They Aren’t Monsters

The Boxtrolls

I realized that it was going to take something really special to get me back into movie theaters to complete movie season. I’d grown cinematically lazy, and also nothing really pushed me, but, I am pleased to say that I’m back now after nearly 2 months off from it. (Yikes!)

I wasn’t going to miss seeing The Boxtrolls in theaters with 3-D. It just wasn’t going to happen. Stop motion animation is one of my absolutely favorite art forms, because it’s just so damn impressive.

I decided to give myself a day or so of distance before actually writing this review, to see what I remembered about the movie when I walked out, because I knew I was going to be blown away by the craft of the movie and I wanted to see if I actually liked it in hindsight.

I think I did. It’s certainly one of the family movies, in that a whole family can sit and find something to enjoy, although it’s a bit too scatological for my personal taste. (Lots of fart humor, and a very strange bit about a cheese allergy.) The plot basically follows Fish, a Boxtroll, a sort of peaceful underdwelling people, and Eggs, a young boy who he presumably kidnapped in the first scene and raised as his son. 10 years on, Eggs goes to the surface world to save Fish from the evil Snatcher (actually the villain’s name) who is on a quest to eradicate The Boxtrolls in order to win a place in the aristocracy. Eggs befriends Winnifred, the daughter of the ruling family, and they take down Snatcher and get equality for The Boxtrolls.

It’s simple and lovely and Eggs and Winnifred are great child heroes. The Boxtrolls themselves are adorably designed and each one is unique which is also a cool thing.

Stop Motion Animation is really really cool. I don’t know how else to describe it beyond that, and The Boxtrolls in particular is a phenomenal example of it. The details of each handmade piece is astounding, and there’s a fun mid-credits meta scene that plays with the idea of each thing being moved. Jut about every stop motion feature should be compared to The Nightmare Before Christmas, which remains the gold standard of this art form. The Boxtrolls comes close in style, but doesn’t quite reach the storytelling heights of that masterpiece.

It’s a good movie though and I really liked it. And it got me back in the theater. I’m making up for lost time over the next few weeks, I promise!

So that’s where we landed on that. I probably won’t seek this movie out again, but I’ll definitely watch it passively on TV or whatever.

Rankings!

  1. Guardians of The Galaxy
  2. Godzilla
  3. Chef
  4. X-Men: Days of Future Past
  5. The 100 Foot Journey
  6. How To Train Your Dragon 2
  7. Lucy
  8. The Boxtrolls
  9. Jersey Boys
  10. Maleficent
  11. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Trailers:

Annie. The more times I see this trailer the more I can’t wait for the soundtrack. In particular, I really can’t wait to hear the full “Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile.”

Spare Parts…Sigh, I really like Marissa Tomei, I wish she made better choices.

The full Big Hero Six trailer is full of feels, and laughs, and action and if this movie isn’t good, I don’t know what’s left to do. Bay Max is the cutest robot since Wall-E.

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