Freddy, Bonnie, and Chica are all suit-performed animatronics, not unlike the folks inside the mascot costumes that can blink or move their ears. Given Foxy’s deteriorated frame, the animatronics team had to take a different approach. “Foxy was the most difficult, I guess, if we’re going to talk about humans being in the costumes,” lead designer Robert Bennett told SFX. “Foxy has holes in his chest; if it has holes all over it and damage scars, there’s no way that we’d ever get a person in there. Even if we did it with greenscreen, it would be so expensive to fix it and put everything back in.”
For this reason, Foxy became a full animatronic rather than a suit-performance. “His torso all the way up, his arms, torso, head, neck is all animatronic, and then his legs and feet were rod-puppeteered,” said Bennett. “We got a big boom arm and attached him to the end of that. So when he’s walking through set, or down the hallway, we would position the boom arm where you couldn’t see it — they would have to paint out a little bit of it.”
But Foxy isn’t all machine. Bennett estimates that it took approximately seven people to puppeteer him, with a performer on the head and face and another on the arms. “He was, in my opinion, the most impressive on set because he is an actual animatronic,” Bennett said. “So when we got him set up and it was all lit and everything, it was very impressive.” Having seen Foxy in action, it’s confirmed that Benett is right on the money. If you thought Foxy was scary haulin’ it in the video games, you won’t believe your eyes when he’s terrorizing the halls in live action.
“Five Nights at Freddy’s” heads to theaters and Peacock on October 27, 2023.