The other night my wife and I decided we wanted to watch something a bit lighter. We scanned through what was available on Netflix and decided to watch Boxtrolls, a stop-motion film from Laika, the creators of Coraline and Paranorman. (Don’t worry, spoiler-free below)
Boxtrolls follows the story of a town that has a problem, the mischievous Boxtrolls, who come out at night and take things back to their caverns underground. One day they are spotted taking a young boy, and the legend grows that Boxtrolls are evil and will kill children and eat their parents. As you quickly find out, the young boy is fine and grows up believing that he himself is a Boxtroll.
As with many stop-motion animation films, there is an inherent beauty to the art of creating a story one small frame at a time. This film shines in its beauty and stylizations. The animation is clean and beautiful, with characters displaying amazing personality and depth. The voice acting is top notch as well, with folks like Nick Frost and Simon Pegg lending their talents.
The story is simplistic, and elegantly told. As I said above, I’ll keep this spoiler-free, but I’m sure most of us will have figured out the plot within the first 20 minutes or so. That doesn’t dissuade from the enjoyment of the film, as even a simple story, told in a beautiful way, can be tremendously entertaining. There are a couple of twists along the way that add a nice surprise to the plot. Additionally, some of the sub-texts about family relationships are handled in a really nice way.
We both enjoyed the film, and if you’ve got Netflix it’s well worth the 90 minutes of your time.