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GROUCHY GROWNUP REVIEW OF THE BOXTROLLS

year: 2014 rating: *
Stop-motion animation is a beautiful process. The story unfolding as if the characters and backdrops are being created before your very eyes, it’s a method that has become practically obsolete by computer animation – although many CGI children’s films now have the same dreamlike aesthetic… The LEGO MOVIE is a perfect example...

But THE BOXTROLLS is the real deal, a genuine stop-motion tale centering on a small village where boxes come to life when no one’s watching – much like the toys in TOY STORY...

The trolls are shaped like boxes, and move around like elves on Christmas morning, preparing…for what exactly?

Remember in the 1988 movie BIG, when the toy company chiefs had a meeting to pitch an idea of a building turning into a robot? Tom Hank’s character, a child in a grownup’s body, wondered aloud – why would a building turn into a robot, and why would kids be interested? Well the same question pretty much applies here…

Yet this is really not geared for youngsters, especially the snarling beast villain, voiced by Ben Kingsley, looking straight out of Tim Burton's Penguin territory – vicious and greedy, Archibald Snatcher’s agenda is to claim the white hat of a high class member of society, whose daughter has befriended a nice orphan boy raised by the trolls and, thinking he's one of them, is searching for his favorite Boxtroll, Fish, kidnapped by Snatcher and his goons. The trolls were blamed for the boy being killed years earlier – and now he's sole proof the boxes are good, not evil... Blah Blah Blah!

In a nutshell, THE BOXTROLLS is clunky and awkward, dulling the senses in this, possibly the worst (or at least, the most uncomfortable) children’s film to date.
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