Based on a children’s fantasy novel by author Alan Snow, this is a truly bizarre so-called kids film that only really comes alive and is most delightful whenever the actual Boxtroll creatures appear on screen.
Orphaned as a baby and raised by underground cavern-dwelling trash collectors, Eggs reaches adolescence and develops a personality all his own with human traits. Above ground during unspecified Victorian London times, a group of self-regulating Boxtroll snatchers scour the cobblestone streets at night with the intention of wiping out every one of the creatures.
At this point only known as Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright) due to the box he wears, the boy inadvertently meets the pristine but ignored aristocrat’s daughter, Winnie (Elle Fanning), who ends up below with Eggs and his weird family of ghoulies. Eggs learns to be human but still desperately attempts to stop the kidnapping of the Boxtrolls and false accusations that they are flesh-eating monsters. In reality, they are simple scavengers of objects and gadgets that they use to construct wonderfully unique creations with.
Friendship and family issues are brought to life, while a confrontation with a mechanical spider-like contraption gave me horrible flashbacks to the finale of the Will Smith debacle, Wild Wild West.
Immaculate stop-motion animation aside, The Boxtrolls is restless in deciding what it wants to be. A character with cheese intolerance is simply gross, not funny as intended. The film has its moments, but not enough.
The Boxtrolls arrives in U.S. theaters on September 26. It opens in Australia on September 18.