From the creators of Coraline and ParaNorman comes ‘The Boxtrolls,’ an adorably dark and quirky movie. According to the townsfolk of Cheesebridge, the boxtrolls are malicious and terrifying monsters that run amuck in the streets, wreaking havoc, stealing children and feasting on the flesh of humans until nothing is left but a mountain of bones. In reality, these gentle creatures care for and raise the protagonist of the story.
Eggs is an orphaned boy left in the care of one boxtroll named Fish. When a boxtroll is born, they are given a box to wear and use for camouflage for their whole life. Whatever the picture is on the front becomes their name. For instance, the main character, Eggs, has the word “Eggs” written on the front of his box.
The antagonist of the story’s name is Archibald Snatcher. His goal is to capture and crush every boxtroll to earn a prestigious white hat. The lords in charge of Cheesebridge all wear white hats to signify their power and sophistication; they are also completely obsessed with cheese. Snatcher wants this power, sophistication and the cheese, even if he is insanely allergic.
In his efforts he comes face-to-face with Eggs, who wants to save his family of boxtrolls. With the help of a human friend named Winifred, daughter of the most powerful man in Cheesebridge, Lord Portley-Rind, Eggs battles Snatcher in this epic adventure.
This Tim Burton-esque film is quirky, smart, funny and sometimes quite dark. Fantastically put together, the Claymation style of this movie conveys the emotion of each scene perfectly.
Originally written as a book called “Here Be Monsters,” by Alan Snow, ‘The Boxtrolls’ gives many different aspects of social commentary. The lords of Cheesebridge hold a banquet to supposedly fund a children’s hospital, but instead buy an incredibly large wheel of cheese. This symbolizes their selfishness and greed. The power struggle is shown through the evil Snatcher who will stop at nothing to kill all boxtrolls and obtain his white hat. However, the main question of The Boxtrolls is this: is your identity defined by your environment (or box), or is it of your own making?
Overall, this movie was fantastically created and written for any audience. While it may be creepy and dark sometimes, the witty and slapstick humor balance it out. If you do end up going to this adorably smart movie, make sure you stay until the very end to witness the funny remarks from two interesting characters before leaving the theater.