As a Miami-based prop rental, fabrication, and set design company, Movie Prop Rentals was naturally excited to work with Miami Seaquarium– a local institution that provides unique, interactive, and educational experiences for families. The 38-acre park is the perfect place to learn more about conservation efforts, swim with dolphins and seals, touch sharks and rays, interact with penguins, play trainer for a day, and see a killer whale perform. It was an excellent opportunity for us to take in the tranquil, tropical surroundings while creating something truly magical for the 2020 holiday season.

About the Project

For more than a decade, Miami Seaquarium has been putting on a live-action Christmas show featuring their trainers and seal performers. Tickets selling for $29.99 were limited, and face coverings mandatory this year, but as they say: “The show must go on!” Premiering December 10th and running through the holiday season, “Salty the Seal” and his co-stars were to “discover who stole the joy of Christmas” and “restore the true meaning of the season.” Movie Prop Rentals joined the project to transform the rocky cove exhibit into a Winter Wonderland, reminiscent of Dr. Seuss’s Whoville.

What We Did

Movie Prop Rentals specializes in custom background design, fabrication, and installation. We like to use 3D-printed foam due to its precise execution, lightweight portability, versatility for finishes, and ability to scale to enormous proportions if necessary.

For this project, we created a:  

  • Snowy landscape with a town center Christmas tree and “Who” huts: Based on the initial concept provided by the client, we ultimately created a massive 13 ft. high x 40-ft. wide 3D-printed foam Display-a-rama. After painting it, we transported the scenery to the aquarium and installed it, along with snow effects, over the usual cave.
  • Fireplace with stockings and Grinch legs coming down the chimney: Around the corner, we printed and painted a smaller indoor layout like Cindy Lou Who’s house. We used bright, contrasting colors, and provided just the right amount of detail for viewers to see from a distance.
  • Red Santa sleigh: We proofed, 3D modeled, and built a 12 ft. long x 4 ft. wide sleigh capable of holding an 800-pound walrus. The trainer and seal also took promo photographs here.
  • Grinch’s lair: The rocky, moonlit 12 ft. tall x 10 ft. wide x 4 ft. deep “Grinch’s lair” featured an entrance, where an actor playing the Grinch would emerge and surprise audiences.

Once the holiday theme wrapped up, they wanted to see what creative conceptual ideas we had for fresh new fabrications to jazz up the cove. We shared visuals to help plan future shows from light houses and beach shacks to palm trees and sandy beaches around the world. We look forward to working with Seaquarium in the future.

Insider’s Perspective

“The whimsical drawings of Dr. Seuss provided clear guidance on what the client wanted,” explained Movie Prop Rentals’ Graylan Franklin. “Though Seaquarium gave us plenty of lead time to get the project just right, we can design, fabricate, finish, and even waterproof this type of backdrop in one to two days,” he added.

“We live and breathe Miami, so you know, we’re one with the sea here!” said Movie Prop Rentals cofounder Jerry Blohm. “It was fun working on-site with the seals barking and splashing in the background. It’s not every day you get to design a sleigh for an 800-pound walrus, but we’re masters of logistics, so we can safely make that happen.”

Contact Movie Prop Rentals for Your Next Commercial Spot

Movie Prop Rentals brings your vision to life. Contact our team for a free, no-obligation custom quote. We’d be happy to whip up some 3D renderings and visuals to help you see what’s possible for your next project or event.