Film Review: Animated ‘The Boxtrolls’ Has British Comic Tone

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Monty Python, Peter Cook & Dudley Moore, Peter Sellers, Mr. Bean, Alan Partridge – all are examples of British comedy, that off-kilter “are you in on the joke?” point of view. That comic tone has arrived in an animated film, within the stop motion world of “The Boxtrolls.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

From the same studio that brought the twisted entertainments of “Coraline” and “ParaNorman” – Laika Entertainment – “The Boxtrolls” continue their comic tradition of subtle jabs and visual humor. Full of scenic invention, it paints their characters in the film with traits that are neither good nor bad, they just have a weird sense of a different mentality. The story also celebrates the notion of being yourself, despite any background circumstances, and staying away from greed and false terror and idolatry. Take that, “Frozen”!

Based on the British storybook, “Here Be Monsters!” the story centers on a boy named Eggs (voice of Isaac Hemstead-Wright) who lives underground with the Boxtrolls – a race of down under creatures who wear boxes designating their identities (Fish, Wheels, Bucket, Eggs). They are pursued constantly by Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley), an exterminator who takes advantage of the town’s fear of the Boxtrolls to justify his job.

Eggs emerges from underground during a trash collecting mission, and witnesses the capture of his Boxtroll colleagues by Snatcher. He is determined to free his friends, and solicits the aid of Winnie (Elle Fanning), the daughter of the feckless town baron, Lord Portley-Rind (Jared Harris). Eggs changes the complexity of town politics, perceptions and bigotry, and uncovers some secrets about his past.

“The Boxtrolls” opens everywhere on September 26th in 3D and regular screenings. See local listings for 3D theaters and show times. Featuring the voices of Ben Kingsley, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Tracy Morgan, Simon Pegg, Elle Fanning and Isaac Hempstead Wright. Screenplay adapted by Irene Brignull and Adam Pava, from the novel by Alan Snow. Directed by Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Boxtrolls”

The Boxtrolls
The Gang’s All Here in ‘The Boxtrolls’
Photo credit: Focus Features

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Boxtrolls”

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