Imagine a Victorian aristocratic society where almost everyone is a rich, conservative type who chooses to do nothing but sit around and eat cheese all day. Then there’s the upper-middle class, the only people who work in the film and who make it their sole purpose in life to clean up the streets. However, this view of a hierarchal society is based on the Boxtrolls, a group of goblin-like misfits. They are cast out of the society, live underground in the sewers and only wear cardboard boxes.
That’s enough background information. Concerning the plot of “The Boxtrolls” . . . there is no plot. It’s a kid’s film, and yet, I’d expect there to be some origin story.
The town of Cheesebridge is split into two classes. First, there is a group of rich, White Hat elites. They make up the city council of Cheesebridge. There is also the Red Hats. They function as the exterminators in the film. When the film begins, we are introduced to Archibald Snatcher, voiced by Ben Kingsley, a pest exterminator and a red hat. His goal is to acquire a white hat from Lord Portley-Rind, voiced by Jared Harris. Lord Portley-Rind is the leader of the White Hats.
The film’s protagonist is Eggs, voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright, a human orphan living with the Boxtrolls.Then we are introduced to Winnie Portley-Rind, voiced by Ellie Fanning. She is the first human Eggs meets and, as the film progresses, they become friends. Supporting characters in the film include Lady Portland-Rind, Winnie’s mother, voiced by Toni Collette. There is also Mr. Trout, Mr. Pickles and Mr. Gristles, voiced by Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade and Tracy Morgan, respectively. They make up Snatcher’s henchmen.
The film follows Snatcher’s attempts to eliminate all the Boxtrolls and acquire a white hat. It also depicts Eggs and Winnie’s attempts to save the Boxtrolls and end the feud with the town. The citizens of the town are deluded by propaganda that depicts the Boxtrolls as capable of eating children. audience is given an insignificant amount of background information concerning the feud between the society of Cheesebridge and the Boxtrolls of the city’s underground. There is a plethora of jokes meant to entertain a younger audience, like when Snatcher consumes a large quantity of cheese and catches this hideous facial disease (karma).
However, this film does a good job with its use of visuals. The acting is redeemed as the film progresses. It becomes too redundant when Snatcher’s henchmen continuously question, “Are we doing the right thing?” I hate to sound cliche, but if sixty percent of the time you believe you are doing something wrong, you are doing something wrong.
The film would be great for a much younger audience, but it is not a satisfying film for an older audience. I would not see this movie again, in theaters or on DVD.