Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG Length: 97 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 8+. The film is about the rivalry between humans and creatures called “boxtrolls,” who are rumored to be monsters that eat human flesh and revel in violence; they aren’t, though, so those that heresy is only discussed but never presented. There are also some gross-out images of the main villain feasting on cheese and having a terrible allergic reaction that causes him to swell grotesquely, the use of leeches to lessen that swelling, the boxtrolls eating bugs, and the boxtrolls’ bare butts. Also a couple of sexually themed jokes.
‘The Boxtrolls’ is a weird little movie with touches of gross-out humor, but its emotional core is genuine. The stop-motion comedy is slight plot-wise but effectively moving, particularly in its exploration of fathers.
By Roxana Hadadi
It has been two years since the last stop-motion-animation children’s film was released (2012 had “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” “ParaNorman,” and “Frankenweenie”), and the medium has been missed. There is just so much effort and work that is obvious in every second of a stop-motion-animation film, and the results are always intriguing, often seeming creative in a way that computer-generated animation isn’t. On looks alone, then, “The Boxtrolls” is a success, with its finely detailed landscapes and extremely expressive characters; it helps that the story is emotionally resonant, too, without being overwrought.