The fact that there’s still an appetite for stop-motion animation in the age of CGI and increasingly cheap digital options for storytelling is surprising, if you think about it. But the work of the animation house Laika–responsible for films like Coraline, Paranorman, and The Boxtrolls–explains why that appetite exists: physical objects can touch us in ways that digital objects sometimes cannot, and the lovely work in those films explains why there’s room for all different kinds of animation, even as the options for storytelling in the medium grow.
There’s another bonus to using physical objects, too, which is that they actually, y’know, exist. That’s something Laika–in order to benefit the non-profit arts organization The Art of Elysium–is taking advantage of, as it auctions off props and puppets from all three of the house’s films. Dallas-based Heritage Auctions is overseeing the sale of the items, which include the production puppets of Coraline, in her light blue sweater; Norman, in his baseball outfit; and the Eggs and Boxtrolls, in their “box” outfits.
Jim Lentz, Heritage Auctions’ Director of Animation Art, said via a press release that “The studio’s legions of die-hard fans regularly ask Laika for the opportunity to own some of the masterfully engineered puppets, props and other artwork used to make these beloved films. So the studio is finally offering a specially curated collection of items from its production archives. This is the chance that those fans, and animation and film collectors of all stripes, have been waiting for.” This is a cool opportunity–and just think, if you’ve got the money to take home all of them, you can hand-shoot your very own crossover between the three.