The Horror Honeys: Heroes Come in All Shapes and Sizes...Even Rectangles.

Heroes Come in All Shapes and Sizes...Even Rectangles.

A Revenge Honey "SQUEEE" Review by Linnie

The Boxtrolls (2014)

Laika Entertainment has positioned itself as the go-to animation studio for those who want their animated movies with a little darkness and edge. There is a reason that Coraline and ParaNorman are Honey-Favorites: they're twisted, hilarious, sweet, and the perfect introduction to horror for little Honeys. Now you can add Laika's latest cinematic concoction, The Boxtrolls, to that list of stop-motion darkly delights. Because while it's not as frightening as Coraline or as endearing as ParaNorman, it's still the kind of animated film that horror fans can enjoy with their kids without wanting to gouge their eyes out.

The Story: Based on Alan Snow's, Here Be Monsters!, Young Egg is raised underground by a group of trash-collecting tinkerers known as the Boxtrolls. Aboveground, a city full of cheese-obsessed aristocrats have convinced themselves that the boxtrolls are evil and are coming for their cheese, and to a lesser extent, their children. To protect their city, they hire exterminator Archibald Snatcher, a man with delusions of grandeur and a few secrets of his own. Can Egg and his new friend Winnie save the Boxtrolls from extermination?

There are so many things to like about The Boxtrolls, that you can forgive it its few shortcomings easily. Starring the voice talents of Ben Kingsley (Archibald Snatcher), Jared Harris (Lord Portley-Rind), Elle Fanning (Winnie), and Game of Thrones' Isaac Hempstead Wright as Eggs, the film is veritable treasure trove of vocal wonder. Keep an ear out for Nick Frost and Simon Pegg as well, who lend their voices to supporting characters and put their lovably goofy stamp on every scene in which they appear.

Another thing I love about Laika is that every film has a character that mini-Honeys can relate to, and in The Boxtrolls, that character is definitely Elle Fanning's Winnie. Right off the bat, she is established as a bit of a darkling. When she confesses that she often daydreams about the Boxtrolls munching on her bones and eating her flesh, her father tells her that proper little girls shouldn't think about such things. Who hasn't had THAT conversation before? The following are just a few of my favorite Winnie quotes:

"Did they murder your whole family?? Did they let you watch?? I mean... make you. Did they make you watch?"

"Where are the rivers of blood? Where are mountains of bones? I WAS PROMISED MOUNTAINS OF BONES!"

I would happily watch an entire film based around this "little weird angel."

And of course, as is the Laika standard, the animation in The Boxtrolls is staggeringly beautiful. Stop-motion is truly an art-form that has become lost in our age of CGI and I adore every second and every detail. You will absolutely fall in love with the Boxtrolls and their distinct personalities and appearances, as well as their adorable little voices. They reminded me of the minions from the Despicable Me series, but more coherent. These characters are infinitely lovable and with a few tweaks to the story, could definitely spawn a sequel.

I won't give anything away, except to say that like ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls features a non-heteronormative character in a prominent role. Whether this trait is part of their personality or just a ruse to gain information, I wasn't 100% sure. But I thoroughly enjoyed watching the performance either way.

In the end, if you liked Coraline and you liked ParaNorman, there is no question: see The Boxtrolls. You don't even need a kid to go with you. This one is grownup-approved.

Revenge Honey Rating ~ 3 1/2 Trubshaw Babies out of 5

A cover of Pete Seeger's Little Boxes from the soundtrack for The Boxtrolls, performed by Loch Lomond...