The Boxtrolls tells the story of Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright), a young boy raised by the titular Boxtrolls, in his quest to enlighten a misguided society about the true nature of his guardians. Set in a small English town where cheese reigns supreme as a symbol of the elite, Eggs must race against time to prevent the antagonist Archibald Snatcher (voiced by Ben Kingsley) from exterminating his beloved Boxtrolls, a race of peaceful inventive creatures. Along the way he meets Winnie (voiced by Elle Fanning), a curious young girl trying to make sense of the complex world around her. Together, Eggs and Winnie, attempt the mammoth task of changing the fabric of society bringing the audience on a wild and eye opening ride. Isaac Hempstead-Wright gave an emotional performance that had the audience rooting for Eggs the entire film. Ben Kingsley delivered a masterful performance displaying impressive vocal range as Snatcher while Elle Fanning breathed life into the complex intelligent character of Winnie, in only her 3rd voice role. Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Tracy Morgan also voice small roles.
The film was created in 3D stop motion by Laika Studios who previously delighted audiences with hits like Coraline and ParaNorman. The animations were expertly crafted giving rise to elaborate characters while delivering a smooth high quality performance. The Real 3D did not add significant value because of the lack of eye-popping action scenes and digitally rendered scenery.
Although a whimsical children’s film, The Boxtrolls offers social commentary on socioeconomic class conflict and societal prejudice. The entire premise of the film is rooted in the societal prejudice propagated by the villain Archibald Snatcher towards the Boxtrolls. Snatcher in turn is after the exclusive White Hat, which grants its holder exclusive societal status and access to unlimited amounts of cheese, the ultimate measure of wealth. The film explores the damaging effects of social stratification and prejudice on society as a whole, providing a great moral for its young audience while also delivering quality family entertainment.
The Boxtrolls 3D is out in theatres today.
[Review written by: Abdullah Mir]