The trailer for the latest film to come from Laika, Phil Knight’s Hillsboro animation studio, has hit the web. ‘Boxtrolls’ tells the story of a group of goblins that live underground, feeding off grubs and various bugs, and using boxes to appear greater than the sum of their parts.
The trailer gives us a further look at the beautifully crafted, almost dickensian world that the talented guys at Laika have created. The fantastical setting is intriguing as soon as we see the cobbled roof tiles, and becomes even riper for exploring the further we go down, even below the street, where those adorable (yet thoroughly disgusting) Boxtrolls.
We don’t know much about plot yet; from the trailer we can glean a few pieces of key information, though. Like the fact the trolls do in fact hide in boxes to conceal themselves when they’re spotted – they’re very shy, you see. And juxtaposed to what we see in the trailer, there’s really no reason for the residents of the Cheesebridge, under which our Boxtrolls live, to be scared of them.
This “steampunk, Victorian, Monty Python-world seemed perfect for the look of stop motion,” one of the film’s directors, Anthony Stacchi, told Yahoo! Movies. “You can’t ask for better characters to animate in stop motion than guys who live in magical boxes that pop in and out of the top of.”
Perhaps the most important thing we can see in the trailer – and we already knew this, given that the film is based on the children’s novel ‘Here Be Monsters’ by Alan Snow – is the young orphaned boy named Eggs, raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors, who is to save his friends from an evil exterminator.
You see what we mean about disgusting?
In terms of cast and crew, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Ben Kingsley, Ellie Fanning, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade and Tracy Morgan all lend their voices to the film. Graham Annable – who was previously the story artist for Coraline and ParaNorman – is the other director.
We’ve already been treated to a few visual teasers for Boxtrolls. The first teaser simply laid down the story’s bones, as the titular creatures stumble across a human boy. In the second teaser we went behind the scenes, taking a look at the elaborate models and sets, and the third saw Cee Lo-Green singing a happy song without any dialogue or story explanation needed. Well, none was given anyway.
At night, the Boxtrolls come out
Laika have a great reputation for stop motion films having been behind both Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012). Both of those fantastic films saw Laika combine with Focus Features, a partnership that continues to thrive with ‘Boxtrolls’.
Travis Knight, the producer of Laika’s ParaNorman and one of its lead animators, had this to say on the painstaking method used to create the company’s distinctive style of movie. “Stop-motion is probably the worst, most painful way to make a film. It’s a completely awful process to engage in, an anachronism. But the stories have a warmth and a charm. You’re not looking at ones and zeros. You’re looking at the hands of the artists who made it.” (L.A Times)
The Boxtrolls opens in 3D on September 26th this year. Until then, take a look at some more pictures from the movie:
How can people be scared of these guys?
This guy has plundered himself an alarm clock - good hustle
The wonderfully realised underground world in which the Boxtrolls dwell
We get the feeling this Boxtroll did something dumb. Also, there's E.T in the bottom left
Boxtrolls hits cinemas on Sept. 26