Zathura (2004) - Robot Design.

One of my first (and still most fun) art department experiences in the movie biz, Zathura is still to my mind a truly underrated movie, full of heart, humor and thrills. The Robot, artfully realized by Stan Winston Studios as a practical costume with digitally replaced arms and legs, was initially conceived by storyboard artist Eric Ramsey, a dear friend I've had the pleasure of working on five movies with. My job was to translate the expressive design in his storyboards into something functional, without losing its tin-toy charm. I think we were all really proud of the result.

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The final robot design.

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Concept and detail sketches.

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An earlier concept that was rightly judged too Japanese robo.

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Transformation sketch showing how the earlier concept could expand mechanically from a small wind-up toy to the menacing final robot.

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The cute tin-toy version that initially appears when the robot card is drawn.

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Detail marker sketch for the feet, which were built practically.

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Early detail sketch of the rocket boosters.