‘The Boxtrolls’ is smart, but maybe too scary

'The Boxtrolls' is smart, but maybe too scary

Looks like a lot of fun, actually.

Commercials for “The Boxtrolls” make it seem as if the animated movie is adorable and silly and family-friendly.

It’s a story about a young boy adopted by bluish, grayish, box-wearing trolls. They live peacefully underground, listening to music, co-sleeping and stealing trinkets from garbage heaps.

Seems great, right? Especially for families starved for PG-rated films lately. But in reality, “The Boxtrolls” is neither adorable nor silly — nor all that family-friendly.


The film comes from Laika, the studio that also released the gorgeous but nightmare-inducing “Coraline” and “ParaNorman.”

The look for its third full-length feature is once again intricate and spectacular — a mix between German Gothic architecture and Steampunk. You can almost feel the hours the animators spent working to perfect every detail.

“The Boxtrolls” is also smart. It doesn’t bother with any kind of origin story or explanation; the audience doesn’t find out why there’s a boy living with these creatures until halfway through the film.


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