The art took inspiration from such Japanese mediums as ink wash painting and origami among others. A particular influence came from the ukiyo-e wood block style, with Laika intending to make the entire film “to look and feel as if it’s a moving woodblock print” Assistance came from 3D printing firm, Stratasys who allowed Laika to use their newest technogies in exchange for feedback on them.
For the Skeleton monster the team created a giant 16 foot, 400 pound puppet, which Laika claims is the record holder for largest stop motion puppet. The idea to make such a massive puppet was born out of a fear that individual smaller parts (meant to represent the larger monster) would not work well on screen interacting with the other puppets. The resulting puppet was built in two parts which were then attached together by magnets. For movement Laika had to design a robot to easily manipulate it. The team at one point purchased an industrial robot off of eBay but found that it would not work with their setup.