The Boxtrolls review

2014's 8th feature film.
2014’s 8th feature film.

http://www.solarmovie.ws/watch-the-boxtrolls-2014-online.html

My opinion right after watching film

My opinion right after watching the film is that it is not a bad film, and it is not one of the worst films of this year but…………..it does not stop the film from being utterly boring. I struggled to watch through the entire thing, and there was not too much that I could really invest in with the characters. Maybe it is just because this film (and films like these) are not my taste.

Production

The only piece of production information I found on this film is that it was announced in 2008.

Story

So the film takes place in 1805, in a town called Cheesebridge, where Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) spreads rumors about these creatures called the Boxtrolls, where he says that they eat and kidnap children, and a bunch of other stuff to make them look out to be monsters. He makes a deal with the mayor Lord Portley-Rind (Jared Harris), so he can exterminate all of the Boxtrolls in the city for a White Hat (which means the person is of higher status in their city).

We soon see the Boxtrolls gather stuff and trash from the upper world (as they live underground), and go back to their homes, where we see that they use the materials they find to make inventions.

A toddler named Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) soon joins them (and becomes known as the child who was kidnapped by the Boxtrolls in the Upper world), and as he grows up in those next 10 years, he realizes that there are more and more boxtrolls that go missing.
A toddler named Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) soon joins them (and becomes known as the child who was kidnapped by the Boxtrolls in the Upper world), and as he grows up in those next 10 years, he realizes that there are more and more Boxtrolls that go missing. I wish the beginning did not drag so much, especially when we are not learning much about the world of Boxtrolls, how they came to be, and any relevant information about them.

As a Boxtroll kidnapping happens, the mayor’s daughter Winnie Portley-Rind (Elle Fanning) sees it through her window, causing her to approach her father, but he refuses to listen to her, as hall he can care about is his city issues, and his cheese. He dismisses her rudely to tell her to go wash his hat,which she takes, and throws it out of the window in a bratty manner.

The exterminator Archibald finds the hat outside, and as Winnie rushes to get it, she is forced to speak with Archibald, and they walk back to her house, where her father’s hat is given back to her. Somehow the girl manages to see Eggs and the trolls running around, which will be important for later in the film. I forgot to mention that Winnie is obsessed with Boxtrolls, or obsessed with her fear about them, because she constantly rants about the horrible things she does, and wanting nothing to do with them. The next day I believe, Eggs decides to not wear his Boxtroll outfit to fit in with the Upper world, so he can find a Boxtroll (forgot his name), to bring him back.

So it is the carnival in homage to the "Trubshaw Baby"  that took place 11 years prior,, and we get a drag show about singing about the Boxtrolls, for some propoganda to ahte them, which annoys Eggs off. Winnie recognizes him, and starts to follow him.
So it is the carnival in homage to the “Trubshaw Baby” that took place 11 years prior,, and we get a drag show about singing about the Boxtrolls, for some propoganda to hate them, which annoys Eggs off. Winnie recognizes him, and starts to follow him.

They go into Snatcher’s factory, where Snatcher has a bunch of bumpy shit on his face for……………..some reason I cannot comprehend, Maybe it is for an invention that he is trying to get the Boxtrolls to make or something, it really is no clear to me. What I do know is that Snatcher still really wants that hat. This film is such a bore. Seems like my question would be answered a few minutes later, when Snatcher shows the Boxtrols inventing something for him. The Boxtroll that Eggs tries to take back falls, and is given back to the enemy.

Eggs takes her to the Boxtrolls (where he lives), and she is confused and angry when she sees him interact so friendly with the Boxtrolls, since everything she knew about the Boxtrolls (being monsters) is false. He tells her that he told her that they do not eat people, and are very friendly, and tells her that he is a Boxtroll. She finds this totally ridiculous, and we get a Tarzan moment where she puts his hands to compare to a Boxtroll's (who has 4 fingers), and puts it up against hers to show that they are the same species, and calls him the "Trubshaw baby".
Eggs takes her to the Boxtrolls (where he lives), and she is confused and angry when she sees him interact so friendly with the Boxtrolls, since everything she knew about the Boxtrolls (being monsters) is false. He tells her that he told her that they do not eat people, and are very friendly, and tells her that he is a Boxtroll. She finds this totally ridiculous, and we get a Tarzan moment where she puts his hands to compare to a Boxtroll’s (who has 4 fingers), and puts it up against hers to show that they are the same species, and calls him the “Trubshaw baby”.

The Boxtrolls then tell him that he was given to them by his father (who was an inventor), right before he was murdered by Archibald and his mentors Mr. Pickles (Richard Ayoade), and Mr. Gristle (Tracy Morgan). She then explains to him the concept of a father is to love them and to help them, and oh my goodness. I should not be surprised that this film was going to go this route, but they just do it so poorly compared to all of the other films that has the “two worlds, has to choose one” storyline. So she takes him to her house, where there is a ball to celebrate a cheese wheel that just arrived, and they are there so he can tell her father the truth. Her mother Lady Portley-Rind (Toni Collette) asks her who this the guy she is with, and he makes a weird greeting to her (because he does not know any better), creeping her out. Winnie then leaves for a moment, and Eggs manages to creep everybody in the room out.

The crossdresser (apparently named Ms. Frou Frou) has a hold of him and is about to lock Eggs in the closet, where he reveals that he is Archibald, and that the Boxtrolls will be dead tonight after his invention works, and he will be forced to receive a white hat, but someone interrupts, telling Ms. Frou Frou that “she” owes him a dance, which causes Eggs to easily walk out.

They engage in a little chase as all of them dance, but Archibald throws him to the huge cheese, which causes it to roll off, which makes Winnie's father mad, and not listen to anything he says (or realizes that it was not his fault). He tries to tell everyone that the Boxtrolls are good, and that he is the Trubshaw child, but he does not listen still. Gosh is this father  annoying, blubbering on about his cheese. He then reveals that Frou Frou is Archibald by tearing her wig, but he still believes that Archibald is Frou Frou, and tells Eggs to get out of his house, and even when his daughter tries to explain, he refuses.
They engage in a little chase as all of them dance, but Archibald throws him to the huge cheese, which causes it to roll off, which makes Winnie’s father mad, and not listen to anything he says (or realizes that it was not his fault). He tries to tell everyone that the Boxtrolls are good, and that he is the Trubshaw child, but he does not listen still. Gosh is this father annoying, blubbering on about his cheese. He then reveals that Frou Frou is Archibald by tearing her wig, but he still believes that Archibald is Frou Frou, and tells Eggs to get out of his house, and even when his daughter tries to explain, he refuses.

He tells Winnie it was nice to meet her, but he is tired of being a human, since her father did not help him, and he tells the Boxtrolls that they need to leave, but all they do is hide. I am gonna wrap this up quickly. Archibald and his sidekicks show up with their machine, takes them all to their factory, he sees that his father Herbert Trubshaw (Simon Pegg) is in the cell beside him, and that he was not murdered, but trapped there for 11 years. Archibald runs over all of the Boxtrolls, which he tells Eggs, only to be proven wrong when the Boxtrolls escaped their boxes right before the machine went for them. Archibald tries to take the white hat forcefully, but is defeated by the trolls, Eggs, and his father Herbert before he swells into some giant blob. I am still confused as to the whole swelling thing, which is never explained well. He tool Winnie and demands her father to give him the hat for Winnie’s safety, which he does (so he IS a good father. Learn something new every day). Soon enough, Archibald blows up after eating a piece of cheese, the minions are dealt with, after that, the people live peacefully with the Boxtrolls.

Well, I am glad I watched this film twice, because I was too bored the first time to catch much. The plot is not bad, and is actually pretty good, but there is not a whole lot of depth to make it stand out, and the characters don't have strong characterization. I liked a lot of the societal things in the film, and the animation is nice (though has a lot of dull colors), but it......just was not interesting to me, and it was hard for me to understand some things. It is still one of the better films of this year thus far.
Well, I am glad I watched this film twice, because I was too bored the first time to catch much. The plot is not bad, and is actually pretty good, but there is not a whole lot of depth to make it stand out, and the characters don’t have strong characterization. I liked a lot of the societal things in the film, and the animation is nice (though has a lot of dull colors), but it……just was not interesting to me, and it was hard for me to understand some things. It is still one of the better films of this year thus far.

Characters

The characters are flat and not interesting at all. They are not horrible, but there is not really anything to remember about them, and they could have made them stronger characters with more characterization.

He is literally the person that is caught between 2 worlds....that is it. He is such a flat protagonist, and I honestly could care less about him.
He is literally the person that is caught between 2 worlds….that is it. He is such a flat protagonist, and I honestly could care less about him.
Winnie has a lot of bratty behavior in her, but she wants to do what is best. She can be somewhat likable, but at other times, she is too much.
Winnie has a lot of bratty behavior in her, but she wants to do what is best. She can be somewhat likable, but at other times, she is too much.
He is a pretty good villain. His motivation is strong, is intimidating, and is utterly ruthless. He sees the hat as being a somebody, which he wants to be so badly. Definitely the best character, though he did give me the goosebumps when he was crossdressing.
He is a pretty good villain. His motivation is strong, is intimidating, and is utterly ruthless. He sees the hat as being a somebody, which he wants to be so badly. Definitely the best character, though he did give me the goosebumps when he was crossdressing.
I do not like him. He needs to pay attention to his daughter, and his cheese schtick gets really old, really fast.
I do not like him. He needs to pay attention to his daughter, and his cheese schtick gets really old, really fast.

The other characters either have no characterization at all (Boxtrolls), have little to no importance (Winnie’s mother), or people I forgot were even there (Archibald’s sidekicks).

Animation

The animation is very detailed for a stop-motion film. There is definitely a Victorian era style to the film, with some very nice textures. But I do wish that there was not so much grays and other plain, bland coloring in the film, because it did help add onto my boredom.

Music

The music……………..there is nothing special about the music. It was kind of fitting for the film and the theme of the film, but there was nothing that would make it stand out. The music and the score is the thing you will be thinking about the least when it comes to this film.

Reception at Release

When the film was released on September 26th, 2014, it has (by November 1st, 2014) made $89.3 million (I could not find the domestic and international rates as of yet). It opened at #3 on its opening weekend, so it did okay. I honestly do not see this film making over $150 million by the end of its theatrical run. Stop motion films usually do not do to well in the box office since it does not capture the flashiness that kids nowadays are into.

When it comes to the reviews, it received positive reviews, liking it for its well paced story, the animation, and the overall entertainment, most reviews did call it weaker than Laika’s earlier works, like Coraline and Paranorman.

Final Score

Story: 7/10

Characters: 6.5/10

Animation: 8/10

Music: 7/10

= 28.5/40 = 71%

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4 thoughts on “The Boxtrolls review

  1. I’m really surprised you found it boring. I thought it was so clever and clipped along quite nicely. I loved it made kids think about so many deeper topics without being too heavy handed. I loved the look and just enjoyed it all around. Oh well.

    1. It is definitely clever, but I don’t know, it was just boring to me. The look is definitely nice though,m and I like where they were going with things in the film. I just wished that more background knowledge on the Boxtrolls and the culture was explained and focused on more., because that was the good stuff.

      1. Yeah that surprises me. I actually think it would have been more boring with any more background knowledge about the boxtrolls and the culture. This just like most good fantasies just presented the world and let you figure it out along the way. Hmmm. I really thought it clipped along nicely and I was convinced the boxtrolls were squished. That was a good fake out. I liked the little girl . I thought she avoided some of the spunky girl cliches and was a unique character. I saw it the same night as Book of Life and thought it was the better film although I enjoyed both. I guess if I was going to nitpick it is pretty gross and maybe too gross in a few spots for the kid that likes oo, goo and slime they’ll love it. Maybe it wasn’t quite as funny as Paranorman but the whole discussion of labels and how we divide people into groups was very good. Oh well. Takes all types I suppose.

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