143 user 235 critic

The Boxtrolls (2014)

2:21 | Trailer
A young orphaned boy raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator.


Irena Brignull (screenplay), Adam Pava (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 59 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Blum ... Shoe / Sparky (voice)
Dee Bradley Baker ... Fish / Wheels / Bucket (voice)
Max Mitchell Max Mitchell ... Baby Eggs (voice)
Ben Kingsley ... Snatcher (voice)
Jared Harris ... Lord Portley-Rind (voice)
Nick Frost ... Mr. Trout (voice)
Richard Ayoade ... Mr. Pickles (voice)
Tracy Morgan ... Mr. Gristle (voice)
Nika Futterman ... Oil Can / Knickers (voice)
Pat Fraley ... Fragile / Sweets (voice)
Fred Tatasciore ... Clocks / Specs (voice)
Isaac Hempstead Wright ... Eggs (voice)
Elle Fanning ... Winnie Portley-Rind (voice)
Maurice LaMarche ... Sir Langsdale (voice)
James Urbaniak ... Sir Broderick / Male Workman 1 / Male Workman 2 (voice)
Learn more

More Like This 

ParaNorman (2012)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.

Directors: Chris Butler, Sam Fell
Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart, embarks on an adventure that spans three fantastic worlds where he must face his greatest fears.

Director: Jorge R. Gutiérrez
Stars: Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armour worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.

Director: Travis Knight
Stars: Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Matthew McConaughey
Coraline (2009)
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An adventurous 11-year-old girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.

Director: Henry Selick
Stars: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman
Frankenweenie (2012)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a boy's beloved dog passes away suddenly, he attempts to bring the animal back to life through a powerful science experiment.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short
Monster House (2006)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Three teens discover that their neighbor's house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.

Director: Gil Kenan
Stars: Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.

Directors: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt
Stars: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The time-travelling adventures of an advanced canine and his adopted son, as they endeavor to fix a time rift they created.

Director: Rob Minkoff
Stars: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Colbert
Home II (2015)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An alien on the run from his own people makes friends with a girl. He tries to help her on her quest, but can be an interference.

Director: Tim Johnson
Stars: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin
Corpse Bride (2005)
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a shy groom practices his wedding vows in the inadvertent presence of a deceased young woman, she rises from the grave assuming he has married her.

Directors: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson
Stars: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson
The Croods (2013)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After their cave is destroyed, a caveman family must trek through an unfamiliar fantastical world with the help of an inventive boy.

Directors: Kirk DeMicco, Chris Sanders
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone
Chicken Run (2000)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a cockerel apparently flies into a chicken farm, the chickens see him as an opportunity to escape their evil owners.

Directors: Peter Lord, Nick Park
Stars: Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, Phil Daniels


THE BOXTROLLS are a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs in the amazing cavernous home they've built beneath the streets of a city called Cheesebridge. The story is about a young orphaned boy raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors who tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator, the town's villain, Archibald Snatcher. When Snatcher comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls. Eggs decides to venture above ground and "into the light," where he meets and teams up with fabulously feisty Winnie. Together, they devise a daring plan to save The BoxTrolls family. The film is based upon the children's novel 'Here Be Monsters' by Alan Snow. Written by DeAlan Wilson - www.ComedyE.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Dare to be square. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for action, some peril and mild rude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


More than twenty thousand props were handmade for the movie. See more »


When the teddy bear's music box runs down, Baby Eggs hands the mechanism to Fish who gives the key only two half-turns. The music box then plays again, with its key somehow able to unwind for many revolutions. Later on after the Boxtrolls wake up, this impossibility is repeated, but is even worse since now the key winds/unwinds in the opposite direction. See more »


Winnie: You bit me. With your mouth.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the first part of the credits, Mr. Trout and Mr. Pickles have a philosophical discussion about their place in the world while, around them, that world carries on. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the Latin American Spanish dubbing, Madam Fru Fru speaks in an Argentinean accent instead of a French one, and her song becomes a tango. See more »


Referenced in AniMat's Crazy Cartoon Cast: Remembering Will Vinton (2018) See more »


Little Boxes
Composed by Malvina Reynolds
Arranged by Ritchie Young
Performed by Loch Lomond
Licensed by arrangement with Schroder Music Co.
See more »

User Reviews

Grotesque and yet charming at the same time, this visually singular piece of stop-motion animation is quite the spellbinder
11 September 2014 | by moviexclusiveSee all my reviews

If you haven't yet seen 'Coraline' or 'ParaNorman', it may take you a while to get used to the world of 'The Boxtrolls'. The third feature from Oregon-based studio Laika Animation, it is told using the same stop-motion technique (with some CG and hand-drawn work) as their earlier films, but the similarity doesn't quite stop there. Yes, once again, the animators have eschewed the cuteness of Disney or Dreamworks for something much darker than your normal kiddie fare at the Cineplex, and therein, we would argue, is the reason why it proves so uniquely charming.

Adapted from British children's author Alan Snow's fantasy adventure 'Here Be Monsters!', it retains the Steampunk setting of the novel but takes quite a few creative liberties. Instead of an over- industrialised Ratbridge, the city in question is Cheesebridge, so termed because the dairy product is what separates the rich in "White Hats" from the poor in red ones. What unites the humans across their class distinctions is the subterranean Boxtrolls, little blue- skinned fluorescent-eyed creatures who emerge from the sewers at night to swipe anything and everything they can get their hands on.

So named on account of the cupboard boxes they wear their bodies, the Boxtrolls are feared by the humans as much they fear the humans. The fear of the former is stoked by none other than Archibald Snatcher (voiced by Ben Kingsley), a truly detestable rascal who is responsible for spreading nasty rumours about the Boxtrolls in order to justify his eradication for a coveted place with the "White Hats" and a seat with them at the cheese tasting table. As you can probably guess, their leader is no saint either, but rather a self- absorbed aristocrat by the name of Lord Portley-Rind who cares more about his Gouda and Brie than the welfare of his citizenry.

It's a lot of setup, but co-directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable deftly lay out the intricacies of their make-believe world while setting the narrative in motion. For reasons only revealed in a crucial flashback sequence later, a boy is taken as a toddler under the care of the Boxtrolls and is named Eggs after the carton he wears over himself. While on the prowl one night, Eggs runs into Lord Portley's precocious daughter Winnifred (Elle Fanning) who is shocked that a human would be associating himself with the dreaded Boxtrolls; but before she can make his acquaintance, Eggs is forced to flee from Archibald and his henchmen.

As such stories go, Eggs sets off on a quest with Winnifred in tow to convince the humans that the Boxtrolls aren't sinister beings who kidnap children. To top it off, Archibald turns out to have a nefarious scheme after all, building a contraption to assert his authority over Lord Portley and demanding that he be given the latter's white hat. But parents need not worry - writers Irena Brignull and Adam Pava don't deny the kids of a happy ending, though not before subjecting them to some grotesque images that may just make them swear off cheese for some time.

Consider this as fair warning - visually, this isn't cast in the same mould as the usual CG animation, and one might even go as far as to say that 'The Boxtrolls' operates in a realm of ugliness. But once you look past the cruder-than-usual designs, you're likely to find the cardboard-wearing critters surprisingly endearing by their guile and naivety. We urge you too to pay attention to the dazzling production design that makes up the world of Cheesebridge and the underground lair in which the boxtrolls call home; there is a whole cornucopia of details that will leave you wowed if you pay attention to them.

Still, compared to their earlier features, this latest lacks the heart and poignancy that made its predecessors memorable. Eggs never comes across as someone whose plight we would sympathise with, nor for that matter is Winnifred a likable enough character. The way the boxtrolls communicate in an Ewok-like language is amusing all right, but they are lacking individually in any defining personality. Because we never quite understand the reason why the humans so fear the boxtrolls, their eventual reconciliation doesn't quite resonate as it should.

It isn't that 'The Boxtrolls' is underwhelming though; against a surfeit of clean-cut CG animation, its stop-motion aesthetics make it a refreshing change of look. Rather, because its earlier two adventures were such singular accomplishments, Laika's latest seems more like a walk in the park. Yet its refusal to be boxed in (pun intended) by conventional animation features is still evident in its design as well as its choice of themes, and if there ever were need to prove that it is possible to be both grotesque and charming at the same time, then 'The Boxtrolls' would be it.

30 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 143 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »





Release Date:

26 September 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Here Be Monsters See more »


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,275,239, 28 September 2014

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed