The Boxtrolls review – splendidly inventive children’s animation

Laika studio’s adaptation of Alan Snow’s Here Be Monsters is deliciously scrungy, with dazzling visuals

The latest from ace stop-motion studio Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman) is a deliciously scrungy adaptation of Alan Snow’s Here Be Monsters!, replete with the kind of pustulent facial contortions from which most kids’ movies would run screaming. In the Victorian-era town of Cheesebridge, monster-catcher Archibald Snatcher (brilliantly voiced by Ben Kingsley) keeps the locals safe from child-stealing Boxtrolls in return for the promise of a coveted White Hat. Archibald wants to hobnob with the brie-eating great and good, but an allergy to cheese means his social climbing brings him out in hives... and worse.

Meanwhile the trolls attempt to live peaceful lives, raising Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright), a young human changeling, as one of their own beneath the city streets. Splendidly inventive and outrageously squishy, Boxtrolls features more than enough carnivalesque weirdness (the sight of a cheese-inflamed Archibald is beyond monstrous) to give the faint-hearted the collywobbles. Good for it! The visuals are dazzling, the voices expressive, and the end-credits sequence offers a laugh-out-loud appraisal of the madness of the animators’ labour-intensive craft.


Mark Kermode, Observer film critic

The GuardianTramp

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