The Boxtrolls - Film Review and Interview

By Dylan Jones, Junior, Marin Academy

ON CINEMA - October 2014

View the trailer for The Boxtrolls

With the movie The BoxTrolls, directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annabelle (creators of Coraline and ParaNorman) have created an incredibly quirky yet accessible film that manages to be visually stunning without sacrificing the integrity of the script. Indeed, “Boxtrolls” is of the rare breed of animated film that can be appreciated by all ages, full of witty humor and valuable insight on themes such as classism, injustice, and what defines self worth.

In the film, audiences are introduced to a whole new animated family—the Boxtrolls—timid, yet brilliantly inventive creatures reminiscent of the minions from Despicable Me, who live underneath the streets of Cheesebridge and get their name from the packaging boxes they wear as clothing. Our protagonist is a boy named Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright), a boy whom the Boxtrolls have raised as their own. When the town’s villain, Archibald Snatcher(Ben Kingsley), hatches a plot to eradicate all the BoxTrolls in Cheesebridge, it falls on Eggs to venture into the strange world of human beings and stop him. Along the way, he meets up with sassy rich girl Winnie (Elle Fanning), and together they devise a plan to stop Snatcher and save Egg’s family. The script is fun and cleverly written, but the real standout feature of the movie is the animation and art direction. The intensely detailed claymation sets and dynamic action make this movie a real visual treat, and even more so in 3D.

THE INTERVIEW with Directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annabelle

Out of all the seemingly endless genres of film, animation perhaps best embodies the concept of escapism. For ninety minutes, audiences are given the opportunity to experience a completely new world, one in which the laws of physics are somewhat arbitrary, and eclectic colors and imagery reign king. Within such wonderfully whimsical worlds, it is easy to forget that the stories which are made to seem so lively and care free on screen are in fact the products of a vastly intricate process, a process that I was introduced to in much more detail during my interview with Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annabelle, directors of The Boxtrolls.