Advertisements

Blog Archives

Monster Gallery: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Wonders of the Troll Market and Beyond – Part 2

A Hungarian mine cave housed the gigantic Troll Market set, one of the biggest built for Hellboy II — a vibrant, busy environment filled with practical and digital creatures — which Del Toro wanted to deviate from usual design standards. “Each artist was free to bring forth as many sketches of creatures as they wanted,” Del Toro explained. “The only condition was to veer away from ‘movie monsters’ and make the creatures more surreal and exotic, reference things other than film: engravings from the middle ages, Hieronymus Bosch, the arabian tales, etc, etc. Barlowe had the best batting average… 8 out of 10 of his designs made it to the screen. But we treated these creatures like extras. We seldom, if ever showcased them — I felt this was crucial to treat the market like you would any other location… to make it real.”

Read the rest of this entry

Mister Wink

Mister Wink — Prince Nuada’s musclebound henchman troll — was born as a drawing in one of director Guillermo Del Toro’s notebooks: an ape-like humanoid with a large prosthetic mechanical hand that could be deployed from the arm through a chain and then retracted. As defined by concept artist Wayne Barlowe, “his huge artificial arm and hand seem like a direct counterpoint to Hellboy’s Right Hand of Doom.” The mechanical arm and hand also served the purpose of making Mr. Wink visually belong to Hellboy’s world.

Read the rest of this entry

Lupin

There was a terrible snarling noise. Lupin’s head was lengthening. So was his body. His shoulders were hunching. Hair was sprouting visibly on his face and hands, which were curling into clawed paws.

-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Read the rest of this entry

Buckbeak

Trotting towards them were a dozen of the most bizarre creatures Harry had ever seen.

They had the bodies, hind legs and tails of horses, but the front legs, wings and heads of what seemed to be giant eagles, with cruel, steel-coloured beaks and large, brilliantly orange eyes. The talons on their front legs were half a foot long and deadly-looking. Each of the beasts had a thick leather collar around its neck, which was attached to a long chain, and the ends of all of these were held in the vast hands of Hagrid, who came jogging into the paddock behind the creatures.

-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Read the rest of this entry

Monster Gallery: Avatar (2009)

Creatures of Pandora

General note: the following article focuses on the six major alien species featured in Avatar, with deliberate excision of the Na’vis — which will not be analyzed on the site. No Neytiri here!

Leonopteryxflighy

James Cameron first conceived Avatar in 1994, with an 80-page treatment of the story — which was to be produced into a film to be released in 1999, with the collaboration of Digital Domain. Cameron, however, felt that the digital effects technology available at the time had considerable restraints that inevitably needed to be resolved — due to the fact photorealistic computer-generated imagery was still a relatively new tool for filmmakers. The director decided to postpone the creation process for the film until his idea could effectively be convincingly brought to life.

Read the rest of this entry

Kaiju of the Rim

“It was a project that encompassed every single thing on my wish list, visually, atmospherically and emotionally,” said Guillermo Del Toro about Pacific Rim. “An unstoppable, thrilling adventure about monsters and robots, the likes of which we’ve never seen.” None other than this director could handle the project. “he is a master of the genre,” producer Jon Jashni said to Scifi Japan. “He is encyclopedic about the Kaiju and ‘mecha’ cultures, making him uniquely qualified to capture the most accessible and entertaining facets of both. When we shared with him what we were cooking up with Travis, he was immediately on board.”

Read the rest of this entry

Monster Gallery: Pacific Rim (2013)

Monster Gallery: Hellboy (2004)