I haven’t seen a single Laika animated film… until this year. I started with ‘Coraline’ and ‘ParaNorman’ which both were incredible animated productions, while I saw ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ in theatres this past August to also excellent results. The studio has continued to impress me. Now reaching towards the last film I haven’t seen from the acclaimed studio yet, will ‘The Boxtrolls’ be another winner from the prestige animation studio?
‘The Boxtrolls’ is about trolls that wear boxes as clothes and to hide in. Pretty straight forward, however the film is a lot more deeper than that as one of the trolls stole a human baby and have raised him as one of their own, naming him as Eggs, since he wears a box that has a picture of eggs on it. However, he soon meets another human, this time a girl who looks similar to him, while rescuing his boxtroll friend, and father, Fish.
The film has amazingly detailed animation, with impressive use of stop motion. However, that is to be expected from Laika, but it is nice their films continue to look impressive, like when Eggs climbs out of the sewer in first person view. There are some jokes here and there, some nice character relationships between Eggs and Winnie, and the two henchman for the Snatcher, Mr. Trout and Mr. Pickles, were always a delight and constantly had me smiling and giggling away at their humorous lines, like the two constantly question them doing the right thing and continues to decline and see themselves as bad guys. The latter two have an awesome mid-credits scene that will provide many laughs with their breaking the fourth wall meta-humour.
However, the film’s humour isn’t very consistent, and the film constant aims itself towards a younger demographic with the boxtrolls gags, despite some scenes being rather intense for little kids. Some of the film’s major characters aren’t that rather interesting, like the Snatcher, and some constantly annoyed me by their selfish attitude and behaviour towards his precious white hat over his daughter’s heart, Winnie’s father, who doesn’t feel like he grows in this film, and constantly makes himself look like a jerk.
‘The Boxtrolls’ feels predictable, somewhat tiring, and some characters that just don’t grow when they need too. While there are problems, the film isn’t void on its more positive aspects like its humour, some relationships between the two kids and between Eggs and Fish, and the studio’s affectionate detail for stop motion animation.
‘The Boxtrolls’ is definitely the weakest of Laika’s library of amazing films, but while it can bother, there at moments where the film will delight.