Movie Review: The Boxtrolls (2014)

Posted: June 9, 2015 in Animation
Tags: ,

the-boxtrolls

The boxtrolls, who are supposedly monsters who live in the sewers of Cheesebridge have taken Baby Trubshaw (Max Mitchell) to their underground layer. Lord Portley Rind (Jared Harris) contracts boxtroll hunter Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) to kill every boxtroll in town.  In return, Snatcher will get a white hat and an esteemed place in society.  The boxtrolls in fact are industrious, mechanically minded creatures, fearful of humans,  who raise the baby as one of their own and call him Eggs. (Isaac Hempstead Wright) after the boxtrolls start disappearing, Eggs decides to travel to the surface and see who is taking his friends.  Eggs meet and befriend Winnie Portley Rind (Elle Fanning) a rebellious girl who is sick of the aristocracy that has developed in Cheesebridge.  Can the two youngsters stop the hunting of the boxtrolls?

I did not like The Boxtrolls.  I thought the allegory was too simplistic, the jokes weren’t that funny, and the characters were all black-or-white.  I would have much preferred an evolution of Snatcher, much like Gru in Despicable Me or the Grinch in How The Grinch Stole Christmas, but Snatcher stayed stubbornly evil to the end.  The ending was far too predictable, even for a kid movie, and the characters weren’t all that likable, Winnie is a spoiled little rich girl who whines until she gets her way, and Eggs thinks he’s a boxtroll, even though he looks nothing like one.

The acting was little more than average.  Ben Kingsley goes way over the top to play the villainous Snatcher, and never allows for the least bit of subtlety in his performance.  Elle Fanning does a pretty convincing British accent for an American, the rest of the cast is not worth mentioning.

The one element of the movie that almost saves it is the animation.  The cobblestones on the streets of Cheesebrige look real, the town looks bright and inviting and almost every scene pops with color.  It’s too bad that the animation didn’t have a stronger script to support the dazzling visuals.

The boxtrolls. Boxing was never so dull.

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