Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Boxtrolls

Releases September 26th, 2014
1 hr 36 mins
Rated PG
Animated, Family


Director: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi


Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Eggs
Elle Fanning as Winnie Portley-Rind
Ben Kingsley as Archibald Snatcher
Toni Collette as Lady Portley-Rind
Jared Harris as Lord Portley-Rind
Nick Frost as Mr. Trout
Richard Ayoade as Mr. Pickles
Tracy Morgan as Mr. Gristle
Simon Pegg as Herbert Trubshaw
Dee Bradley Baker as Fish, Wheels, and Bucket
Steve Blum as Shoe and Sparky
Nika Futterman as Oil Can, and Knickers
Fred Tatasciore as Clocks and Specs
Maurice LaMarche as Sir Langsdale
James Urbaniak as Sir Broderick
Brian George as Boulanger
Laraine Newman as Mother
Sam Lavagnino

Review by Stephen M.

The Boxtrolls is a classic fish out of water tale, with Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) having grown up with boxtrolls since he was a baby.  The boxtrolls, peaceful in nature, lives underground and comes out at night looking for useful gadgets and parts to fix and add to their home or collection.  The antagonist is Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) who with his lackeys are pest exterminators, vow to rid the city of the trolls in exchange for a white hat that would bring him prestige and of course, cheese.

Stop motion movies of this undertaking always has to be admired just for the amount of hard work put into them.  The Boxtrolls is no exception, with a gorgeously animated movie that will make you laugh at the absurdity of high society that it parodies.  Most of the humor comes in the form of Eggs being introduced to human society after the majority of his life in a cave underground.  His "parent," Fish kidnapped by Snatcher along with most of the other boxtrolls for nefarious reasons draws him out as he meets Winnie Portley-Rind (Elle Fanning) daughter of the leader of the White Hats.  The jokes and animation would appeal to both kids and adults, though there is a dark side to the movie.

The boxtrolls are not particularly attractive, they are trolls after all.  Also lacking, that's prevalent in most children animations nowadays, is a princess of which Winnie can be hardly called one.  Besides that, the film's theme includes genocide, murder and corruption, yes, hardly themes suitable for young kids.  The ending is pretty ridiculous, but that's what the filmmakers may have been going for with Snatcher's allergies.

Overall, I would recommend the film at least as a matinee.  I enjoyed Laika's ParaNorman more than this film.  As well, the upcoming The Book of Life I believe is more entertaining and young child friendly than The Boxtrolls.  The film though is not without its laughs and charm but could have benefited from a more softer topic matter that is more easily understood by kids.


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