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A family event movie from the creators of Coraline and ParaNorman that introduces audiences to a new breed of family – The Boxtrolls, a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised a human boy named Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright) in the amazing cavernous home they’ve built beneath the streets of Cheesebridge. When the town’s villain, Archibald Snatcher (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley), comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls, Eggs decides to venture above ground, “into the light,” where he meets and teams up with fabulously feisty Winnie (Elle Fanning). Together, they devise a daring plan to save Eggs’ family.
|Eggs||Winnie Portley-Rind||Lord Portley-Rind||Archibald Snatcher||Mr. Pickles||Mr. Trout|
|Voiced by||Isaac Hempstead Wright||Elle Fanning||Jared Harris||Ben Kingsley||Richard Ayoade||Nick Frost|
|Description||A feral 11-year-old boy who has been raised underground by the Boxtrolls. He's dirty, eats bugs and he loves to build machines out of junk. He even thinks he is a Boxtroll. Unlike his timid Boxtroll brothers, he is brave and a little bit impetuous. Eggs realizes he is actually a human boy when he goes above ground to search for his kidnapped Boxtroll friend Fish.||A precocious little girl who is morbidly obsessed with grotesque stories about the Boxtrolls kidnapping children. Despite the pretty bows and frilly dresses, there is nothing delicate about this sassy bruiser. The only child of Lord and Lady Portley-Rind, she is lavished with gifts but starved of attention. When she is pulled into the Boxtrolls' fantastical underworld, she is forced to re-think everything she's ever believed.||The aristocratic mayor of Cheesebridge. He is obsessed with wealth, class and fine dairy products. He presides over The White Hats, a club of the town's social elite. He epitomizes the prejudices the people of Cheesebridge have toward anyone lower than them, especially the Boxtrolls. Portley-Rind is also a stuffy, buttoned-up dad unable to connect with his daughter, Winnie.||A lowly pest exterminator who dreams of becoming an aristocrat. He lives in many extravagant states of denial – he fancies himself a connoisseur of fine cheeses despite the fact that his severe lactose intolerance causes him to swell up to monstrous proportions. He is the leader of a gang of Victorian guttersnipes called the Red Hats. Denied the life of privilege he feels entitled to, Snatcher will resort to anything to succeed, regardless of the trail of wreckage he leaves behind. No one is safe from this deviously cunning villain.||He is tall, gangly and not so bright. He doesn't quite understand he's in the villain's gang. He likes to believe he's one of the good guys.||He is a huge, hulking man-child. He is overly considerate, hates violence and has to be pushed to use his physical strength (exactly what Snatcher hired him for). A veritable intellectual compared to the other Red Hats. He enjoys French poetry, Shakespeare, and short walks to the pub.|
|Voiced by||Steve Blum||Steve Blum||Nika Futterman||Dee Bradley Baker|
|Description||A grouchy kleptomaniac Boxtroll who cannot resist swiping a good nut, bolt or anything shiny when he sees it. He is best friends with Fish and, over the years, has even grown to like Eggs.||The strong, silent type. Sparky always wears his welding goggles, generally isn't impressed by anything, really, and gets electrocuted every time he tries to fix a light switch or the odd toaster.||He is a small, dirty and very cute Boxtroll who wears a funnel as a hat and is perpetually oiling everything mechanical with the small blue oil can he carries with him at all times.||The Boxtroll that brought Eggs underground. He is Eggs' surrogate father and has always taught him that the way to survive as a Boxtroll is to hide from danger.|
From the creators of Coraline and ParaNorman comes a magical family adventure about heroes in all shapes and sizes: The Boxtrolls. Quirky, mischievous and good-hearted, these box-wearing creatures have lovingly raised a human boy named "Eggs" (voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright) in a charming cavern below the bustling streets of Cheesebridge. But when evil Archibald Snatcher (voiced by Ben Kingsley) decides to capture the lovable misfits, it's up to Eggs and his feisty young friend, Winnie (voiced by Elle Fanning,) to save the Boxtrolls. Also featuring the voice talents of Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Toni Collette and Tracy Morgan, critics are calling The Boxtrolls "a delectable treat!" (Brian Truitt, USA Today)
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Where I think the film falters a little is in the story which manages to tackle some deep themes, yet is completely typical and unsubtle in its approach to them. The ending was also a little more protracted than it probably needed to be. Still, there are some good things that shouldn't go over children's heads that you can talk about with them afterwards. The biggest theme is about how we shouldn't let "things" define who we are. The people, especially the "White Hats," in Cheesebridge are all about their cheese, and initially the Boxtrolls are defined by the box that they all wear. I think the film effectively shows that we shouldn't allow material possessions, power, or the quest for either of them, to affect who we are as people. Another theme explored is that of not fearing what we don't understand, like the people in Cheesebridge fear the Boxtrolls. One thing I didn't expect, however, was how funny this would actually be. Even though this is geared towards children, there is meta-humor and winks to the audience that parents will probably enjoy as well. Overall while the story does kind of hit you over the head with its message, and is probably a little too macabre and grotesque for young children, THE BOXTROLLS is a refreshing reminder that imagination still exists in the world of animation.
The story is well-put-together. The climax is both logical and incredible. And funny.
As to Cheese -- well, why not? Everybody has an interest in something, and it makes a great symbol of Society.
One note, the film makers are not afraid to employ the grotesque in their arsenel of design choices but most older kids and many adults will find this quite acceptable and hilarious. This studio just gets better and better.