The Boxtrolls (2014)
Critic Consensus: While it's far from Laika's best offering, The Boxtrolls is still packed with enough offbeat wit and visual splendor to offer a healthy dose of all-ages entertainment.
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|Rating:||PG (for action, some peril and mild rude humor)|
|Genre:||Action & Adventure, Animation, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy|
|Directed By:||Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable, Aaron Sorenson|
|Written By:||Adam Pava, Irena Brignull, Anthony Stacchi, Phil Dale|
|In Theaters:||Sep 26, 2014 Wide|
|On DVD:||Jan 20, 2015|
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as Archibald Snatcher
as Lady Portley-Rind
as Lord Portley-Rind
as Herbert Trubshaw
as Mr. Trout
as Mr. Pickles
as Mr. Gristle
as Oil Can/Knickers
as Baby Eggs
as Sir Langsdale
as Sir Broderick/Male W...
as Boulanger/Male Arist...
as Female Aristocrat 1
as Female Townsfolk 1 a...
as Background Boy
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Critic Reviews for The Boxtrolls
Laika's technical implementation is exquisite, in what is their most complex undertaking yet.
A delightful film that provides a kid-friendly story at the expense of dark realism.
Stuffed full of quirky details, bizarre characters and cockeyed humour.
In a weak year for feature-length animated films, "The Boxtrolls" was clearly the best in my estimation. That doesn't sound like much of a recommendation, but it truly is.
Audience Reviews for The Boxtrolls
Co-directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable manage something charming out of something outlandish in The Boxtrolls.
An 85 minute story about trolls in boxes proves to be a recipe for success. While not laying it all out on the floor in the early going, leaving a more mysterious buildup, the plot details gradually fall into place.
The visual combination of CG and stop motion mesh wondrously together, which could be said to make up for the lack of excitement the film exuberates. The characters lack the cuteness of a kid friendly picture, but their personalities give them the hint of adorableness they need.
The voice-work is a definite success. Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, and Ben Kingsley stand out above the crowd, with the likes of Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, and Tracy Morgan following close behind.
By the time the end credits begin to roll, The Boxtrolls solidifies itself as a recommendable animated picture.
The stop-motion animation is just as great as Laika studio's past two efforts (Coraline, Paranorman), but the whole affair is about as charming as bland tea. Much like Paranorman, "Boxtrolls" boasts plenty of visual eye-candy but is weighed down by lame jokes and forgettable characters.
Another delightful film from the creators of ParaNorman, the whimsical Boxtrolls is another stop-motion treasure that plays just as well for children as it does adults. The fanciful world follows the industrious title creatures that have wrongly been demonized as villains. Snatcher (a tremendous Ben Kingsley) has much to gain by stirring up boxtroll fears, and if he captures them all he'll finally be allowed to join the town's inner circle of muckity mucks. We follow "Eggs" a boy who has been raised by the boxtrolls since he was a baby and his re-emergence with the world above ground, notably with the help of a morbid little girl, Winnie (Elle Fanning). The world building is confident and well developed, the storyline finds nuanced ways to be touching and deliver serious messages about peer pressure, assimilation, and the ways which we judge ourselves and whether those are even of merit. But the main draw is the glorious animation, so fluid, so lively, and a landscape that makes full use of color and light and shadow. It's an immersive experience that your eyes don't want to blink for fear of missing something. The plot is droll and expertly sequenced with its variety of character and comic asides. The vocal cast does a terrific job, notably Kingsley and a hilarious Tracy Morgan. The film can get a little spooky for young children but should still be comfortable viewing. The Boxtrolls is further proof that the animation house Laika is operating at near-Pixar peak levels of brilliance and deserve the benefit of the doubt with any future films.
Nate's Grade: A
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