I hate to break it to you, but Alligator Loki — the sensational character find of 2021 — was not a real alligator someone had cruelly glued an adorable Loki hat on. Instead, the Marvel TV series Loki was forced to summon the real world’s foremost illusionists, i.e. Industrial Light & Magic, to create the Gator of Mischief and the show’s other myriad VFX which, as this new video showcases, was a great deal of work indeed.
Look, these CG reels can be hit or miss, but I’d say this one hits even if it didn’t include Alligator Loki. It’s all stuff from the series’ penultimate episode, “Journey Into Mystery,” which happens to be the one where Richard E. Grant’s gloriously-outfitted Classic Loki conjures an illusion of the entirety of Asgard to distract Alioth, the giant cloud-monster that eats things (and people) sent to the Void. The video shows how much detail work ILM put into recreating the realm of the gods — surely, too much detail work — and then everything else that had to be added to create the scene. Look, if the visual effects studio wants to strut its stuff for a bit, I think it’s earned it:
What’s wildest to me, however, is the very third shot in the video, where Loki, Classic Loki, Kid Loki, and Boastful Loki are walking across a grassy terrain, and ILM reveals that it added multiple tufts of slightly larger grass to dot the landscape, because… I can’t even imagine. Sure, it looks good, but it also looks vastly unnecessary, especially when you need to animate the rise and destruction of Asgard and a giant smoke-monster full of lightning mucking about in it. Hell, forget about the grass and just spend that time making another 30 seconds of Alligator Loki splashing around in his little tub! Now that would be time well spent.