Five Nights At Freddy’s Animatronic Backlash Addressed By Designer

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Summary

  • Backlash surrounding the animatronics in the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie was addressed by creature designer Robert Bennett, who confirmed that the designs were not CGI and aimed to be game-accurate.
  • The red-eye debate sparked by the movie’s trailer had mixed reactions from viewers, with some expressing disappointment and others supporting the design choice.
  • The removal of the red eyes in promotional materials created a surprising reaction, as many fans actually preferred the original design and expressed their disappointment with the change.


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Five Nights at Freddy’s creature designer Robert Bennett addresses the backlash surrounding the movie’s animatronics. The upcoming movie follows Mike Schmidt (Josh Hutcherson) as he works the night shift at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza and learns that the restaurant’s animatronic mascots come to life at night for sinister purposes. Given that the Five Nights at Freddy’s game series boasts a devoted fanbase, the live-action iteration faced scrutiny regarding its animatronics design. When Five Nights at Freddy’s dropped its first trailer, some viewers took issue with the animatronics’ glowing red eyes, as it was a departure from the video games.

In an interview with SFX Magazine (via The Direct), Bennett responded to the backlash Five Nights at Freddy’s received for its animatronics. Although he emphasized that the movie has received much support, he acknowledged he knew about the red-eye debate. Bennett debunked that CGI was used for the designs and confirmed that remaining true to the games was essential to him. Check out his statement below:

Everything I’ve seen has been superpositive. I know there was a big to-do about the red eyes in the poster, but once again, that’s one of the fan lore things that I didn’t even know about. I watched a couple of YouTube reaction videos to the trailer. This one guy was like, ‘it looks great, but I just wish they’d show the actual animatronics, it’s all CG.’ Well, no, it was all our costumes. Everything in that trailer is our costumes and nothing was touched up with digital. So it’s fun that the fans appreciate how accurate they are.

We received digital files straight from Scott [Cawthon] and that’s what we’ve worked off. But it really was my intention to nail them as game-accurate as we possibly could. It was gonna be a challenge to create them regardless, and there was no reason to deviate from these designs because they’re so good to begin with. I think that is more of a challenge to create a one-to-one replica of the thing than to deviate, because once you deviate then you can make excuses of why you did it that way. But when you do it as accurately as you can, I think that’s the most fun.


Five Nights At Freddy’s Animatronics Backlash Explained

Custom image of Mike and a smiling Freddy in Five Nights at Freddy's

The reactions to the animatronics were not all adverse and weren’t the biggest takeaway for some viewers. Though the Five Nights at Freddy’s trailer saw a few minor changes to the story, it still looked promising and terrifying. Additionally, the involvement of Scott Cawthon, Five Nights at Freddy’s creator, in the story and script raised further hope of the movie being a satisfying adaptation. Still, a few viewers got a bit riled up when the movie’s poster and trailer showed the animatronics with glowing red eyes.

A Reddit post launched by SkeletonsHaveBones asked for viewers’ thoughts on Five Nights at Freddy’s animatronics’ design, allowing many to voice their concerns about them. Some critics expressed that the eyes simply looked goofy and not serious enough for a horror movie. Others pointed out that the animatronics’ design in the games was creepier because they were dull and worn-looking rather than boasting glowing red eyes. A more natural look rather than exaggerated menacing features seemed to be preferred by users.

RELATED: Five Nights At Freddy’s Cast Guide – Who’s Who In The Video Game Adaptation

Later, Five Nights at Freddy’s posters and promotional materials saw the animatronics without the glowing red eyes, leading to some speculation that it was changed because of the backlash. Surprisingly, this led to many social media users reacting with disappointment, revealing that many more people supported the red eyes than previously thought. For instance, Twitter user @CharlieFN4F said, “The red looks so much better.”

It’s unclear if the red eyes were removed since they might change colors throughout the movie. However, the unexpected turn in the red-eye debate and Five Nights at Freddy‘s designer remind viewers that backlash doesn’t always reflect the wider support and opinion on a film.

Source: SFX Magazine (via The Direct), SkeletonsHaveBones/Reddit, @CharlieFN4F/Twitter

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