While “The Boxtrolls” might sound like a malady afflicting your mom, it’s actually a new, stop-motion animated film from Laika, the folks who brought us Coraline and ParaNorman. Based on Here Be Monsters, a novel by Alex Snow, The Boxtrolls uses the same this-will-blow-your-mind-if-you’re-high style of claymation, and appears to be about a little orphan boy with no family save a group of trolls who live in boxes. I guess it’s sort of a metaphor for all family (“sorry, kid, these are the trolls you’re stuck with”). It looks delightful.
The new 3D animated feature from Laika Studios tells the tale of the Boxtrolls, monsters who live underneath the charming streets of Cheesebridge, who crawl out of the sewers at night to steal what the townspeople hold most dear: their children and their cheeses. At least, that’s the legend the townspeople have always believed. In truth, the Boxtrolls are a community of lovable oddballs who are raising as one of their own an abandoned and orphaned human boy named Eggs. When the Boxtrolls are targeted by a villainous exterminator who is bent on eradicating them, Eggs must venture aboveground to save them, where he teams with an adventurous young girl to save not only the Boxtrolls but the soul of Cheesebridge. [Apple]
[Also available in HD at Apple]
I really wanted to like ParaNorman, because Laika Studios are the kind of people you root for, but I just couldn’t get past the stock premise, preachy story, and unpleasant-looking character design (lesson: ugly does not automatically equal quirky). Luckily none of those seem to be an issue in The Boxtrolls. Though everyone knows “Egg” is Michael Cera’s girlfriend’s name in Arrested Development, come on, you guys.
Nonetheless, this has given me a new life goal: to one day do mushrooms in Laika studios.
Opens September 26th, 2014. Hat tip: FirstShowing.