by Christie Robb
If you’re looking for a quick Halloween costume for your kid and don’t have any skills, fling ‘em in the car and go see the Boxtrolls immediately. Even if you’ve achieved the Martha Stewart merit badge for craftiness, buckle them in the booster seat. This movie is adorable.
The town of Cheesebridge comes to life after curfew. The Boxtrolls, a group of cavorting wee beasties who wear boxes like turtle shells, roam the streets in search of mechanical doodads to drag back to their underground lair. These guys upsycle trash into musical instruments and fantastical inventions.
But they have a bad rep—accused of binging on babies, they are rounded up by a red-hatted crew whose leader, Archibald Snatcher (voiced by Ben Kingsley), hopes to be promoted to a white hat once he captures the last of the trolls.
The trolls are harboring a small boy they’ve dressed in an egg carton (Isaac Hempstead Wright). Raised to think he’s a troll, Eggs realizes he’s a boy when confronted by the daughter of the city’s big cheese and head white hat Lord Portley-Rind (Jared Harris). Together Eggs and Winnifred (Elle Fanning) quest to discover Eggs’s true identity and prove to the townsfolk who the real bad guys are.
The stop-motion animation from the creators of Coraline and ParaNorman is glorious and filled with bug-eating gross out humor and pratfalls that will delight the younger members of the audience. But there are enough cheese-based puns and ruminations on the nature of good and evil to please the adults.
Certain scenes might be a bit too scary for the very small.