The Boxtrolls

2014, Laika

Boxtrolls is an example of a new breed of stop-motion animation ushered in by the likes of The Nightmare Before Christmas: a marriage of traditional photographic stop-motion and CGI, the latter used to help blend the frames together seamlessly and erase technical flaws or elements such as wires and other supports. This is Laika's third release to use this technology, earning them $160 million on a $60 million budget.

The Boxtrolls certainly has a lot of visual appeal, with a unique and refreshing aesthetic that distinguishes it from pure CGI. It also helps that it's populated by fun and original characters. Unfortunately, the story simply doesn't captivate enough to be memorable, possibly a consequence of adapting a 550-page novel. Technical merits carry most of the score.

   

   

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