How Long Did It Take to Make Boxtrolls?

Creating a stop-motion animated film is a meticulous and time-consuming process. So, just how long did it take to make the charming movie “Boxtrolls”?


Before the cameras started rolling on “Boxtrolls,” a significant amount of planning and preparation went into bringing this stop-motion animated film to life. The pre-production phase lasted for approximately 18 months, during which various aspects of the film were meticulously planned out.

First and foremost, the storyboarding process was crucial in mapping out the sequence of events in the film and visualizing how each scene would unfold. This step allowed the filmmakers to get a clear idea of the pacing and overall feel of the movie.

Additionally, character design was a key focus during pre-production. Developing the unique look and personalities of each character, particularly the lovable Boxtrolls themselves, required careful attention to detail. This stage involved creating concept art, modeling the characters, and fine-tuning their movements and expressions.

Another important aspect of pre-production was set design. The intricate and detailed sets of the underground world where the Boxtrolls reside had to be carefully crafted to create a convincing and immersive environment for the characters to inhabit. This process involved creating miniature props, buildings, and landscapes that would bring the world of “Boxtrolls” to life.

Overall, the meticulous planning and preparation that took place during pre-production were essential in laying the foundation for the successful production and eventual completion of the film.


Once pre-production was complete, the production phase of “Boxtrolls” began, where the actual filming took place. This phase was just as complex and challenging as the planning stage, with production taking approximately 18 months to complete.

One of the main challenges faced during production was the time-consuming nature of stop-motion animation. Each frame of the film had to be meticulously crafted and photographed, requiring immense attention to detail and patience from the animators. This painstaking process contributed to the overall length of time it took to complete the film.

Additionally, voice recording for the characters and sound design were crucial elements of the production phase. Ensuring that the dialogue and sound effects matched the actions on screen required careful coordination and collaboration between the creative team.

Overall, the production phase of “Boxtrolls” was a labor-intensive process that required meticulous attention to detail and a dedication to bringing the vision of the film to life on screen. Despite the challenges faced, the hard work and creativity of the entire production team ultimately paid off in the finished product.


After the filming wrapped up, the team at Laika Studios dove deep into the intricate process of post-production for “Boxtrolls.” This stage involved meticulous editing to piece together the stop-motion animation sequences, ensuring seamless transitions and storytelling flow. Sound design played a crucial role in bringing the characters and scenes to life, with attention to detail in every creak, whisper, and footstep. The multi-layered soundtrack added depth and emotion to the film, enhancing the viewing experience for audiences of all ages.

Animation Techniques

In the making of “Boxtrolls,” the talented animators at Laika Studios utilized a distinctive stop-motion animation technique known as replacement animation. This method involves creating a series of interchangeable heads, faces, and body parts for each character, allowing for a wide range of expressions and movements. The filmmakers painstakingly crafted every frame, ensuring fluidity and realism in the characters’ interactions and emotions. This meticulous process set “Boxtrolls” apart from other animated films, captivating audiences with its unique visual style and attention to detail.

Unique Insight: One key aspect of the stop-motion animation used in “Boxtrolls” was the incorporation of CGI elements to enhance and streamline the production process. This innovative blend of traditional and digital techniques enabled the filmmakers to achieve a level of visual richness and complexity that wowed audiences worldwide.

Voice Acting

Want to know how long it took to bring the characters in “Boxtrolls” to life through voice acting? The talented voice actors spent over two years recording their lines to bring depth and emotion to the storytelling. Their hard work truly shines through in the final film, adding richness to the characters and making the world of the Boxtrolls come alive on screen.

Fun Facts

As you delve into the behind-the-scenes of “Boxtrolls,” here are some fascinating tidbits you may not know: 1. The stop-motion animation process for the film took a staggering nearly five years to complete, from start to finish. 2. Over 148,000 faces were 3D-printed for the characters in the movie, showcasing the incredible attention to detail and craftsmanship that went into its creation. 3. The team behind “Boxtrolls” used nearly 20,000 pounds of clay to sculpt the intricate characters and sets, highlighting the dedication and artistry involved in every frame of the film. Stay tuned for more delightful facts about the making of this beloved movie!

Art and Design

Creating the visually stunning world of “Boxtrolls” required meticulous attention to detail and intricate design work. The stop-motion animation technique used in the film meant that every character, set, and prop had to be carefully crafted by hand, adding to the time-consuming nature of the production process. The art and design team spent months perfecting the look of each boxtroll and the underground world they inhabit. From the quirky costumes to the intricate steam-punk-inspired gadgets, every aspect of the film was thoughtfully designed to bring the fantastical world of Cheesebridge to life.

Key Insight:
– The production of “Boxtrolls” took approximately 18 months to complete, from concept to final animation. This included the extensive art and design phase, where every detail was meticulously crafted to ensure the visual richness of the film.

Critical Reception

Audiences and critics alike were captivated by the intricate world of the “Boxtrolls” and the unique storytelling that unfolded within it. The film received praise for its stunning animation, quirky characters, and heartfelt narrative. The care and dedication put into the production process shone through in the final product, earning positive reviews and accolades from both viewers and critics. The time and effort invested in the art and design of the film contributed significantly to its overall reception, creating a visually striking and immersive experience for audiences of all ages.

Key Insight:
“Boxtrolls” garnered an impressive 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, highlighting the positive reception it received from critics for its creativity and attention to detail in the production process.

Impact of Technology

The creation of “Boxtrolls” was heavily reliant on technology, specifically advancements in animation techniques. With the use of stop-motion animation, the filmmakers were able to bring the quirky and charming world of the Boxtrolls to life. This meticulous process involved capturing each frame one by one, requiring a large team of animators and technicians to work together seamlessly.

The role of technology in animation has evolved over the years, allowing for greater creativity and realism in storytelling. Computer-generated imagery (CGI) has become a standard in the industry, revolutionizing the way films are made. The intricate details and movements of the Boxtrolls, as well as the vibrant and immersive world they inhabit, were made possible through these technological advancements.

The impact of technology on the creation of “Boxtrolls” goes beyond just the visual aspects. It also affects the efficiency and speed of production. While stop-motion animation is known for being a time-consuming process, advancements in technology have helped streamline the workflow, making it more manageable for filmmakers to bring their vision to life.

Overall, the integration of technology into the production of “Boxtrolls” showcases the innovation and dedication of the team behind the film. As technology continues to advance, we can expect even more groundbreaking and visually stunning animated films to grace our screens.


In conclusion, “Boxtrolls” has left a lasting impact on the world of animation, setting a new standard for creativity and storytelling. The film’s unique blend of stop-motion animation and advanced technology has captivated audiences of all ages, earning critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase.

The legacy of “Boxtrolls” serves as a reminder of the power of animation to transport us to imaginative worlds and evoke genuine emotions. Its impact on the industry can be seen in the way filmmakers approach storytelling and visual design, pushing boundaries and exploring new techniques to create unforgettable cinematic experiences.

As we look to the future of animation, “Boxtrolls” stands as a testament to the artistry and innovation that drive the industry forward. Its influence will continue to inspire future generations of animators and filmmakers to push the boundaries of what is possible in storytelling through the magic of animation.

  • Alex Mitch

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