THE BOXTROLLS – Movieguide | Movie Reviews for Christians
The Boxtrolls is a quirky and slightly raunchy, but lovable and highly entertaining animated film about an orphaned boy, a girl, some misunderstood monsters, an “exterminator” and some pompous cheese fans.
The movie opens with the alleged theft of a baby by the Boxtrolls, a group of ugly subterranean cave dwellers who come out at night, pick up the city’s trash, and build wondrous things under the city of Cheesebridge. One of the town’s residents, Archibald Snatcher, thinks the baby was eaten by boxtrolls. he asks the town’s de facto mayor, lord portley-rind, if he can capture and “exterminate” the troublesome creatures. If he eliminates them all, Snatcher wants to be accepted into the community of “white hat” city leaders. portley-rind is more interested in sampling fine cheeses with his stuck-up friends, but reluctantly agrees.
Meanwhile, below the city, one of the boxtrolls, who is called a fish because he carries a box with a picture of a fish, lovingly raises the child as his own. fish gives the child a box with a picture of eggs, so the child’s name becomes eggs.
Years go by, and the number of boxtrolls slowly decreases one by one, with snatcher continuing his rounds as the town’s boxtroll exterminator. the thief has three industrious accomplices, mr. Trout (the big, philosophical-minded henchman), Mr. pickles (the clumsy, philosophical henchman) and mr. cartilage, (the bad one). like mr. trout and mr. pickles ponder the nuances of good versus evil, mr. cartilage enjoys the work of him too much. To foment hatred and fear of other boxtrolls, Mr. the thief is disguised as madame frou frou, who tells stories about the night the baby trubshaw was kidnapped and eaten by the boxtrolls.
Since there are fewer boxtrolls to catch, it’s becoming more dangerous for the fish and eggs to roam the city streets at night, picking up food, garbage, and other cool stuff. One night, Winnie, Lord Portley-Rind’s energetic 11-year-old daughter, spots eggs on the street. she realizes that the eggs are the long-lost baby trubshaw and she realizes that the stories about the boxtrolls are false. she tries to tell her father, but he doesn’t listen.
eventually, winnie and eggs become friends. when mr. the thief catches fish, they follow the thief and his henchwoman. they find out that snatcher is not exterminating the boxtrolls at all. instead, he’s forcing them to work on a special project for another dastardly, albeit unknown plan.
This leads to a wacky adventure where Egg finally discovers his surprising origins.
the boxtrolls is a delight. it’s funny, smart, exciting, and sometimes even profound. It is without a doubt the best movie, and the only really family-friendly one, made so far by the Oregon animation studio Laika, which also made Coraline and Paranorman.
Boxtrolls have a strong moral worldview that teaches them to do the right thing. in fact, there is a continuous comment between mr. trout and mr. pickles on the benefits of doing good and making correct and wise decisions about good versus evil. Also, even though Winnie’s father is too preoccupied with other things, he finally recognizes how important Winnie is to him. In addition, Eggs has a loving and positive relationship with his adoptive father, Fish, and finds his own father, who, it turns out, was not dead as everyone assumed, but very much alive.
So, in addition to teaching how to do the right thing, boxtrolls also teach the value of a positive parent-child relationship and the notion that you can’t judge a book by its cover. this last message fits with what the bible says in 1 samuel 16: 7-“man looks at what is in front of his eyes, but the lord looks at the heart”. as 1 peter 3:3,4 says, “your beauty should not come from external adornments, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothing. rather, it should be that of your inner being, the unfading beauty of a still and peaceful spirit, which is of great value in the eyes of god.” therefore, in the final scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter if he wears a nice white hat. It’s not bad to wear a nice white hat, but what matters most is if you seek God’s justice first: His grace, mercy, justice, kindness and love (Jesus, in Matthew 6:33).
the boxtrolls is a bit quirky and a bit edgy. for example, there is the lie that boxtrolls eat children. additionally, one character appears to be killed off-screen, but appears alive. In addition, although in the end he reconciles, Winnie’s father is arrogant and distant from his daughter. Furthermore, despite being married, he, like the other men in Cheesebridge, is attracted to Madame Frou Frou. when they expose her as a man in disguise, he says, “I feel so embarrassed.” therefore, some moments in the boxtrolls seem to have a non-traditional, slightly edgy twist. there are also three light exclamatory profanities. therefore, some caution is advised, especially for younger children.
Otherwise, older kids and adults who want to see something a little more quirky and unique will love having some fun with the boxtrolls.