And it's an absolute shame. Judging from the trailers, The Boxtrolls seems like a predictable kids' movie. Maybe a little goofier than the usual fare, but it doesn't *seem* like anything extraordinary. I admit that I had zero interest in it until I was having a bad day and a friend convinced me to watch it with her. Apparently she'd watched it three times in the past week and still wanted to see it again. "Okay, there might be something there" I figured.
This movie is genius.
Everything is handmade.
Every character. Ever set piece. Everything you see on screen was painstakingly crafted by hand. We live in a world full of CGI and cheaply made animation. While some of the work being done is incredible and time-consuming, the accessibility of new technology means that often creators and animators don't spend much time on their work. It's rare to see something so lovingly crafted. From start to finish, The Boxtrolls is beautifully details and visually stunning.
The idea of family is exactly what we need right now.
The protagonist, Eggs, is a boy that was raised by the Boxtrolls. The movie embraces the idea of found family, focusing on the things that matter: love and attention. The story makes it clear that these things can (and should) be present with biological families. And it also insists that what makes a family is not how you're related, but how you relate to one another. This kind of message is so powerful and so necessary right now. More and more, kids need to understand that the things that make us different should not define our relationships. It's not a subject that's easy to talk about, and The Boxtrolls does it with grace and heart.
The cast is amazing. And weird.
Ben Kingsley, Tracey Morgan, Richard Ayoade, Simon Pegg: extremely talented actors worked on this project. They're all from incredibly different backgrounds, and it's kind of ridiculous to think that all of them collaborated on this project. But the cohesion is tangible, and every casting choice is beyond perfect.
You'll cry. At least ten times.
And you'll be happy about it, pinky swear. This is one of those movies that will make your heart feel... things. Sad things. Beautiful things. Amazing things. You faith in humanity might not be restored, but you'll definitely remember what it feels like to hope. That's not hyperbolic, that's exactly what The Boxtrolls will make you feel.
And even if you don't, you'll have seen an incredible movie.
You probably missed this beautiful movie, and you need to rectify that ASAP.
It's a stunning masterpiece, and not enough people know about it. Definitely add this one to your list this week. You can find it on Netflix.