First Look At Weta’s Toad of Toad Hall

Crikey. I’m 100% sure this isn’t what my wife had in mind when she was reading and enjoying Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows a couple of months back. I know because she wasn’t waking up in the middle of the night, screaming.

Ray Griggs is teaming up with Weta to produce the film on a pretty tight budget – Variety were saying $30 million when they reported on the story a few weeks ago. In view of the financial constraints, there’s not much in the way of character CGI planned,with Toad and co. to be realised as men in suits. Apparently, the dialogue will be recorded first and then the creatures’ animatronic faces will be programmed to move in sync with the recording. The body actors wearing the suits will have to somehow match their movements to the pre-programmed heads in a way that will make for compelling and comprehensible performances.

Still not over the scary toad. I’m thinking this is going to be a rather distinctive looking picture, and that’s always a good thing.

If you follow the URL on the poster, you’ll be presented with a ‘Play Trailer button’. I knew this was too good to be true, though – clicking on it doesn’t seem to do anything but make the legend ‘Loading Trailer’ flash on and off indefinitely.

UPDATE: I’ve now found the trailer elsewhere and posted it to the site.

Weta folk will be joining director Griggs on a stall at Comic Con so I’m hopeful more images will surface soon. Can’t wait to see Badger.

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