Hello, I’m a unicorn. The Boxtrolls is a movie that manages to feel fresh even though it is somewhat cliched. We all know the story: a town believes that a group creatures is dangerous and evil, but they’re really just misunderstood and it’s up to a boy who has lived among them and a spoiled rich girl to prove to the adults that they’re wrong. It’s a pretty standard plot. What makes it so interesting is the execution. The stop motion animation is just plain gorgeous and sets a nice spooky tone for the entire film. The environment is so beautiful that I found myself noticing many of the lovely details put in the clothes and in the background. The setting was a character in and of itself, with a nice Victorian steampunk vine. The eponymous Boxtrolls were adorable and the boy protagonist, Eggs, was likable. The girl protagonist, Winnie, has her moments of likability, but, especially in the beginning, she comes off as an irritating know it all. She got better, but there were moments where I just wished she’d be quiet. Her father is even worse though. He’s the archetypal parent who never listens, but they take it to the extreme. He’s obsessed with cheese for reasons not adequately explained in the movie and cares more about his white hat than his own daughter. There is a moment where the villain threatens Winnie and he actually hesitates to give up his hat in order to save his only daughter. This is that point where the running gag pushed him into extremely unsympathetic territory.
The best characters, though, were the villains. Archibald Snatcher is both creepy and hilarious. Sometimes it could be hard to make out what he was saying, but when he was comprehensible, he was downright threatening. He was threatening, at least, until he does something completely ridiculous such as the hilarious cheese tasting scenes. My two absolute favorite characters were his underlings, Mr. Trout and Mr. Pickles. Their running gag is that they believe they’re actually the good guys, and it’s the funniest gag in the movie. Aside from the gorgeous animation, the villains were truly the strongest aspects of the film.
Overall, this movie is fantastic. While Winnie and her dad might get irritating, the movie is still fantastic. The plot is creative, the animation is beyond wonderful, the heroes are fun, the voice acting is great, and the villains, great Hera, the villains. It’s worth watching just for them. So what are you waiting for? Watch it now!