50-foot long, 3 tonnes, with 20 million hairs and 8” claws, and despite all that, Elliot had to connect emotionally with the audience. Our animators worked to make him expressive but still deeply rooted in animalistic behaviours. This helped the audience relate to him, much like they would a pet.
Weta Digital used extensive real-world reference to come up with his movements—cats, dogs, elephants, lions, foxes, eagles, albatrosses and meerkats. His flying style, “paddling” through the air, was inspired by footage of a polar bear swimming. His “invisibility”, blending into the background, has its basis in the way a cuttlefish uses camouflage to hide in plain sight.