Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sean Kelly

My Thoughts on The Boxtrolls

TheBoxTrollsFrom the animation studio Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman) comes the stop-motion fantasy-adventure The Boxtrolls.  The town of Cheesebridge live in fear of the subterranean Boxtrolls, who are rumoured to kidnap and eat children.  Because of this, Lord Portley-Rind (Jared Harris) hires the sinister Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) to exterminate the Boxtrolls, in exchange for membership to the cheese-loving White Hats group. However, in actuality the Boxtrolls are kind-hearted builders, who have even raised an orphan boy named Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) as one of there own.  When Lord Portley-Rind’s daughter Winnie (Elle Fanning) meets Eggs and learns of Snatcher’s true intentions, the two try to rush to warn the town and save the Boxtrolls.

With traditional cell animation being a practical rarity in this day and age, it is wonderful that studios like Laika and Aardman continue to produce stop-motion animated films as an alternate to the countless flow of CGI films.  There is just something special about this style of animation, which involves real objects being manipulated one frame at a time.  It many ways, stop-motion is more of an achievement than other forms of animation, due to all the hard work it takes to produce one of these films.

Based on the children’s novel Here Be Monsters!, The Boxtrolls is fun and enjoyable film.  While many animated films these days feature complex plots that can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike, The Boxtrolls is a relatively simple tale of good versus evil.  While they don’t speak much more than gibberish, the Boxtrolls have very distinguishable personalities, particularly when it comes to the two main trolls Fish and Shoe.  In some ways, the way the Boxtrolls behave are comparable to that of The Minions from the Despicable Me films.  However, I did like how the first ten or fifteen minutes of the film consisted primarily of the Boxtrolls doing their thing, with there being very little dialogue.

The Boxtrolls has an all-star voice cast of mostly British actors, many of whom are practically unrecognizable, including Ben Kingsley as the villain Archibald Snatcher.  One of the more memorable characters in the film is Snatcher’s henchman Mr. Pickles (Richard Ayoade), who is always having fourth wall breaking conversations with fellow henchman Mr. Trout (Nick Frost).

Altogether, while The Boxtrolls doesn’t have a particularly deep plot, it was still a pretty fun and enjoyable film, which should please people of all ages.

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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).