The Boxtrolls


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Boxtrolls
"Having set a scene of intriguing grotesquery the plot falls victim of its own invention"

Imagine a city ruled by fools where the most prized possessions are tall white hats and cheese, in which street cleaners are led by a hideous transvestite and tribes of Monsters Inc extras live underground in cardboard boxes emerging at night to collect valueless objects from rubbish bins.

And then what?

Copy picture

Here lies the body of disappointment.

Having set a scene of intriguing grotesquery the plot falls victim of its own invention. Communication is hampered by the boxtrolls speech deformities. They make noises like sick dolphins and without the aid of a interpreter you won't have a clue what they are talking about.

There is a boy who lives with the trolls and thinks he's one of them. His importance above ground is never entirely explained, or why the garbage collectors want him dead.

Add to this satirical swipe at the impotence of power and genetic filtering that leads to weakness within the ruling classes there is the spoilt daughter of the chief cheese scoffer having feelings for the boy, but, like everyone else in the palace, she lacks that essential weapon in the empathy wars, charm.

The animation flags up the flaws in human evolution and is every dentist's nightmare. The trolls are grown up amoeba, skilled in adapting to their rat-like existence. The humour is dark. The 3-D is pointless. The voices, led by Sir Ben (Kingsley), are excellent.

And then what?

Yes, well...

Reviewed on: 13 Sep 2014
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The Boxtrolls packshot
A young orphaned boy raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator.
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Director: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi

Writer: Irena Brignull, Adam Pava, based on Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow

Starring: voices of Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Dee Bradley Baker, Tracy Morgan, Toni Collette, Simon Pegg

Year: 2014

Runtime: 97 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


Deauville 2014

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