The Boxtrolls is a stop-motion animated film from Laika Studios, the company who also helped create the stop-motion animated films Caroline and Paranorman. The film is based on the book, Here Be Monsters, by Alan Snow.
The film takes place in the gloomy town of Cheesebridge and follows the story of a boy named Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) who, as a baby, was adopted by the Boxtrolls, a race of trolls who live underground, only going above ground at night to scavenge and take little things for their incredible inventions. Each Boxtroll has its own box which it uses as clothes and can somehow fit its entire body into in order to hide. Eggs is adopted and raised by one Boxtroll in particular, Fish (Dee Bradley Baker).
The main conflict of the story is that the Boxtrolls are being hunted by Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) and his three henchmen Mr. Pickles (Richard Ayoade), Mr. Trout (Nick Frost), and Mr. Gristle (Tracy Morgan). On one trip to the surface, Eggs meets Winnie Portly-Rind (Elle Fanning), the daughter of Lord Portly-Rind (Jared Harris), the cheese obsessed mayor of the town. Winnie has a strong obsession/curiosity with the Boxtrolls and meeting a human who lives with the Boxtrolls only furthers this obsession. This really starts the main part of the story as Eggs, Winnie, and the Boxtrolls, attempt to stop Snatcher from killing all of the Boxtrolls in Cheesebridge.
Something that was amazing about this movie was just the plain fact that it was a stop-motion animated film. Stop-motion-animation is the hardest form of animation there is, since the animators have to make minuscule movements of the figure or object, take a picture of it, and repeat until every move for the scene has been shot. The animation was so smooth and well done that you just have to appreciate it. Another great thing was the voice acting. While most people might think that voice acting may not be very hard, it is much more than most people think, especially for a stop-motion film. The talents of every single actor brought these characters to life, even the Boxtrolls who had a language that was a combination of rough English and these sort of grunting, growling noises.
Of course, every movie has something that didn’t go to well and The Boxtrolls is no exception. The grotesque moments in the movie, while important to the story and funny, were a bit too gross to look at. While animated extremely well, those moments were just a bit too much.
Laika Studios has made some very good movies, and now they can add The Boxtrolls to that list. Even with those overbearingly gross moments, the film was well done and great to watch. I give this movie a solid four out of five stars.