This morning included watching the Boxtrolls movie. I hadn’t seen any adverts nor had I seen the previous films by the studio, Coraline or Paranorman. So I had no idea what to expect. Well what I expected was a good film. The other option was an early “kids AM” showing of Earth to Echo, after veiwing the trailer I thought earth to echo looked like a poor remake of ET. I was sure the Boxtrolls would be better.
The film was great. The main story of Eggs conscentization was engaging, funny, and entertaining. The children I took were sacred appropriately and into the story. The most engaging element of the story was just how scary it was. Ben Kinsley’s character, Archibald Snatcher, is properly scary and his assistant Mr Gristle is unsettlingly menacing.
Most interesting to me though was the subplot involving to of the Hunchmen, Mr Pickles and Mr Trout. Arguably this is the many ways the most interesting part of the film. The characters generally get the best lines and ask the biggest questions. As Eggs story is about realising who he is, Mr Trout and Mr Pickles mirror this by musing on the nature of their actions, questioning what is good in this context? and are their actions good?
In one particular scene, while catching a boxtroll, Nick Frost’s character Mr Trout, questions if the boxtrolls actually understand the duality of good and evil. The dissonance of this question asks the viewer if Mr Trout and Mr Pickles are better off knowing about this duality yet not being aware of their place within it, or is the absence of the duality for the boxtrolls a better way to exist?
The film concludes both stories, with things happen as they should; although the Monty Python Mr Creosote ending is ripped off possibly the wrong side of the copying/homage continuum. although the breaking of the forth wall during the end credits sequence is well worth waiting for. In conclusion it’s not in the class of the Aardman films, but it wasn’t far away. It was a pleasant intermission.