Monday, 29 September 2014

Movie Review: The Boxtrolls

Previous Review: The Equalizer
Next Review: Dracula Untold

First and foremost, don't judge a film by its appearance. Don't let the creepy designs of the boxtrolls discourage you from watching this film. The film may look like it has a darker and gloomy tone to it but don't let it deceive you.

For those who haven't seen the past two Laika productions, Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012), it might take you quite a while to get used to the character designs and styles shown in the film. However, despite its weird and unappealing nature, The Boxtrolls is actually a surprisingly fun, charming, heartwarming adventure for people of all ages.

The Boxtrolls is a captivating mix of stop-motion and CG (computer graphics) animation that has a distinctive look that stands out from many of the recently released animations out there. We're living in an age where most animation studios have opted to use CG for their main releases, it's quite rare nowadays to find companies willing to go through the painstaking effort and a great amount of time to slowly move clay figures bit by bit, in very small movements each time to make a film.

Just try to let yourself be submerged in the world before judging it. I believe you'll find it fascinating soon enough. If you pay attention to the film, you'll notice the intense detailing that the animators put into the film. Despite their 'ugliness', the Boxtrolls are actually harmless, shy, good-natured, intelligent and adorable little creatures that roam the streets at night to look for junks to repair or create something new out of them. They fear the humans as much as the humans fear them.

Although the plot is rather straightforward, the film contains some rather complex, mature themes (by children's standards of course). Thankfully, they're expressed in a subtle manner throughout the story instead of becoming hard hitting moral lessons to be learned by the end of the film. Basically, the film tries to encourage children to be independent and stand up on their feet in a world full of adults. It teaches kids that sometimes things are just not what it seems on the outside. We should not judge a book by its cover or lose sight of what's right and wrong. Moreover, the film also shows that sometimes the life we always wanted is not really the life we truly need.

Overall, The Boxtrolls is great. It's one of the best animated films of the year. It has a unique and refreshing look that's different compared with many other animation out there. Just give it a chance.

Rating: 8/10

Note: Please wait for the mid-credit scene. Mr. Trout and Mr. Pickles will have something to say about the nature of the world around them.

"A good stop-motion animator will average about 40 frames a day on his shot. That is about one and a half seconds of film. So, maybe he gets four or five seconds done a week. Most shots are not very long. If all the animators are working, you get four or five minutes done a week. And at the end of 18 months, you have a 90-minute film." 
- Information taken from:

Previous Review: The Equalizer
Next Review: Dracula Untold

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