Deep beneath the town of Cheesebridge live the Boxtrolls, cuddly monsters that wear boxes as clothes and spend their nights rummaging through the town’s rubbish for discarded knick-knacks they can repair and use in their cavernous home (they’re a grubby, less eloquent Wombles if you like). The residents of Cheesebridge want the boxtrolls exterminated because they believe the creatures are evil and that they kidnapped a baby years before (in fact, the boxtrolls raised healthy boy Eggs, named after the box they put him in). So nasty exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Kingsley) is hired to round the creatures up and, erm, exterminate them. It’s left to Eggs (Hempstead Wright) and Winnie, the daughter of the cheese-obsessed mayor (Fanning) to save the Boxtrolls and prove to the town of Cheesebridge that they aren’t so bad after all.
Based on the children’s novel Here Be Monsters, this is a quirky stop-motion animated adventure from Laika Entertainment, who also produced Coraline and ParaNorman. Little ones will find it too dark and odd, but older kids will love the griminess and yuckiness of it all, from the boxtrolls murky home and their dinner of bugs to Snatcher’s stomach-churning allergic reaction to his favourite food. While there are some plot inconsistencies – how can Eggs speak English when he’s spent his whole life underground with the grunting boxtrolls, for starters? – this is nonetheless a terrific adventure with a nicely twisted sense of humour throughout.
Is The Boxtrolls suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Younger viewers (aged under 7) may find the Boxtrolls themselves a bit creepy to begin with. This is not aimed at very young children and they may find the whole adventure too frightening.
Younger viewers may also find Snatcher scary.