The Boxtrolls

ANIMATION; 1hr 36min

VOICES BY: Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Elle Fanning, Ben Kingsley, Jared Harris

Troll selfie: Lord Portley-Rind (middle)

A Boxtroll is a rubbery, pointy-eared troll with a cardboard-box body, retractable limbs, a goofy, saucer-eyed mug and enviable bounce to the ounce. They’re cheeky scavengers who secrete themselves in a resourcefully constructed underground lair, dine on live bugs and communicate in guttural gobbledegook. And although they’re full-on charmers, they’re unfairly reviled as baby-devouring monsters by mutually cheese-obsessed aristo Lord Portley-Rind (voiced by Harris), grasping Boxtroll exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Kingsley) and the everyday Brits of Victorian-age Cheesebridge.


Unbeknown to all but Snapper, whose claws are everywhere, and Lord Portley-Rind’s neglected daughter, Winnie (Fanning), the Boxtrolls have raised an orphaned boy (Hempstead-Wright), who also wears a box around his middle, yet inevitably isn’t clear on who or what he really is. Is he ever about to learn…


Directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi’s stop-motion animation gives Alan Snow’s 2005 book Here Be Monsters! a new lease of madly imagined life. Since the liverish Snapper is the real monster, the Big Lesson, obvs, is that preconception can be dangerous and ravenous ambition ethically toxic. But you don’t need to learn a thing to be Troll-struck.