The Boxtrolls (2014) Review


The Boxtrolls (2014)

Directed by Graham Annable & Anthony Stacchi

Based on Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow

Isaac Hempstead-Wright
Elle Fanning
Ben Kingsley
Toni Collette
Jared Harris
Simon Pegg
Nick Frost
Richard Ayoade
Tracy Morgan

Production company: Laika

Running time: 96 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film tells the story of an orphaned boy named Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) who was raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collecting trolls called the Boxtrolls. The Boxtrolls are targeted by an evil exterminator named Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) and Eggs has to save his family from Snatcher.


My Opinion:

I’ll get straight to the point: I didn’t enjoy this one. At all. I really really wanted to! I thought it looked very promising. Last Halloween, I watched and reviewed ParaNorman and I liked that one a lot. However, I also fell asleep halfway through Coraline YEARS ago and never bothered to finish it, so… I guess that’s only 1 out of 3 Laika films I’ve liked so far. Hmm.


I’ll give The Boxtrolls this: the stop-motion animation is amazing! I can’t fault that in the slightest. I also really liked the overall look & style of the movie. What I didn’t like, however, were the characters or the story so I really couldn’t buy into it all despite the boxtrolls themselves being pretty likeable. Unfortunately, they weren’t IN the movie enough. There was far more focus on the human characters than I was expecting and I got very bored when the boxtrolls weren’t onscreen. I could kind of take or leave the main boy in it (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) but I found the girl (Elle Fanning) quite annoying, especially her voice which I think just didn’t work for the character. Unfortunately, the rest of the human characters were even worse (although I suppose the baddie, Ben Kingsley, is at least a very memorable character). Seriously – The Boxtrolls needed more boxtrolls! I liked them just fine. Although I do this ALL the time when I watch a movie at home, I never do this when I go to the cinema: I fell asleep off & on somewhere in the middle of this thing when it was just the annoying human characters onscreen. Probably not a good sign… ๐Ÿ˜‰


I’m not going to ramble on about this one. Is it bad? No. It just wasn’t for me. If you think it’s your type of thing or that your kids will like it, don’t let me talk you out of going to it. My hubby liked it FAR more than I did. The five-year-old with us also seemed to like it okay, so…. Maybe it IS just me! The movie is an odd one. As for the age it’s suitable for, it’s certainly not as scary as ParaNorman or Coraline, which I would never let a five-year-old watch. This one is aimed younger than those but I’d say kids would have to be six or seven for the most part to actually appreciate it and the main bad guy is probably far too scary for those under five or so. As always, though, every kid is different.


Super Short Summary:

I just didn’t like this one. Sorry! Giving it a lower rating would be unfair, however, as I know it’s not “bad”. Based on ParaNorman, I’d still watch another film made by Laika. Awesome stop-motion animation, at the very least!

My Rating: 5/10


48 thoughts on “The Boxtrolls (2014) Review

  1. “The Boxtrolls needed more boxtrolls!” – So, sort of like how Godzilla needed more Godzilla????

    Great review lady. I don’t think that I will be watching this one at all, I am not an animation fan (it’s true), though I did like Coraline fine.

  2. I was really looking forward to seeing this ๐Ÿ˜ฆ hopefully it’ll be another ‘against the crowd’ for me and I’ll love it anyway!!

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know that me and Allie at Flick Chicks have nominated you for a One Lovely Blog Award, the details are here Love your reviews, keep them coming. Happy nominating!


    • Wow – thank you for that!! ๐Ÿ™‚ To be honest, with this one, I think some people will still like it just fine. It really just wasn’t for me! You should give it a go if you like the look of it. I hope you enjoy it if you do. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. That stinks! I was looking forward to this one. Probably end up going anyway since my daughter wants to see it. Love the stop-motion animation though. Great review

    • Thanks! Well… You MAY still like this one. My hubby seemed to like it just fine. So, although I’m right 99% of the time and you should always listen to me, you can ignore what I’ve said here this one time if you want. ; ) Let me know what you think if you do see it! I really WANTED to like it…

  4. Bummer! I thought this looked kind of cute. We need another ParaNorman, dammit!! Lol. Great review, lady! Also, you need to give Coraline another shot! Super good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Good work Mutey, as always I’m intrigued by your honesty. I think The Boxtrolls right now sits very very precariously on “maybe I’ll see it” and “no way because this thing looks creepy” lol!! Hmm. . .what to do , what to do. . .

  6. It looks like I’m going to be in a minority because I really enjoyed this film. Like you I thought the animation was excellent but the biggest difference was that I bought into the world of Cheesebridge and the characters. I thought The Boxtrolls was The Jungle Book meets the work of Roald Dahl. Ben Kingsley stole the show with his voice over. The Boxtrolls will be competing to feature in my list of favourite films of 2014.

    • Thanks for the comment! : ) I’m glad you enjoyed this one and CAN see others liking it as long as they buy into the characters like you did. It didn’t work for me but I know it will for others. You’re right in comparing it to Dahl – I suppose I’ve never been a huge Dahl fan for the most part. Agree that Kingsley was great in this. : )

  7. I liked both Coraline and Paranorman so I’m still pretty intrigued by The Boxtrolls. Especially there literally has been NOTHING that I like at the theatres near me, making September crossing into October a lot more interesting ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully I’ll enjoy it more than you have..haha! Actually the newest trailer doesn’t have me as intrigued as the first teaser…but I still think it could turn out to be decent ๐Ÿ˜‰ But still a week or so to go before its released here..right now, the decision is whether to see Maze Runner tomorrow..haha!

    • Hey Kim! : ) As you like the other two, you should probably check this one out as well. I’m sure some do like it very much – it just didn’t quite work for me. Ugh – I know what you mean about there being so little out to watch in theaters at the moment. I really need a movie fix! Probably going to The Giver as that’s just come out here. : )

      • I was pretty excited about The Giver until I started checking out reviews and then I’m kind of a bit worried. But you know, the new set of movies are coming now. The Maze Runner, Boxtrolls, Gone Girl, Before I Go to Sleep among the few that I remember off the top of my head. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Yeah – I read part of Before I Go To Sleep & am wondering if I should finish now before seeing the movie. I actually just started reading The Giver! Am almost done so will finish it then go even though, yeah – the movie hasn’t had great reviews. :-/ The book is really good so far, though, so I want to see what they’ve done with the movie. Gone Girl too! Can’t wait to see that adaptation. : )

      • The Giver is really great. Before I Go To Sleep is one of those books I read like 2-3 years ago and I knew it’d be adapted eventually but with the cast of Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong. I can see this one going really well. I actually read a review or two giving it a really good review so I’m pretty excited. But of course, its a limited I need to go to the farther away theatre..haha! The twist is crazy for Before I Go To Sleep so think about that before you decide to finish it…one of the best I’ve read ๐Ÿ™‚

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