Story

The Boxtrolls is a quirky stop motion animation from the creators of Coraline and ParaNorman. It is based on the children’s novel Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow.

Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright) is an orphan who is raised by Boxtrolls. Boxtrolls are friendly little trolls who live underground in the city of Cheesebridge. The Boxtrolls collect and reuse garbage for inventions. But the residents of Cheesebridge believe that the Boxtrolls are scary monsters who steal children and eat their precious cheese.

Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) is promised a leadership role in Cheesebridge if he eliminates all the Boxtrolls, so Eggs must venture above ground to save them. Eggs meets a girl name Winnie (Elle Fanning) and together they try to stop the evil exterminators, save the Boxtrolls and convince the city that the trolls are actually good.

Themes

Kidnapping; separation from parents; children as victims; death of a parent

Violence

The Boxtrolls has some violence. For example:

  • The exterminators threaten to kill the Boxtrolls. They chase after them with bats and fire nets to hunt them down.
  • Archibald Snatcher tries to kidnap Eggs when he is a baby.
  • Archibald Snatcher kidnaps Eggs’s father and keeps him captive for 10 years.
  • It looks like the Boxtrolls are crushed by a box crusher. They escape but the audience doesn’t learn this until later in the movie.
  • Archibald Snatcher builds a giant mechanical robot, which destroys the Boxtrolls’ home. Then Snatcher tries to kill Eggs by dangling him over a fire.
  • Both Eggs and Winnie bite people as a way of escaping.

 

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, The Boxtrolls has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • The tone of the whole movie is quite spooky, which might scare some children. There are creepy Victorian-style houses, eerie music and foggy night scenes.
  • The townspeople describe the Boxtrolls in scary terms. They call them ‘bloodthirsty monsters who have mounds of baby bones and rivers of blood’.
  • Two Boxtrolls get accidentally electrocuted while trying to build something.
  • Archibald Snatcher is a scary-looking character with an evil maniacal laugh.
  • Archibald Snatcher’s mechanical robot is big and scary. It has red eyes and a furnace for its chest. The robot destroys much of the town and tries to kill Eggs.
  • When Archibald Snatcher eats cheese he has an allergic reaction and his face swells up. At the end of the movie he eats so much cheese that he explodes. This might be scary for young children.

From 5-8
Children in this age group might also be scared or disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.

From 8-13
Some of the younger children in this age group might be scared or disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above, but there is mostly nothing of concern.

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

The Boxtrolls has some sexual references. For example:

  • Archibald Snatcher cross-dresses as a woman called Mrs Fru Fru. He does a sultry dance while in character.
  • The mayor and several other male members of the town are attracted to Mrs Fru Fru.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

The Boxtrolls shows some nudity and sexual activity. For example, there is some animated nudity when the Boxtrolls remove their boxes at the end of the movie. You can see their bottoms. The townspeople are astonished.

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

The Boxtrolls has some mild insults.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Boxtrolls is a quirky and spooky animated movie about the problems of trying to fit in and be something that you’re not.

The movie is ideal for children over nine years. Because of the movie’s themes and its scary elements, we recommend parental guidance for younger children.

These are the main messages from this movie:

  • Be yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include bravery, kindness and acceptance of others.