Laika’s third feature film, ‘The Boxtrolls’ hit cinemas at the end of this summer, and despite sitting in a cinema filled with children on a Saturday morning to watch it I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The film follows Eggs (voiced by ‘Game of Thrones’ actor Isaac Hempstead), a boy raised by the endearingly shy Boxtrolls in their subterranean home, as he tries to convince the people of Cheesebridge that the Boxtrolls aren’t the monsters that they’ve been led to believe they are.
Ultimately, it explores courage and the notion of family. Laika, particularly known for the fantastic ‘Coraline’ specialise in stop-motion animation, making the film a vibrant visual feast. As well as being aesthetically amazing the film comes equipped with an incredible cast.
Hempstead is joined by Ben Kingsley, Elle Fanning, Nick Frost and Richard Ayoade- even minor characters are played by household names, with Toni Collette’s talent seeming somewhat wasted on a character with only a few lines. The film also contains some fantastic characterisation with Kingsley as the villainous Snatcher and his drag alter-ego Madame Frou-Frou is particularly brilliant - Frou-Frou sings a fantastic song written by Monty Pyton’s Eric Idle. Ayoade shines an overenthusiastic henchman convinced he’s a hero.
Unfortunately the film’s plot doesn’t live up to the casting or visuals, and the film certainly isn’t Laika’s best work, but as a film it has a lot of charm and wit, and is definitely worth a watch.