LAIKA’s New “Box Trolls” Teaser is the Best Animation Trailer of 2013

How does a stop motion animation studio distinguish itself from the pack and avoid having its film labeled as yet another computer animated film? In their new teaser trailer for Box Trolls, LAIKA met that challenge, and then some.

Set to “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” the trailer opens with a full minute of behind-the-scenes puppet goodness: armature machining, sculpting, moldmaking, casting, fabrication, set design, you name it. Then, the payoff: 35 seconds of fantastic-looking footage from the film.

Is this the best way to sell an animated film? I don’t know…and frankly, I don’t care. But as an animation fan, I’m thrilled to see a studio take a stand and do something risky. This trailer proclaims: “Marvel at our artistry! We’re not just making this film to sell you shit. We’re going to tell you a story with the highest commitment to creativity and craftmanship! And we’re proud of it!” What a statement. Box Trolls, directed by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable, will open on September 26, 2014.

If the video below is unviewable, watch it on Apple’s website.


  • Gendry

    This is amazing! Cannot wait for the movie! Laika is just creative as any studios out there!

  • Clutch

    Despite what anyone thinks, I’m so glad this studio keeps going and doing what they want to do..

  • Liam Scanlan

    It sounds like you’re saying that “The Box Trolls” will win Best Animated Feature in the 2015 Oscars.
    Well, ARE you saying that, Amid?

  • Dana B

    Beautiful, just beautiful. Laika is differently the best animation studio when it comes to artistry and passion. The fact they make a special teaser showing just that is really wonderful. If other studios would make more behind-the-scenes trailers like this, and showing all the hard work going into an animated production, maybe people will start seeing it as an art form for once…

  • Mohegan

    Any chance for an European to see the trailer? It’s not available here. :(

  • tedzey71

    …and now it’s not available in my country. Glad I got the chance to see it though.

    You know, in a day and age where animated movies trailers/posters spend more time celebrating the A-list celebrities voicing the characters; it’s nice to see one give the spotlight to “the hands” behind the movies.

  • ernesttx

    Can’t get trailer even in USA. What gives?

    • Mesterius

      The trailer is probably intended for a different planet that gets it earlier than us.

  • anakinbrego

    Amazing!

  • GW

    I’ve found one on Dailymotion, but it has an ad preceding it.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x17o2dp_the-boxtrolls-trailer-2_shortfilms?search_algo=2

  • Skeptical

    Unfortunately for Laika, top-notch stop motion does not a good film make. Let’s see how they do this time…

    • Mesterius

      Do you mean by that to say that “ParaNorman” did not deliver in other departments than top-notch stop motion? If so, I disagree.

    • Tarfan of Tarzan

      Don’t listen to “Skeptical.” ParaNorman was an EXCELLENT film and a very fine story.

      • IJK

        Skeptical never said anything about Paranorman. You can argue that “Let’s see how they do this time…” meant he didn’t like it or if he was just saying “Let’s see if they deliver”, but we won’t know for sure unless he outright tells us.

        And I agree, good visuals are nice but let’s try and not put aside story just because “omg stop-motion so pretty”.

        Laika is promoting their films this way because (Based on a hunch):
        - They do in fact want to tell people they are not CGI since many people thought they were.
        - They are probably the ONLY stop-motion studio out there right now consistently making films. This does not make the artists there more passionate than artists at any other studio. I’m sure if there were 7 stop-motion animation studios and only one CGI, the roles would be reversed.

        It’s really hard to flaunt your CGI animation work when there’s five other studios doing exactly what you are. Doesn’t make the artists any less dedicated to their craft like some people here are insinuating.

  • http://tlsaz.tumblr.com/ Tom Smith

    That was fantastic. I also think it’s a great marketing strategy, considering that they last 2 films haven’t exactly connected with the mainstream. I remember a lot of people falsely believing that Paranorman was CG based on the trailer, so hopefully this ad helps distinguish Box Trolls from its competition.

  • Aaron R.R.R. Nance

    Oh boy I like where this is headed..

  • jhalpernkitcat

    The first trailer sold me already–this one just made me more excited for this movie. Such beautiful detail.

  • George Comerci

    This will be great! I’m excited to see more of the film, and it’s nice to see a studio that aims for artistic integrity before marketability. Hats off to Laika, and I loved the behind-the-scenes look in the beginning :)

  • Kristen S.

    Wow.

  • Mesterius

    You mean to say, “Laika is the most important studio in mainstream animation *in the United States* today”? There are animation studios in other countries, you know…

  • white vader

    I think the whole “Stop motion in a medium dominated by CG” indicating dire straights is actually a misnomer. How many feature-length stop-mo films have we had during the age of CG as opposed to say the couple of decades BEFORE CG? Stop mo is actually healthier than it’s been for ages!

    2d/drawn features on the other hand… and even then only because the two men who trumpeted its death were the same guys who could make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s healthier elsewhere in the world anyway.

  • http://the-animatorium.blogspot.com/ Natalie Belton

    It’s always amazed me that stop-motion films continue to be made even though 2D animation is seemingly dead in US theatrical features. In the past five years we’ve had Fantastic Mr. Fox, Coraline, Frankenweenie, The Pirates and Paranorman. Given how labor intensive the medium is, I find it sort of inspiring.

  • http://www.paperwalker.com/ Florian Satzinger

    Pure awesomeness, indeed. It’s so well executed and so perfectly balanced. I was watching it like a kid, mouth and eyes wide open. Thank you Laika.

  • Ryan

    A good trailer is one that gets people to see the damned movie.

    This is no small feat.

  • Ben

    As much as I love Laika’s films, there is always a horendeous delay getting them in Aus, and the trailer isn’t even available in Aus. What the dick Laika?

  • Mack

    Official YouTube link is up now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y8E7xJ6MXU
    Looks great.

  • Ward Jenkins

    Great trailer, and the animation and overall design looks amazing. However, my only gripe is showing too much of behind-the-scenes material even before the movie comes out. I remember Disney doing that with adding penciltests in their teaser trailers back in the 90s (and I loved seeing that, by the way) – but I’m afraid that seeing too much of the “man behind the curtain” is taking away the magic and wonder of this medium. I’m perfectly fine in seeing all that after seeing the movie (on dvd/blu-ray, of course), but I’m a little wanting to see less of the process beforehand. This is just my two cents.

  • Non

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  • Liza

    That was the coolest trailer I’ve ever seen. I instantly fell in love with the movie and I don’t know why because it didn’t really tell me what it was about. It was just beautiful.