Movie Review: The Boxtrolls
*Bran Stark as Eggs, the only child alive with enviable Stockholm Syndrome*
Hello everyone! This week’s review is Laika Studio’s stop motion animated feature The Boxtrolls. Stop motion animation is one of my absolute all-time favorite film mediums so I was super jazzed to see The Boxtrolls. Plus who doesn’t want to see a movie with Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and Ben Kingsley as some of the amazing voice actors in the film?! Seriously, stay for the credits you’ll be amazed by how many times you say “OHHHHHH! That’s who that was.”
The film is based off of the book Here Be Monster! by Alan Snow and centers around a boy named Eggs who is raised by subterranean trolls who wear boxes. Eggs is raised by a boxtroll named Fish and is treated like one of their own. The boxtrolls live a peaceful life until an exterminator named Archibald Snatcher (Kingsley) begins capturing every last boxtroll. To save his friends Eggs must venture on his own to the upper world and stop Snatcher before it’s too late!
*Look at all that puppet-y goodness!*
While this may seem like a fairly simple plot, The Boxtrolls does a great job of adding unexpected elements that really make the movie memorable. The characters are also really fleshed out and well designed. Each troll has its own distinct look and personality that goes along with their box. The Boxtrolls also does a great job with character interactions, particularly with Fish and Eggs who have a sort of father-son type bond. There’s a scene between them in the beginning that is almost too sweet for words! *fans face*
The visual quality of the film was outstanding. Every little detail was handmade and every movement was done frame by frame. The amount of effort put into the movie is incredible and you can tell that the people who made it love what they are doing. Every building and citizen of the town of Cheesebrigdge contributes so well to the overall effect of the film so that you can almost believe that they aren’t just puppets on a massive stage. The music was also really sweet! I especially enjoyed the ending song “Little Boxes” by Oregon band Loch Lomond. If you’d like to get a taste of what the feel of the movie is like before seeing it I’d definitely recommend listening to the wonderful soundtrack.
*The size of these sets always amaze me! To see a cool little video on how these sets are made take a look at this!*
Like Studio Laika’s previous films, Coraline and Paranorman, Boxtrolls sets out to give its viewers a message. What I’ve always liked about these films is that they make something visually beautiful that also has something meaningful to say. The Boxtrolls dealt with family ideals and identity issues in ways that were simple enough for its younger target audience (and me XD) to understand. However it wasn’t all life lessons and sadness! Boxtrolls is genuinely funny and made me start choking on my drink at one point. Choking pretty bad actually… *sobs* Also it was so cute! SO VERY VERY CUTE. I love me some tiny monsters, but the boxtrolls are now in my top ten favorites.
I think that this film will appeal to children and adults who enjoy off beat animated films. The Boxtrolls might be strange but it is a wonderfully endearing film that I would definitely see again. If you like your animated films to be a little more quirky and dark then you will most definitely like this film. If not, as always, wait for Netflix! However I will suggest taking a risk on The Boxtrolls, all the children and adults in the audience (and me when I wasn’t choking) seemed to enjoy the film and left happy.