The new 3D stop-motion and CG hybrid animated feature is a comedic fable that unfolds in Cheesebridge, a posh Victorian-era town obsessed with wealth, class, and the stinkiest of fine cheeses. Beneath its charming cobblestone streets dwell the Boxtrolls, foul monsters who crawl out of the sewers at night and steal what the townspeople hold most dear: their children and their cheeses. At least, that’s the legend residents have always believed.
In truth, the Boxtrolls are an underground cavern-dwelling community of quirky and lovable oddballs who wear recycled cardboard boxes the way turtles wear their shells. The Boxtrolls have raised an orphaned human boy, Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright), since infancy as one of their dumpster-diving and mechanical junk-collecting own. When the Boxtrolls are targeted by villainous pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley), who is bent on eradicating them as his ticket to Cheesebridge society, the kindhearted band of tinkerers must turn to their adopted charge and adventurous rich girl Winnie (Elle Fanning) to bridge two worlds amidst the winds of change – and cheese. (synopsis via focusfeatures.com)
The Boxtrolls had me utterly entranced at the very thought of it from the moment I discovered such a movie existed (or was in the process of being created anyway).
It wasn’t just the look of The Boxtrolls themselves, which was adorable without being cloyingly cutesy, it was the sensibility and themes that underpinned the movie.
The idea that it doesn’t who you are or what you like or the way of life you may have chosen, that love and a strong sense of family is all that matters, with a liberal dose of idiosyncratically delightful weirdness thrown in.
To anyone on the fringe, it is the life they lead, the basis on which they experience life and interact with the wider of the world, and while it’s true that more close minded souls won’t take the time to see beyond their own prejudices and ill-thought out views, it doesn’t for one second detract from the realness of their way of life.
And that’s why I love The Boxtrolls, which is based on the Alan Snow novel Here Be Monsters! and features what the director Anthony Stacchi referred to as a “steampunk, Victorian, Monty Python-world”. (source: Yahoo Movies)
It isn’t afraid to celebrate the fact that different or unexpected isn’t bad, that simply refusing to subscribe to societal norms does not in any way shape or form invalidate who you are or the people who fall within your orbit.
And the fact the Laika is the studio behind it makes sense giving the life and vitality and winningly palpable sense of difference that they brought to the visually rich Coraline and Paranorman, both of which celebrated difference and diversity with a singular lack of apology (and zombies and ghosts oh my!).
The new trailer which has just landed has made me fall in love with The Boxtrolls all the more, largely because the addictively upbeat track that accompanies it:
“The song featured in the new trailer is “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care,” a 1957 composition by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted duo behind hits like “Hound Dog” and “Stand By Me.” Elvis Presley recorded the song that year and performed it in the film “Jailhouse Rock.” Buddy Holly released his cover of the song in 1958, and Cee Lo Green recorded his own amped up version 53 years later for the tribute album “Rave On Buddy Holly.”” (source: Yahoo Movies)
The choice of the song was deliberate, explained director Anthony Stacchi in an interview with Matt Daniels at Yahoo Movies:
“”We had two previous trailers that were a little quieter, and we wanted one here that definitely emphasized the fun and the action/adventure part [of the film].” The fact that the words also reflected the geometry of their main characters’ choice of apparel also made it the perfect fit. Stacchi said, “When we heard it and we heard the lyrics, it just totally made sense.””
The trailer beautifully captures the otherworldly chaotic joy of The Boxtrolls world, a world in which Anthony Stacchi makes it clear you shouldn’t ever “judge a book by its cover”, because you have no idea just what kind of loveable, utterly different treasures may be waiting underneath to charm you.
The Boxtrolls opens in USA on 26 September 2014 and 18 September 2014 in Australia.
UPDATE 19/3/14. Here’s the latest international Boxtrolls trailer via cinemablend.com …