When a cruel exterminator tries to destroy the band of impish creatures that adopted young orphan Eggs, he and a bold rich girl come to the rescue.
Eggs, who’s lived most of his young life with a group of Boxtrolls, doesn’t realize he’s a human boy. That is, until he meets Winnie, a little girl who helps him realize who he really is—and also helps save his troll family from the evil machinations of Archibald Snatcher.
Sir Ben Kingsley as Archibald Snatcher
I love watching Sir Ben as a villain, and watching him as a layered villain is even better (see: Iron Man 3). He’s got an amazing range as an actor, and is so good at mixing menace and humor. Archibald Snatcher is a terrible dude with a super appropriate name; his only goal in life is to gain power, and he doesn’t care who he has to step on—or, in the case of the Boxtrolls, kill—to get it. But he’s got a surprising alternate side, which I won’t spoil for you, but Sir Ben is also great at.
Jared Harris as Lord Portley-Rind
Lord Portley-Rind is a self-centered rich guy with a strange obsession with cheese. I have no clue if Jared is similar in real life, but I know he can pull off acting as such really well.
Nick Frost as Mr. Trout
Nick is one of my favorite actors, particularly his comedic roles. He’s one of the best at playing the bumbling sidekick types, and Mr. Trout is that, exactly. But he’s not totally stupid: As one of Snatcher’s henchmen, he’s got a questionable job—and he actually questions the morality of it more than once, and does the right thing in the end.
Tracy Morgan as Mr. Gristle
Y’all know that Tracy Morgan can be hilarious. But, he can apparently be a bit scary, too; Mr. Gristle, another of Snatcher’s henchmen, seems to be the only one who gets actual joy out of exterminating the Boxtrolls. He doesn’t exactly say much, however, so Tracy’s talents go a little underused.
Elle Fanning as Winnie Portley-Rind
As far as I know, Elle is a sweet, kind young woman who often acts in roles that are also sweet, kind young women. Winnie’s a bit of a break from the norm, however; she’s a bossy, know-it-all spoiled only child.* Even with those somewhat frustrating personality traits, she ends up being a great help and a great friend to Eggs.
*No offense meant to only children, of course, being that I am one myself.
Richard Ayoade as Mr. Pickles
I adore Richard, if only because of his role as Moss on The IT Crowd. Moss and Mr. Pickles are actually surprisingly similar; both guys are somewhat bumbling, but with good hearts, and find themselves with careers that aren’t really what they want to be doing.
Isaac Hempstead Wright as Eggs
I only know Isaac from his role as Bran in Game of Thrones, and since I only watched the first season, I honestly don’t really know what Bran’s like. (I do know that he’s grown up since his last appearance on the show, however.) Eggs is a sweet, somewhat naive young man, whose loyalty to his family very nearly gets him in trouble thanks to his tendency to get himself in trouble.
Wait a minute …
Couch-Sharing Capability: High, Especially With Kids and/or Animation Fanatics
The Boxtrolls is a stop-motion animated feature film with a great message: Even if you’re not related by blood to the people that you consider family, you can still be family. The stop-motion aspect (particularly because it’s a Laika movie, and they’re the very best at stop-motion) will of interest to animated film geeks, and the moral tale is good for kids to watch. But even if you don’t have either type of person at hand, the movie is just plain entertaining and adorable, so most everyone else should enjoy it, too.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Low
This is a kids movie, after all. But it’s not one of those kids movies, you know, which you might need to start drinking an hour beforehand to be able to sit through.
Use of Your Netflix Subscription: Excellent
I don’t often get to see animated films in theaters, in part because I don’t have kids who drag me to want to see these type of films. I honestly feel like I miss out on many great movies because of this. I’m very glad to have Netflix to help me catch up, particularly when catching up involves watching cute movies like The Boxtrolls.