic-Con. Morgan was seriously injured in a June crash that killed his mentor, comedian James McNair, in New Jersey. “Thankfully he’s home with his family now and recovering… I’ve come down to Comic-Con for five years and not found a family as loving, kind and generous as the Comic-Con family,” he said. Knight and the cast and crew of Boxtrolls led the 6,500 strong Hall H audience in a round of “We love you Tracy” cheers, filming the moment to send to Morgan back home.
The Laika stop motion animation pic has been ten years in the making, but comes after the Portland-based studio’s first two feature hits. Development began before the studio’s Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012) on the tale of a young boy named Eggs who’s raised by a family of underground-dwelling trash-collecting creatures known as the Boxtrolls.
Game Of Thrones‘ Isaac Hempstead-Wright voices Eggs, and got a huge response from fans as he took the stage just a day after the HBO series packed Hall H with its own panel. Elle Fanning and Ben Kingsley also “star” and joined Hempstead-Wright, Knight, and co-directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable to present charming footage from the September 26 release. Laika has created a richly detailed world inspired by works of “Roald Dahl, bits of Monty Python, and Charles Dickens,” according to Knight. Read More »
It looks like the 2014 Oscar race for Best Animated Feature is already heating up. DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon 2 opens today and could be No. 1 for the weekend. At any rate, it is getting such superlative reviews (especially for a sequel) that it is already looking like a front-runner for that Oscar that was denied to the original in 2010, when it had to compete against the Disney/Pixar juggernaut Toy Story 3, which also benefited from a Best Picture nomination. That movie of course was a second sequel and it obviously wasn’t hurt by the label. DWA has already started its campaign with mailings to various awards groups of the hardcover coffee table book The Art Of How To Train Your Dragon 2 (I have already gotten two copies including one yesterday that came in a black leather backpack that looked suspiciously like Toothless, the star Dragon of the title).
With a sterling 92% fresh score at Rotten Tomatoes, Dragon 2 is definitely in play and many pundits are already predicting it to win, even though it’s only June and there’s more to come including the latest from Focus Features, The Boxtrolls. Focus started its campaign for their animated film even earlier by sending select media a big toy box container with special slots for the various characters in the film starting with Eggs and Fish and the promise of two more shipments. Yesterday, a second shipment arrived containing Winnie and Shoe. Yes folks, the campaign has started in earnest. Here’s the first full trailer:
Laika, the Portland, OR-based animation studio behind Boxtrolls, received Oscar nominations for its first two animated features ParaNorman and Coraline, and now are hoping the third time is the charm with The Boxtrolls, which opens September 26 as the company’s third stop-motion release with Focus Features. Read More »
The latest peek at Focus Features‘ upcoming 3D stop-motion pic is a more a dialogue-free look at its look than a preview of its story. To fill you in, The Boxtrolls – from ParaNorman and Coraline toon studio Laika and based on Alan Snow’s novel Here Be Monsters! — centers on a boy raised by a group of cardboard-clad subterranean beings. Directed by Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi, the voice cast includes Isaac Hempstead Wright, Ben Kingsley, Elle Fanning, Simon Pegg, Toni Collette, Nick Frost, Jared Harris and Richard Ayoade. It’s all set to CeeLo Green channeling Elvis on an oft-covered Leiber & Stoller classic. Check it out:
The video below is part teaser, part behind-the-scenes tribute to the meticulous detail that goes into stop-motion. From Coraline and ParaNorman animation studio LAIKA, The Boxtrolls is still some way off – Focus opens it on September 26, 2014 – but the folksy tune that accompanies this new teaser seems fitting for a holiday. The Boxtrolls is based on Alan Snow’s novel Here Be Monsters! and follows a boy named Eggs who’s raised by an unconventional family of underground-dwelling creatures who live in cardboard boxes. Among the voice cast are Isaac Hempstead Wright, Ben Kingsley, Elle Fanning, Simon Pegg, Toni Collette, Nick Frost, Jared Harris and Richard Ayoade. Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi co-direct.