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D&D: Honor Among Thieves' Practical Effects Are Thanks To The Team Behind Grogu

"Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" is a massive fantasy adventure film, which means its boasts more than its fair share of CGI and visual effects-heavy sequences. That doesn't mean, however, that the new film from "Game Night" directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley doesn't also feature creatures that were created using practical effects. As a matter of fact, the film features several uses of real-world locations, physical sets, animatronics, and off-screen puppeteering.

One of the film's most impressive creatures is a character named Jarnathan (Clayton Grover) who appears early on in "Honor Among Thieves." The character, who is a member of the avian humanoid fictional "Dungeons & Dragons" race known as the aarakocras, was brought to life using practical effects by the artists at Legacy Effects. "Honor Among Thieves" co-director John Francis Daley spoke very briefly about how realistic Jarnathan looks in the film during an interview with Geek & Sundry, and was quick to note that the artists at Legacy Effects were also responsible for bringing Grogu to life in "The Mandalorian."

"[Jarnathan was] an absolute nightmare to shoot because he's carrying this wing rig that was about 600 lbs and we needed lines from the ceiling to support some of the weight," Francis Daley revealed. "It was just a testament to the geniuses at Legacy Effects that did all of our practical effects work — they made Baby Yoda — that [they] just brought this insanely absurd character to life in a tangible and realistic way."

The D&D directors wanted to combine practical and digital effects in the film

In addition to "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" and "The Mandalorian," Legacy Effects has also worked on other films and TV shows, including "Avatar: The Way of Water," "Avengers: Endgame," and "The Book of Boba Fett." Taking that into account, it's not hard to see why Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley went to the special effects studio to help them create some of the creatures in "Honor Among Thieves."

Speaking with Total Film, Goldstein and Daley even opened up about why they so desperately wanted to combine both practical and digital effects in their new "Dungeons & Dragons" film — citing a Steven Spielberg-directed classic as one of the movie's biggest inspirations. "'Jurassic Park' was very much our spirit animal in our approach to this film," Goldstein revealed. "What Spielberg did so perfectly was to blend practical and visual effects. And that's what we were able to do with this."

For their part, Shane Mahan and Lindsay Macgowan, the co-owners of Legacy Effects, recently spoke to Den of Geek about the difficulties they faced in bringing Clayton Grover's Jarnathan to life on-screen. "It's a constant animatronic costume," Mahan said. "It's a very complicated piece of costuming, and it's a big leap forward in what we've been experimenting with on other shows."

All of this is to say that, while not every creature in "Honor Among Thieves" was created practically, the ones that were definitely pop in their own, unique ways. Given their work on "The Mandalorian," Legacy Effects must have seemed like the obvious choice to bring the fantasy creatures in "Honor Among Thieves" to life, too. Fortunately, it doesn't seem like hiring the studio is a decision Daley, Goldstein, or anyone else involved in the film has come to regret.