Run Time: 97 minutes
Somewhere in the land of make believe there is a place aptly called Cheesebridge. Underneath this little city amid caverns and sewers reside creatures of the night. They are The Boxtrolls. In the shadows of darkness and with precarious caution these creepy trolls, adorning cardboard boxes, raid dumpsters and scourer for discarded mechanical parts. They also abduct the town’s cherished, prized assets; the children and the cheese. Or do they? The answer lies hidden among humorous dialog and scenes all of which will have viewers highly entertained regardless of their age.
Brought to us from the studio of Laika, which also gave us Coraline and Corpse Bride, The Boxtrolls brings back the lost art of three dimensional stop motion and CG (computer generation). While this is a hybrid animated feature film, the never-ending motion and action is seamless. This can also be attributed to the participation and efforts by co-director Graham Annable who also gave us Paranorman in 2012.
Based on Alan Snow's bestselling fantasy adventure novel Here Be Monsters, The Boxtrolls follows the adventures of a small boy voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright, whose misfortune has taken him into the bowels of the underground. Forced into abandonment from his parents by the evil Archibald Snatcher (voiced by Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley) he is accepted by the subterranean dwellers as one of their own. It is here his identity becomes transformed and his loyalty revered. Or does it?
Above ground it is open season on boxtrolls. Speaking of open season, this just happens to be the title of a film also directed by Anthony Stacchi responsible for this gem. With the trolls fate up for grabs the young boy meets and is befriended by Winnie, whose convincing voice is expressed by Elle Fanning whom you may recall was Princess Aurora in the hit Maleficent. A little rich girl whose father, Lord Portley-Rind just happens to be a member of a coveted club of cheese connoisseurs and the city council, she is compelled to disclose something is amiss with these square corrugated clad monsters.
In the end don't be surprised if you go home and see cardboard boxes in a different light. Which brings me to one final note: Do not be in a rush to leave the theater when the credits begin to roll. All-be-it short, you will be pleasantly rewarded with additional footage.