After so many other Marvel Studios projects, it’s easy to forget that Tom Hiddleston headlined one of the most-watched Disney+ projects ever: Loki. The streaming series not only broke viewership records, but it was one of the most important MCU projects at the time, something Tom Hiddleston's Spider-Man: No Way Home now holds a stick to.
The show was centered around the former Avengers villain and dove deep into the unknown. After being kidnapped from his Endgame timeline, the God of Mischief was introduced to the Time Variance Authority.
From there, he would go on to learn about Variants, pruning, the Sacred Timeline, Multiverse, and even Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror himself. The adopted Asgardian may have bitten off more than he could chew with his rebellion.
Now Industrial Light & Magic has released a video going behind the curtains of how the show’s grand effects were created.
Frog Thor, Asgard, and Alioth Walk into The Void
On their YouTube account, the legendary VFX company Industrial Light & Magic released a video showing audiences how some of the most significant moments in Marvel Studios’ Loki were created.
The first sequence the video goes over features Tom Hiddleston’s Loki alongside his Variants shortly after he lands in Void. Fans get a look at the blue stuffed animal that stood in for Alligator Loki.
The crew then runs across the landscape and into the hatch. Pretty much all of the visuals on screen are computer-generated aside from the unexploded missile and the ground they walk on.
As the camera descends, the VFX walkthrough gives a nice look at Frog Thor and how he was created for his jar cameo.
Once inside their hidden bowling alley, the video gives a rundown of how the team created the now-famous Alligator Loki. The blue stuffed gator makes a comeback as Boastful Loki tries to keep his limbs.
Up next is Alioth, whose FX animation reference kind of looks like a fat praying mantis. The various layers of different effects is genuinely astounding, even more so in how well it all works.
As the angry cloud attacks the ship, the video surprisingly reveals that they never had a practical one—or at least that’s what one has to assume. So what were those actors running on? Movie magic.
Then comes Richard E. Grant’s Classic Loki raising Asgard from the depths, creating one of the biggest illusions cast by any Loki. It looks to have been painstakingly recreated from the ground up.
After the sacrifice of Grant’s Variant, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie take their final stand against Alioth.
The mysterious entity gains more personality and form as he’s about to be destroyed by the two of them. It’s impressive to see the end product right after being shown the two actors staring at all blue screens with an insane amount of lights above and in front of them.
Last up, the video jumps back to the Asgard illusion as Alioth takes it down, all of which, again, is created from the bottom up.
The video can be seen in its entirety below:
The Power of Loki’s Illusions
Like any other Disney+ show, it’s impossible to say that Loki’s effects were perfect; what they were able to pull off, however, is impressive nonetheless. Tom Hiddleston’s romp as a Variant on the run relies on CGI more than any other Marvel Studios streaming series in 2021, so it was important that most of it to work out for the show's success.
One of the more awe-inspiring feats from the show was Allioth’s grand imposing presence and his destruction of the Asgard Illusion. It makes sense that it would be featured in a behind-the-scenes video like this one; after all the show's director recenty revealed that episode five was the one installment of the series that changed the most.
A moment that didn’t make it in the video, which would have been immensely intriguing to see it be created, was the branching of the Multiverse in the show’s finale. Even more than that, the entire opening of the episode with the camera zooming out as far out in the cosmos as Marvel Studios was comfortable depicting.
No doubt, when the show returns for its second season, the series will manage to one-up nearly everything it did their first time around.
Loki is now streaming on Disney+.