The Boxtrolls is one of those movies that flew under my radar. It disappeared pretty much after hitting the theaters, IMDB says it cost $60 million to make but only cleared $50 million… so I figured “meh”, not really worth it.
Golly, was *I* wrong. Stuck on a trans-Atlantic flight, I had nothing to do but watch movies that weren’t terribly challenging and figured that this one would be a nice bowl of mush. Instead, I got a surprisingly interesting moral fable.
Here’s the basic idea: The Boxtrolls are trolls that go through the trash of the people of Cheesebridge. They collect the discarded and broken and make little lovely new treasures out of this trash. But, one day, the eeeeeeevil Archibald Snatcher goes to the mayor and points out that the Boxtrolls have kidnapped one of the children in Cheesebridge and he will be the Boxtroll exterminator and Keep The Children *SAFE* (in exchange for being able to join the White Hatted Cheese Tasting Club). Our protagonist is Eggs, the boy who was kidnapped. And our story begins when Snatcher really, really, *REALLY* starts being successful in his Boxtroll endeavor. The boy who was raised by Boxtrolls must then go back into the town to take on Snatcher and make things right.
But there are a ton of great characters. The White Hatted Cheese Tasting Club is hilarious, the Mayor’s daughter is a great character in her own right, Archibald Snatcher is a hilarious and surprisingly scary villain, Snatcher’s henchmen are great supporting characters, and the Boxtrolls themselves are adorable (if a bit scary the first time you see them).
Watch it with the kids, you can even have all kinds of conversations about Class, opportunists who create crises in order to gain political favor, and the good old “can’t judge a book by its cover” conversation.
If you thought that this was going to be a “meh” waste of time, give it a shot. It’s surprisingly good. (Warning: There’s a bit where Snatcher dresses as “Madame Fru Fru” and it’s played as comedic given that no one but the protagonists can tell. I thought it worked but I could see how someone might not.)
So… what are you watching?