Review: The Boxtrolls

31st August 2014 1 Comment

While we were on holiday last week in windy Norfolk an invite hit our inbox for a preview screening of Universal’s new animated movie, the Boxtrolls. I have to admit, when I accepted the invite, we didn’t really know much about the film. Well, I say “we” didn’t, it turns out the boy knew plenty, which just goes to show the power of advertising I suppose.

The Boxtrolls is the movie adaptation of Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow, by the studio behind the spooky Coraline and the rather excellent Paranorman, so it’s no wonder the boy was interested as Paranorman is right up his street (although he hasn’t seen Coraline as I suspect it’s a little bit too scary for him). It takes some of the characters from the book, like the titular Boxtrolls and ignores others, like the Cabbageheads, entirely, and creates something that stands well on it’s own two feet. Two feet, that are emerging from a cardboard box of course…

The Boxtrolls are a misunderstood species of, well, trolls, who live underneath the city of Cheesebridge, which seems to run an odd system of government based on the Burghers love of cheese and the ruling elites consumption of lots of it. As far as systems of government go, this is up there with Dennis the Peasant in Monty Python and the Holy Grail when he proclaims Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. Still, it gives the Ben Kingsley voiced character, Archibald Snatcher, the villain of the piece, something to aspire to as he promises to catch all the Boxtrolls after a child is apparently abducted and eaten by them, in return for a place on the white hat ruling council.

Things aren’t what they seem though, as a young boy called Eggs is raised by the Boxtrolls and spotted by Winnie,the neglected daughter of the city’s leader…

The Boxtrolls has a great vibe to it. There is a bit of moralising but not excessive amounts, it runs to 97 minutes so doesn’t outstay it’s welcome and also has some great gags for parents. The evil henchmen, concerned that they might be perceived as the bad guys are brilliant, as it Jared Harris’ turn as Lord Portly-Rind, the cheese obsessed head of the city council. Boxtrolls previews next week and is out on general release on 12 September.

Roll on the BOXed set DVD!

Claire Walsh

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1 Comment

  • Anonymous 30th September 2014 at 12:00 am

    The trolls are cute, but the villain is too dark and scary.

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