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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Critic Reviews for The Boxtrolls
The Boxtrolls represents the best animated movie to reach theater screens since The Lego Movie exploded on the scene in February.
There are many more delighted 'Ewwws' than too-easy 'Awws' in this charming, if a tad cynical, feature from the creators of Coraline and ParaNorman.
It's a world that runs in a parallel universe akin to that of Charles Dickens, with creatively named characters involved in seemingly outlandish adventures in a Victorian-era city where a moral or two plays out in the end.
It's a felt, funny, bracingly sincere kids' movie. And even more refreshing, it takes as a theme our social fixation with waste, salvage and repackaging.
Without being didactic, "The Boxtrolls" presents the dangers of a hierarchical society, separated out into high-status and low, and also has some very interesting and moving things to say about identity, family, and morality.
Audience Reviews for The Boxtrolls
A decent and visually pleasing 3D CGI stop-motion animation that is enjoyable but doesn't do much outside the box, as it touches upon some interesting themes but never explores them in an entirely satisfying way - even though it does have its share of good moments.
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.
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