The Boxtrolls is the much anticipated animated film from directors Graham Annabelle and Anthony Stacchi. It’s written by Irena Brignull and Adam Pava and stars Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Dee Bradley Baker, Tracy Morgan, Richard Ayoade and Dee Bradley Baker. The film is about a young orphan boy named Eggs who is raised underground by unique, trash-collecting creatures called ‘boxtrolls’. When an evil exterminator attempts to wipe out all the boxtrolls from the city, Eggs and friends try to stop him.
The Boxtrolls has fairly interesting characters, but it fails to deliver much development and depth to compliment them. Eggs is the lead, who is somewhat of a cliche, but he’s still a decent protagonist. Eggs’ love interest and friend, Winnie, is one who has the most potential. Her father, named Lord Portley-Rind is a rich and selfish character who is surprisingly unlikable. The boxtrolls themselves are the most interesting and intriguing characters in the movie, aside from the devious villain, Archibald Snatcher. For the most part, it’s a disappointment because there’s just not much to like about this cast.
The animation is pretty cool in The Boxtrolls. Whether it’s the silly little creatures, Eggs, a giant block of cheese or the dark, but vibrant city, it’s all beautiful. It will instantly remind you of movies like The Corpse Bride or Frankenweenie. Steamy sewers, raggedy old boxes or grocery bags, the pale moonlight and more all make for a very pretty and colorful atmosphere.
The story is based on the novel by Alan Snow called ‘Here Be Monsters!’. Most of the imaginative ideas found in the film stems from this book. The storyline in the movie is rough around the edges, as it tends to drag and not lack much character or depth. One of the most alarming things is that it tries hard to be funny but you’ll be lucky to get a single chuckle all the way through. I can’t help but feel as if the filmmakers simply tried too hard to make this a ‘special’ film such as so many other great animated films in recent years. However, nothing seems to click just right throughout the movie.
Sure, The Boxtrolls gives us these adorable, pity-worthy creatures to love and adore and beautiful animation, but what else does it truly offer? Imaginative characters? Not really. A great story? Not so much. It’s simple: I was not impressed with The Boxtrolls. It could have been so much better with likable characters, a sharp script and better storytelling and dialogue. It’s only worth a rent.
2 out of 5
-Some moments may be scary for children
-Boasts a dark atmosphere
-Boxtrolls could be frightening to children
Check out the trailer for The Boxtrolls below: