Archive for October, 2014

The Boxtrolls – Another Delightful Stop Motion Film from Laika

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

214111.jpgBased on the children’s novel “Here Be Monsters” by Alan Snow, this great animation comes to us from the wonderful animation producers at Laika. The story revolves around a young orphaned boy, Eggs, who is lovingly raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors and his efforts to save them. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer B. comments, “The writing is witty. The comedy comes through in a very playful manner with its shock humor and, at times, straight-forward jokes.” See his full review below.

The Boxtrolls
Reviewed by Keefer C. Blakeslee, age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Splendid! The Boxtrolls is another fantastic stop motion film by Laika. In the city of Cheesebridge’s a human boy named Eggs ( Isaac Hempstead- Wright) is raised by Boxtrolls, creatures that rummage the streets at night and live under the city. Mr. Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) intends to exterminate every last Boxtroll, all for the love of cheese and a white hat. Eggs needs to teach his family to stop hiding.

Stop motion dates back to Wallace and Gromit, Gumby and many of our favorite Christmas specials. Laika has created movies I adore such as Coraline. This film is another success with its fast pace stop-motion. The way the boxes fold, stack and bend are impressive to watch. The designs of the characters are distinct and detailed. From the trolls who are dirty with glowing eyes and pale blue skin, to the proper humans who are clean with fancy clothes and perfect hair.

The small scale sets are marvelous. The film transports you into two opposite worlds. Once is the view from above the city where we see buildings and streets of stones. At night it’s dark with only lamp posts to light the way. The Boxtrolls’ under ground lair is a whole other picture. The ground is covered in boxes and tin cans for the characters to slide around on. The room is lit with light bulbs they find and is filled with inventions that they have made.

The writing is witty. The comedy comes through in a very playful manner with its shock humor and, at times, straight-forward jokes. There is even a scene with a rim shot. The trolls, even though they speak gibberish, bring a lot of emotion into their delivery. Speaking of which, the voice talents are sensational. The villain Archibald Snatcher, who is my favorite, uses his amazing voice talents to create this mean, eccentric character. He fits the image that we see on screen. Same goes for the rest of the cast, particularly Elle Fanning who plays Winnie, a snobbish brat that befriends Eggs.

My favorite scene is in the middle of the credits. When the credits roll, please stay in your seat! What you will see is one of the funniest fourth wall jokes to be seen on-screen.

The moral of this story is you can change your nature. The Boxtrolls are used to sneaking around and hiding. Even when they are in danger, they don’t fight back. They learn that they can change.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this to 7 through 18-year-olds. This movie gives the audience jokes, engaging characters and beautiful visuals which make it a great film.