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At this point, I've visited enough sets that there is a sameness to it that has managed to rob the experience of some of its magic. Not all, but some. Sure, I can appreciate amazing craftsmanship and I love watching actors work, especially when something wonderful is happening between them, but there's no real mystery to it at this point.
On the other hand, when I visited the London sets for "The Corpse Bride" and got to spend a few days wandering around the amazing sets they built for the film, it was remarkable. Looking at the way they built everything by hand, looking at the amazing builds they did for the characters, I felt like I was looking at real magic. Watching these things come to life, one frame at a time, I learned once again to believe that there is a miracle that happens in animation. The same was true when I went up to Seattle to visit Laika Studios when they were working on "Coraline." Every single item, every single costume, every single thing that appeared in every single frame, all of it made right there in-house, all of it extraordinary.
Now Laika's released a new trailer for their next film, "The Boxtrolls," and I have no idea what the movie is. Doesn't matter. That trailer is gorgeous, and I think it does a tremendous job of imparting the same sense of wonder that I felt when I was actually there at Laika in person. See if you feel the same way...
The film will feature voices by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, which automatically makes it essential viewing, as well as Toni Collette, Ben Kingsley, Richard Ayoade, Jared Harris, Elle Fanning, Laraine Newman and Tracy Morgan. I assume we'll se some trailers down the road that will explain more about the story, but for now, what a great way to remind audiences that not everything is created by computer these days.
"The Boxtrolls" will be in theaters September 26, 2014.