Ever since Laika came into the spotlight in 2009, they have crafted some fantastic stop motion animated movies starting with "Coraline". The movies which are technically crafted by hand are brought to life with the use of photography and careful movement of puppets which I have always loved seeing. Now, we have the next movie from the studio known as "The Boxtrolls". It's an impressive looking movie with many cute moments, but maybe it's a little too cute and simple for audiences tastes especially considering the other animated movies that came out the year it came out. Want to know why? Well, I'll explain.
In the hill topped village known as Cheesebridge, the antagonistic Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) has been trying to hunt and exterminate the trolls in the city known as the box trolls (the reason is because they wear cardboard boxes) after they have kidnapped and supposedly killed a baby in hopes to join the elite group known as the White Hats so he can try the many kinds of cheese they taste despite being lactose intolerant. The trolls, in reality, have raised the baby boy known as Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has lived in secret with the trolls helping top protect them from the exterminators and turning discarded objects into creative inventions. Years go by and Eggs has continued to live with the trolls when he is discovered by the daughter of the leader of Cheesebridge, Winnie (Elle Fanning). Disgusted by the way the town sees the trolls, Eggs tries to convince Winnie to see the reality of the trolls and free them from the evil Archibald Snatcher. I think you can figure out the rest from there.
Though I did enjoy the film, I did have some problems that may make some people a little disappointed. The story of the film is a nice and simple story, it isn't as big as Laika's previous movies. I remember how huge a movie like "Coraline" was especially with its climax and comparing it with this film did make me wish that there should have been more to it. Even the ending of this film was a little anticlimactic in a way. As for the animation, it's once again fantastic. I really appreciate the time and effort that the artists went into creating the details of the film. The village, in particular, was very impressive. I loved how huge it was and how much tiny details were added into it. Even the character animation was very smooth and felt perfect. Now, how are the characters? Pretty good. I liked how cute the boxtrolls were, thought Archibald Snatcher was a great villain brought to life by a fantastic performance by Ben Kingsley, and really liked the attitude that Elle Fanning brought to Winnie. As for Eggs, he could have been a better main character. I thought he was pretty bland at times and should have been written a little better at times. He wasn't a bad character, but he just wasn't very memorable. I think that was about it.
"The Boxtrolls" is definitely a very cute movie with a decent simple story, fantastic animation, and some mostly good characters. I don't think it's up there with Laika's best movies as I do think this is their weakest effort to date though I can easily say that the movie is nowhere near awful. It's was a very nice movie and it's easily something I can watch again.