The Boxtrolls

Let’s face it. Trailers for the most part suck. Every once in awhile you get a Walter Mitty trailer, but those usually end up only being a first edition trailer, and later trailers ruin everything. Too much plot, too many spoilers, all of the cool shit, they can leave nothing exciting for the viewers when they finally see it on the big screen or awkwardly on their sofa on an iPad a year later.

The Boxtrolls is a big exception to that rule. I only remember two trailers for The Boxtrolls, this trailer and this second one. The former gives us a look of the many models and work that went into the movie behind the scenes, while giving us a song and showing some scenes but not ruining the plot. The second, just a song and scenes, no plot.

And I loved them both so much. After I saw the first one, I really really wanted to see this movie and assumed it would be one of the best animated films of the year. The second trailer only helped secure that notion in my head. And it was brought to us by Coraline / ParaNorman team (the latter, I guess, I didn’t really love, shh).

So, I was totes excited to see this movie, especially because I really didn’t know any damn thing about it. Ahhh, bliss.

My Coozins
I guess I also knew that it starred some of my cousins from up north. You know. Those cousins.

Here. Let me ruin my experience by telling you a little bit about the movie. Just a little bit.

In the town of Cheesebridge, we have humans, and we have Boxtrolls. Boxtrolls are troll like creatures, who wear boxes as armor/clothing. Their name is based on what is on their box. They like to build and tinker, stealing trash from the humans. The humans are lead by those who wear white hats, the elite, those who love the cheese.

Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) wants to be a white hat, he only has a red hat. Who cares if he is allergic to cheese. He wants dat prestige, and will do anything to get it. Even if it means starting a fear mongering campaign against the Boxtrolls, declaring he will capture and kill them all, ridding the town of the pests, and saving the day, earning the white hat.

Yeah. You go Archibald! Unless he is lying, like saying a box was killed by them, when instead, the Boxtrolls saved the boy and raised him on their own. We shall call him Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright), because that is his box name. Raised by Fish (Dee Bradley Baker) and Shoe (Steve Blum), Eggs doesn’t really know if he is a human or a Boxtroll when he gets older and starts feeling things down there. If he is a human, he is a Boxtroll of a human, and if he is a Boxtroll, then he is a human of a Boxtroll. That reference might be too vague for some of you. I don’t care.

Also featuring Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade and Tracy Morgan as Archibald henchmen, Simon Pegg as an inventor, Jared Harris as the head White Hat, and Elle Fanning as a girl who has a punch in the face look the entire movie.

Shittkid
She is made of clay, she can totally help the way her face looks.

Early on in the film, The Boxtrolls had me a little bit uninterested. Sure, the stop motion was really rockin’ hard, but I thought the plot wasn’t moving fast enough and didn’t really enjoy any of the characters. But it surely got better, and somehow the animation even got better. This is by far the best animated film I have ever seen with stop motion, and I am sure it is not just because when I saw Coraline, my 3D glasses sucked. I really need to rewatch Coraline.

Either way, even in one tiny chase scene at a ball, I was wowed at how amazing it all looked knowing what they had to do to make it look amazing. Speaking of the attention to detail, I loved the existential crises that the henchmen were having about good vs evil and how they seemed to acknowledge they were in a movie at times. Had my laughing pretty hard.

The story got better and it ended with a tremendous bang. I wish this was an original story and not based on some book so I could give it even more praise for coming up with these tale out of nowhere. Those guys are good, with the stop motion and clay. I hope they keep giving us high quality work such as this.

I don’t think this is the animated flick of the year, I think at least 3 are better, but it is surely up there and you cannot go wrong with watching this in theater or at home. Very entertaining and a movie I could watch many times and not get sick of it. Yay! I don’t feel betrayed by the trailer!

3 out of 4.

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