How to Train Your Dragon 2

Hiccup and Toothless are proving unstoppable this awards season. Hot off their Globes winHow to Train Your Dragon 2 earned top honors at this weekend’s Annie Awards, and another five trophies besides. Meanwhile, The Boxtrolls picked up two (for production design and for Ben Kingsley‘s voice acting), while The Lego Movie took just one (for writing).

Get the full list of 2015 Annie Awards winners after the jump. Read More »

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Laika auction

Laika has a knack for creating worlds we’d want to live in: beautifully hand-crafted, gorgeously detailed, and a tad off-kilter. And while it’s unlikely we’ll ever actually get to visit Cheesebridge or Blithe Hollow or Other World (since they’re, y’know, fictional) we’ll now have the opportunity to take a bit of those worlds home with us.

The animation studio has just announced an auction — the first in the company’s history — with over 250 puppets, props, models, and art pieces up for grabs. But if you haven’t got the money to buy your own Other Mother from Coraline or Mecha-Drill from Boxtrolls, fear not. Select items will go on a brief exhibition tour before they go up for sale. More details on the Laika auction, including photos and descriptions of some key offerings, after the jump. Read More »

Boxtrolls best scene

The films from Laika are, in a way, like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood — part of the story of the films themselves is the story of how they are made. The process is very different, of course, as Linklater worked for more than a decade on one film, while Laika uses painstaking stop-motion animation to create the illusion of life over a production period that lasts a couple years per film.

We’ve all seen in-process video of Laika artists at work, but the final shot of the studio’s most recent film, The Boxtrolls, illustrates the process in a beautifully meta fashion. It may be The Boxtrolls best scene — and there are no spoilers involved, even for those who haven’t seen the film. Check it out below.

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Angie’s Top 10 Films of 2014

Boyhood

In box office terms, 2014 wasn’t a huge year for film. But in creative terms, it’s hard to fault this year’s crop. It contained at least one once-in-a-lifetime masterpiece, not to mention one of the greatest horror movies in years, several big-budget franchise-builders that soared way past expectations, and some completely out-of-nowhere gems.

As the year winds to a close, I’ve taken a moment to look back at some highlights. As usual, this shouldn’t be considered an objective list of the year’s best film, but an entirely subjective list of favorites. Run down my top 10 films of 2014 with me after the jump.

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The Lego Movie poster header

November just started, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is already getting their Oscar nominations all in order. First up, AMPAS has revealed the 20 animated films that have been submitted and will be eligible for up to five nominations for Best Animated Feature Film at the 87th annual Academy Awards on February 22. Check out the possible 2015 Best Animated Feature film nominees below. Read More »

Annabelle (1)

Laika isn’t making a sequel to The Boxtrolls, because it just doesn’t want to. Which is not something we hear a lot around these parts. Also after the jump:

  • Check out concept art from the Maze Runner follow-up
  • The Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2 script is in…
  • … but no one’s called Jeremy Renner about it yet
  • Michael K. Williams plans to return for The Purge 3
  • Night at the Museum 3 gets an Escher-inspired poster
  • Here’s how you can win a spot in Magic Mike XXL
  • Robert Forster will be back for Better Call Saul
  • The Conjuring spinoff Annabelle reveals more pics
  • The original I Spit On Your Grave is getting a sequel

Read More »

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The Boxtrolls trailer

New York City may have Ninja Turtles roaming around beneath its streets, but Cheesebridge has Boxtrolls lingering under theirs. And it’s time we got to know them with Laika’s latest teaser for The Boxtrolls.

While orphaned human Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) is the hero of the tale, the new Boxtrolls trailer focuses more on the quirky creatures who raised him. Ooh and ahh at their adorableness after the jump.

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new Boxtrolls trailer

Laika, the animation studio behind Coraline and ParaNorman, has a new film coming this fall: The Boxtrolls. The story adapts Alan Snow‘s book Here Be Monsters, and features a fantasized town in which box-wearing trolls comb the streets at night. A young boy, nicknamed Eggs, falls into the clutches of the trolls… and they proceed to raise him as one of their own. A new Boxtrolls trailer shows what happens when Eggs is drawn back towards human life.

Because this is Laika, the animation here is all stop-motion. While there is some CG used to smooth over seams and in a few cases fill out the backgrounds with extras, everything else seen on screen is something built by hand. The town streets are miniature sets, the villain’s big monster machine is built in sections; even the glowing ripples of water seen in a shot when Eggs stands at the bottom of a ladder were created with old-school light refraction techniques. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

The Boxtrolls trailer

Laika’s The Boxtrolls doesn’t open for another six months, but the marketing team is already working hard getting the word out there. Today brings yet another new Boxtrolls trailer — the fourth so far — which explains a bit more about the titular tribe of misunderstood monsters. Watch it after the jump.

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