Boxtrolls Revisited

(To celebrate the release of Missing Link, we’re revisiting the stop-motion animated films of Laika this week and discussing why they’re so special. Today: The Boxtrolls showcases the kind of film, and filmmaking, that only Laika could make.)

Have you ever heard the nursery rhyme that sounded innocent at first? But then you grew up and you realized the lyrics had ghastly implications? Think of Ring a Ring o’ Rosie and its lyrical ties to the Black Plague. Think of Rock-a-bye Baby, where a baby falls from the branches. Think of the stop-motion movie The Boxtrolls, except it wears its ghastliness front-and-center, even as it is geared toward young minds. If Roald Dahl and Charles Dickens adopted a gremlin baby, they’d raise it to be this film.

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(To celebrate the release of Missing Link, we’re revisiting the stop-motion animated films of Laika this week and discussing why they’re so special. First up: how The Boxtrolls highlights the art of voice acting.)

Depending on who you listen to, working as a voice actor in animated projects is either very easy or very hard. On its face, to anyone who hasn’t gone into a recording booth, it might seem like the easiest job in the world. You get paid to read lines of dialogue (without having to memorize them), and you don’t even have to get dressed up in a costume. Want to wear sweatpants and a baggy T-shirt? Why not? People will only hear your work, not see it.

Voice work might seem easy, and because of that common misconception, it’s equally easy to take for granted a great voice performance. One such underrated performance comes from a titan of modern acting: Sir Ben Kingsley in Laika’s The Boxtrolls.

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Cantina Band Documentary

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this Comic-Con edition, watch a trailer for an upcoming documentary about the cantina band from Star Wars: A New Hope, take a tour through LAIKA‘s fantastic stop-motion animation exhibition from San Diego Comic-Con, and check out some of the best cosplay that was spotted all around the massive convention last week. Read More »

Thor Ragnarok Mondo Print

Today is Thanksgiving, when families all round the country gather to stuff their faces with delicious food and argue about politics. Then we follow that up with Black Friday, when we forget about all the things were were thankful for so we can run through the aisles of various retails outlets for discounted electronics, appliances and more. But if you’re not the kind of person to brave the massive crowds out in the real world, there’s plenty of good stuff for you to snag online as well.

The awesome folks at Mondo have a handful of great Black Friday deals which include new prints for Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Thor: Ragnarok, Ex Machina and the films of LAIKA, not to mention a deluxe edition of The Art of Mondo book. Check out all of the Mondo Black Friday deals below. Read More »

the laika experience

Comic-Con doesn’t officially kick off until tomorrow (although it unofficially kicks off tonight with all kinds of previews and off-site presentations), but everyone in San Diego can already get a little taste of some cinematic magic. LAIKA, the stop-motion animation studio behind films like Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, and Kubo and the Two Strings has set up shop in the Gaslamp District, offering a walkthrough mini-museum showing off puppets and sets from their movies.

And while you don’t have to be a Comic-Con badge holder to check out The LAIKA Experience, not everyone can be in San Diego. But we’ve got you covered. We checked it out and we returned with photos. Lots and lots of photos.

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Laika Experience at Comic-Con

In less than two weeks, over 130,000 fans will descend upon southern California for the annual San Diego Comic-Con, the biggest pop culture convention in the world. The/Film crew will be there to bring you the big updates from all the panels and events happening on site, and one of the events we’ll be attending doesn’t even require the coveted Comic-Con badge. In fact, it’s free, and anyone in the San Diego area can check it out.

The stop-motion animation studio LAIKA has announced a pop-up event in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego where they will showcase props, puppets, monsters, and sets from Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman and Coraline, as well as fan art, interactive experiences, giveaways and a shop for picking up some sweet merchandise. Find out below what you can see at The LAIKA Experience at Comic-Con later this month. Read More »

The Best Movies Leaving Netflix in November 2016

Almost Famous

Even though there are plenty of good new movies, TV shows and stand-up specials coming to Netflix next month, there are also some good titles that will be leaving the streaming service, including a couple favorites among the entire /Film staff. Most of the titles leaving will disappearing on November 1st, giving you a week to watch them, but there are a few that won’t be gone until later in the month.

Check out the list of all the movies leaving Netflix in November 2016 after the jump. Read More »

Laika 10th Anniversary

Stop-motion animation is perhaps the most difficult in the entire animation field. Animators have to move their characters and sets by a single frame at a time to film 24 frames in a second. And if you’ve seen movies from Laika such as Coraline and ParaNorman, then you know that they don’t hold back when it comes to intricate and meticulously crafted production pieces.

Now a new video reel from Laika celebrates 10 years of stop-motion magnificence, running through clips and behind the scenes footage from their films Coraline, ParaNorman and most recently The Boxtrolls. Plus, there’s some new footage from their forthcoming adventure Kubo and the Two Strings. Watch! Read More »

Most Beautiful Animated Movies

The technology behind animation has come a long way in a short amount of time, and with the help of state of the art computers, artists are able to create some truly mind-blowing and mesmerizing imagery in feature animation. And this begs, the question: what are the most beautiful animated films ever made?

Well, CineFix tries to answer that big question with a new video essay that counts down the Top 10 Most Beautiful Animated Films of All Time. There’s some bold choices here and an exclusion of one particularly revered animation legend that will stir up some uproar, but you can’t deny that their choices are indeed beautiful animated motion pictures. Find out the whole list after the jump! Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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 »