The town of Cheesebridge is plagued by mysterious, nocturnal beasties that are said to prey on children and – even more worrying – cheese. But Eggs (Hempstead Wright), the baby they supposedly abducted years before, is healthy and happy and just keen to keep his new friends safe from the terrifying exterminator (Kingsley).
Leave cute to other animation studios; Laika’s focused on the grotesque and gruesome. Here, the titular cardboard-wearing critters are childlike, timid and not even the ugliest characters. That honour goes to the humans of Cheesebridge, a town shaped like a wizard’s hat and ruled by myopic cheese connoisseurs, adults streaked blue and red, gouty and cruel as Henry VIII clones. It takes young Eggs (Hempstead Wright), a human raised by Boxtrolls, to discover that the boxtrolls’ reputation has been unfairly maligned and the humans misled, and to bring about a funny, charming and action-packed revolution to clean up his town.
Slapstick and silliness should entertain small children while the adults tackle the nefarious plots. The result is a far more handsome prospect than any of its characters could imagine.