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How Will ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Create Rocket Raccoon For the Movie?

Rocket Raccoon

Guardians of the Galaxy‘ has always had one major stumbling block when it comes to making it as a big superhero movie at the center of Phase 2 of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe: one of the leading characters is a walking, talking raccoon. Yes, for those more accustomed to Iron Man and Captain America, Rocket Raccoon might be an adjustment but Marvel is committed to the challenge and this is how they’re going to pull it off.

Did we say “one” major stumbling block? OK, maybe it’s actually two. In addition to Rocket Raccoon, the film also features Groot, a walking tree that can control plant life with his mind. So how exactly do Marvel and director James Gunn plan on creating a superhero team that features a raccoon and tree as members?

Cinema Blend spoke with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ executive producer Victoria Alonso who said of their plans:

You can’t do any motion capture with a raccoon…but we will do rotomation, probably, for some of the behavior. Rocket will have his own personality, of course, and clearly we can’t do mocap on a tree, per say [sic], but we definitely will have performers to emulate what James Gunn will lead to be the behavior and the performance. He’s very clear on where he wants to take the characters.

Rotomation refers to the digital replacement of a live-action plate, meaning that they may film a raccoon walking or standing on its hindlegs and then animate that in the film. And what they’re looking to do with Groot sounds a bit like how they animated ‘Rango’ (the entire cast filmed the movie and then it was animated later based on their behavior).

But, of course, talking about how you’re going to do something and actually doing something (and pulling it off) are two different things. For every CGI character that works (Caesar in ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ for example), you get one that is wildly off the mark (the creepy kids in ‘The Polar Express’). So what do you think? Can Marvel make Rocket Raccoon work?

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