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The Boxtrolls

A new stop-motion animated film about monsters proves engaging

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Boxtrolls Film

The moral of this new stop-motion-animated film from Portland, Ore.-based studio Laika (Coraline, Paranorman) is pretty standard: Don't judge a book by its cover. But the delivery of that message involves an engaging and quick-paced story featuring charming, relatable characters. The tale revolves around a human baby named Eggs, raised underground by a group of misunderstood "monsters" called Boxtrolls. (They wear cardboard boxes and their names come from the label on the outside of the box, such as Eggs, Fish, Shoe.) The trolls are becoming extinct, hunted by exterminator Archibald Snatcher, voiced by a devilishly good Ben Kingsley. Eggs sets out to save his family and ends up learning about his own past. Boxtrolls is helped immeasurably by avoiding the tired tropes offered by most animated features, such as a sharp-tongued sidekick, a romantic interest, a horrible song and sexual innuendo for the parents. This is a great film regardless of the medium and might even go down as one of the year's best.

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