View Full Version : The Boxtrolls (Graham Annable & Anthony Stacchi)

Henry Gale
11-28-2014, 12:16 AM

IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0787474/) / Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boxtrolls)

Henry Gale
11-28-2014, 12:36 AM
What a delightfully bizarre beast of a movie.

It's like Laika's version of a Roald Dahl story mixed with their own sensibilities and just the right sort of modern evolution of the strange exuberance family entertainment would have in spades in decade's past that seems to have otherwise been sucked out and sanitized in American fare of late.

The voice cast is pretty uniformly superb, with the more recognizable voices of Richard Ayoade, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg and Jared Harris delivering distinctly nice work, but then there's a role like the one Ben Kingsley plays awesomely where I had no idea it was even him until the end credits. It obviously looks gorgeous because apparently Laika knows no other way, the story and all its eccentricities pack just as many beautiful morals and allegorical gold to mine well after the energy of its 95 minutes is over with, and it has some staggeringly funny moments. I wanted the explosion at the end to happen so badly, as I knew the filmmakers had it in them. And when it did, it still caught me relatively off-guard and stunned me 'til the end. Amazing.

Just lovely stuff. And it also has one of the better mid-credit bits I can recall ever seeing. Between this, Princess Kaguya, Lego, The Congress, HTTYD 2, Book of Life, and if Big Hero 6 is as good as its general reception, this has been a pretty damn stellar (and incredibly varied) year for animation.

*** / 7.9

11-28-2014, 05:32 PM
Thanks for finally making a thread for this. I was too lazy to do it. I also loved this film, and would consider it Laika's best work so far. It's really funny. The messaging is effective, but not overbearing. And the cast is excellent.

Dead & Messed Up
12-19-2014, 05:52 AM
Yes. Yes yes yes. Agree with Spinal that the messaging isn't overbearing. But it's also so precisely eccentric in that symbolism - the white hat of prestige, cheese doubling as wealth (nicely set against the boxtrolls' love and value of discarded and minor trinkets). The voicework of Kingsley threw me completely, and also nice was how some of the film's eccentricities were completely unremarked upon, like the menfolk's profound interest in Madame Frou Frou. And that the film had the courage to dispose of the villain as it did. In theory, no different than all those Disney villains who plummet off a great height through the fault of their excessive appetites, but... Lord, in execution, I laughed so damn hard. Gave me fond memories of the good-hearted nastiness of Willy Wonka and stretches of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (the villain here is a funhouse mirror version of the Child-catcher).

Laika is officially my favorite animation house. Wow.

Dead & Messed Up
12-19-2014, 05:54 AM
And the henchmen being allowed their own moral struggle was a nice touch. Are they the heroes of the movie? Maybe.

12-19-2014, 05:17 PM
Laika is officially my favorite animation house. Wow.

Let's enjoy it now, before they're bought out by Disney.

02-17-2015, 08:39 AM
This is good and kind of disappointing at the same time. I haven't seen ParaNorman which seems to have a big rep but I was a huge fan of Coraline. This film isn't nearly as good despite being downright hilarious in parts - specially the two henchmen. I feel that's because there are too many obvious morals being shoved into the audience's face all the time (which is admittedly a pet peeve of mine) but also because the plot is too formulaic which creates an awkward contrast with the uniqueness of the animation and word building.

Still, I'll continue to watch Laika movies as long as they're made. I think it's great to have diversity in blockbuster animation instead of one giant Disney/Pixar emporium.

12-27-2016, 12:54 AM
This is one of those films that is so alive, so creative, and so full of little wonders... but in the end it all comes together as a mish-mash of half-formed ideas and first draft issues that were never ironed out, and the end result is that it all comes across as a little skeevy and irritating. Mostly it's a plot problem; for example, the mayor, or whatever he is, and his relationship with his daughter is unresolved and dissatisfying, a convenient way of prolonging the drama and nothing much else. Another: the movie totally mishandles the "kidnapping" of the baby. It is a weird choice to withhold the fact that the baby was willingly handed over, because it just becomes frustrating to wait for the inevitable explanation (given that we find out pretty quickly that the Boxtrolls are not malicious and that Snatcher is) and it kind of overshadows the montage of the baby growing up, because devoid of context, we don't really know how to react to it. Why not have a proper prologue with the town being scared of the Boxtrolls, and the inventor befriending them, and then show him in a state of panic hand him his son (you can withhold why he is in a panic, if you want)? The whole film is made up of ill-fitting pieces like this, and so it never really develops a cohesive atmosphere, meaning it is a little harder to go along with overlong stretches of watching someone swell up due to a cheese allergy.

The voice acting is a million times more interesting here than in Kubo, but I like Kubo better because it has clearer emotional center, is more classically composed, and less frenetic.