The Boxtrolls 3D

Out Now On-Demand

Heroes comes in all shapes and sizes... even rectangles.

Stop-motion animated family adventure from Laika Entertainment (Paranorman, Coraline) about Eggs, a young orphan boy raised under the streets by a group of cave-dwelling, trash-collecting creatures known as the Boxtrolls. The Boxtrolls are targeted by an evil exterminator named Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley), but he'll have to get past Eggs first. Based on the children’s novel Here Be Monsters and featuring the voices of Elle Fanning, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Toni Collette and Richard Ayoade.

Trailers

Written by

Studio

Laika Entertainment

Adventure, Animated, Kids & Family, Fantasy, Kids, 3D

97mins

Rating: PG Low level violence

USA

Official Site

Elegantly presenting issues surrounding social stature, materialism, and how they warp our sense of identity, The Boxtrolls engrosses with a child-friendly moodiness reminiscent of Henry Selick’s mid-‘90s family features James and the Giant Peach and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Like Selick’s films, the true charm of these characters comes from their exuberantly animated personalities – not a prettied-up Disney-fied exterior.

As with Coraline and ParaNorman, Laika Entertainment’s stop-motion animated talents flourish to masterfully mesmerizing effect in The Boxtrolls. Watching as trolls form box staircases to climb gates; upper-class snobs dine on their beloved cheese platters; and the almost self-aware henchmen contemplate “the duality of good and evil”, it’s easy to forget the arduous frame-by-frame process taken to bring these rich and distinctive personalities to life. Their most vile character, boxtroll-exterminator Archibald Snatcher, proves to be the most memorable with his bulging stomach, smug facial features and Ben Kingsley’s fantastically gross voice that speaks to his mutated desire to become a man of wealth and prestige.

Though the humour doesn’t try for Aardman levels of adult comedy, it does include a hearty mix of sublime slapstick and modest wit (including the best milk gag ever). The laughs do not betray the gorgeous world Laika has created, never cheapening themselves to formulaic cracks or lazy pop-culture references. There are gross-out gags, but they are cleverly and politely concealed. Rarely does a film earn its fart jokes; The Boxtrolls brilliantly ends on one.

Time Out London

press

Breathlessly paced and surreally funny, The Boxtrolls fizzes with visual invention and wild slapstick.

Variety (USA)

press

Squanders Laika's considerable artistic talent on an unappealing concept and screenplay.

Hollywood Reporter

press

Stubbornly unappealing...

Guardian (UK)

press

Set it against the shiny blandishments that have passed for family fun this season, and it starts to look vaguely radical.

Empire (UK)

press

There’s slapstick and silliness to entertain small children and nefarious plots for the adult audience to untangle...

At The Movies (Australia)

press

There are some wonderful things here, and a very dry, British, sense of humour, including the sorts of gags The Goon Show might have featured in another, more innocent, era.