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American Women's Club of Hamburg

The Boxtrolls

USA 2014
Starts October 23, 2013

Directed by: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi
Writing credits: Irena Brignull, Adam Pava, based on the book Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow
Cast: Animated film, English version spoken by Ben Kingsley, Elle Fanning, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Issac Hempstead Wright, Jared Harris
Length: 96 minutes

The Boxtrolls Eggs is a young boy who has been raised underground by a group of trolls in the city of Cheesebridge. They are called boxtrolls, because their only clothing is made out of boxes which they have scrounged from the trash. Eggs wears an egg box, his father Fish, a fish box and so on. Their life is dangerous because the evil Archibald Snatcher wishes to eradicate them. He visualizes great rewards for this deed and spreads the rumor that the boxtrolls  steal cheese and children. He hopes to collect this reward from the rich and egoistic Lord Portley-Rind, who celebrates long dinner parties and neglects his daughter Winnie. Soon Eggs realizes that he is different from his “family” and meets Winnie. Together they change the fate of the boxtrolls, as well as the residents of the town for the better. Everyone gets his just due.

The first 10 minutes are scary and I wondered if I had decided wisely when I invited small children to this showing. Snatcher screams; the trolls are trapped; the scenes are dark in a time and setting reminiscent of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. However, after the initial confusion, things settle down and an understandable, enjoyable plot unfolds to present probably the best children’s animated film of this year (2014). The trolls speak a language which nobody understands, and even much of the British English is difficult to comprehend, but perhaps you will see it in German and, anyway, the message comes across quite well without text. I liked Madam Froo Froo who performs on stage and “attends” a dinner at the Lord’s house. There is a good sound track by Eric Idle and an even better moral to the story: stand up and fight back for your cause. Remain seated until the lights go on for an interesting insight into the making of. ()

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