Rating: PG, for action, some peril and mild, rude humor.
This family-friendly comedy is crammed with painstakingly detailed stop-motion animation. It’s also got a major dark streak and its prevailing grotesquery may be too much for the youngest kids. Beneath a quaintly dreary English village lives a population of creatures known as the Boxtrolls. They are industrious and mischievous and misunderstood. They also have a young, orphaned boy living among them who’s known as Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) because they all take their names from the boxes they wear: Fish, Shoe, etc. A scheming and socially ambitious villain with the Dickensian name of Archibald Snatcher (voiced by Ben Kingsley) promises the city’s leaders that he will eradicate the town of all the Boxtrolls if they will let him join their elite white hat society. The adventures here are pretty tame. It’s the details that may freak some kids out. Snatch loves cheese (as everyone in town does) but he’s allergic to it, swelling in gnarly fashion from a single bite. Children are repeatedly in peril or neglected, and there’s a subplot about kidnapping. OK for kids around 6 and older.