When we first saw the trailer for “The Boxtrolls”, we knew we had to watch it. Thanks to our friends from United International Pictures Malaysia, we were fortunate enough to have caught the press screening for the film before it was released.
Based on an Alan Snow novel titled, “Here Be Monsters!”, “The Boxtrolls” is a surefire way to fill up your extra time with a little mindless comedy and adventure. The stop-motion animation film’s storyline centres on a character named Eggs (an orphan, voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright), Archibald Snatcher (a power-hungry pest exterminator, voiced by Ben Kingsley), and Winnie Portley-Rind (a poor little rich girl, voiced by Elle Fanning).
Eggs is a human boy who have been raised by the Boxtrolls since infancy. His name is “Eggs” because, well, that’s what it says on the box that he’s wearing. In the world of the Boxtrolls, his father figure is a Boxtroll named, “Fish” – because that’s what it says on the box “Fish” is wearing. Together, they live with all the other Boxtrolls (“Shoe”, “Fragile”, so on and so forth) in the sewers underneath the town of Cheesebridge.
Although the Boxtrolls are essentially nice characters with a “petty thief” streak since they’re often seen rummaging through garbage or collecting trash, the town of Cheesebridge believes that they steal both children and cheese. This “belief” is further reinforced by Archibald Snatcher, a lethal exterminator that is determined to kill every single last Boxtroll within the vicinity.
Hence, it is up to Eggs to save them.
Eggs enters the town of Cheesebridge to try to make peace in order to save “his kind”. There, he meets a girl named Winnie, who agrees to help him. But his appearance forces the truth behind a “dark secret” to come to light and Archibald Snatcher is immediately threatened by it. What to do, what to do? He tries to stop Eggs and the Boxtrolls the best way he knows how – to destroy them all.
Will he succeed? We’re not telling. You’ll just have to watch it yourself ;)
Overall, we wouldn’t say that the storyline for “The Boxtrolls” is super duper great although there’s enough slapstick and cheesiness to go around, to entertain people of all ages. But if you pay really close attention to the work that went into it, you’d be amazed by the details. Of course, to understand that, you’d need to understand how stop-motion animation works.
Basically, like this:
Stop motion (also known as stop frame) is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence. Dolls with movable joints or clay figures are often used in stop motion for their ease of repositioning. Stop motion animation using plasticine is called clay animation or “clay-mation”. Not all stop motion requires figures or models; many stop motion films can involve using humans, household appliances and other things for comedic effect. Stop motion using objects is sometimes referred to as object animation.
So if you decide to watch “The Boxtrolls”, watch closely! Also, we need to add that since it’s by Laika aka the same people behind “Coraline” and “ParaNorman“, it’d be pretty hard for “The Boxtrolls” to fail horribly.
Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out some fun facts from behind-the-scenes of “The Boxtrolls”. You might just be surprised at how much work actually went into the production of the stop-animation film and want to applaud Laika for all that effort!
“The Boxtrolls” has been released in a cinema near you.
For more information, visit the movie’s official website.