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59° Good Afternoon

'The Boxtrolls' is a charming, stop-motion picture

Eggs, center, voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright, is

Eggs, center, voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright, is surrounded by his Boxtroll friends in LAIKA and Focus Features' family event movie "The Boxtrolls," opening nationwide on Sept. 26, 2014. (Photo courtesy LAIKA and Focus Features/MCT) Photo Credit: MCT / Handout

"The Boxtrolls" is another charmer from the stop-motion animation studio Laika, following in the painstakingly animated footsteps of "Coraline" and "ParaNorman."

Set in a Victorian-like era where status is based on the color of your hat (white being supreme) and how extravagant a cheese you can afford.

"Boxtrolls" follows Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright), a lost boy living with a clan of trolls -- who, yes, wear boxes and are named based on the original contents of their box -- in a mechanical world under the city streets. He spends most of his time with Fish, a father-like figure who teaches him and plays music with him. Charming, indeed.

The Boxtrolls are made out to be villains, especially by Archibald Snatcher (voice of Ben Kingsley), a red hat-wearing exterminator who wants to rid the town of Boxtrolls in exchange for a white hat and a seat at the finest cheese-tasting table.

"The Boxtrolls" is a soulful film about family and friendship. It's also a hilarious, gloriously animated action film with mind-boggling set pieces.

Laika's ability to create a unique world is unparalleled; one could imagine a museum exhibit of their movie sets.

The film unfolds into a massive action adventure story amped up with silly humor, colorful characters and wild steampunk contraptions.

"The Boxtrolls" is a serious achievement -- entertaining, bewildering and a joy to experience. Be sure to stick around to the end for a wonderful scene.

Directed by Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi
Voices of Ben Kingsley, Jared Harris, Richard Ayoade, Elle Fanning, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Simon Pegg
Rated PG


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