Spared or Spoiled Film Reviews: The Boxtrolls

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

The Boxtrolls (Focus Features)

The Boxtrolls Poster

Directed by Graham Annable & Anthony Stacchi

Written by Irena Brignull and Adam Pava  Based on Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow

Starring Isaac Hempstead-WrightElle FanningBen KingsleyToni ColletteJared HarrisSimon PeggNick FrostRichard Ayoade & Tracy Morgan

What a fantastic movie! I haven’t laugh so hard in a while. The Boxtrolls is the fantastic story of trolls that live beneath a small town called Cheesebridge. These trolls have only one defense mechanism, they wear boxes instead of clothes and when they feel threatened they simply hide inside the box they’re wearing. Not very effective. The Boxtrolls is a wonderful movie. Fun, funny, exciting, amazing stop-motion animation. Featuring an hysterically funny cast with Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, Simon Pegg and Ben Kingsley. I couldn’t have liked it any more than I did.

Verdict: SPARED

Eggs and his adopted family

The Boxtrolls is the story of a little baby that is rumored to have been taken by the boxtrolls and eaten. But of course they didn’t eat him. They raise him to think that he’s one of them. They call him Eggs because that’s what it said on the outside of his box. All of the trolls have names like this. There’s Fish and there’s Shoes and Sparks and Eggs. And as cute as that sounds it is no where close to how cute this movie is.

Eggs-stop-motion

And The Boxtrolls is so funny. Honestly I haven’t laugh this hard at a movie in a long time. The town of Cheesebridge, you see, is obsessed with cheese and the town elders make their executive decisions in a tasting room where they sample the best cheeses and speak about the taste and smell in pretentious terms and words. I can’t explain it. It’s just funny as all hell. Honestly.

Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade and Tracy Morgan

And the bad guys are a laugh riot. Especially Tracy Morgan, who doesn’t have a lot of lines but when he speaks it is just funny as fuck. While Nick Frost and Richard Ayoade question the narrative out loud. “Are we the good guys? Or are we the bad guys?” These three had me in stitches the entire movie. The Boxtrolls is very funny.

the-boxtrolls-michael-hollenbeck-stop-motion

And the stop-motion animation reminded me of the old Christmas classics from the great Rankin/Bass with Rudolph and the heat miser. And the look of the film reminded me of the early Caro & Jeunet French movies. With lots of gadgets and old gears and pretty-ugliness that decorates their zany romantic tales. The Boxtrolls is a gorgeous work of art.

Winnie and Eggs

And the story is touching and full of action with bad guys who think they’re good guys and good guys who everybody thinks are bad guys. And this is the point where I’m supposed to say that The Boxtrolls isn’t as good as The Lego Movie but I can’t do that. It belongs in the same class with The Lego Movie (I still wouldn’t put How to Train Your Dragon 2 or Big Hero 6 in that class however). The Boxtrolls is one of the best movies of the year. Possibly the best animated movie (definitely if we’re not including The Lego Movie… and I guess we’re not… Academy).

The Boxtrolls is funny, touching, beautiful, disgusting and I highly recommend it.

– Mel

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