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3D Stop-Motion ‘The Boxtrolls’ Joins Animated Oscar Contenders

3D Stop-Motion 'The Boxtrolls' Joins Animated Oscar Contenders

The result is a more stylized, theatrical look along with more ambitious storytelling, and sure to be an Oscar contender for best animated feature. Laika previously helmed Oscar nominated animated films “Coraline” and “ParaNorman.”

Focus takes “The Boxtrolls” wide on September 26. It is directed by Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi, and stars Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Ben Kingsley, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade and Tracy Morgan.

Here’s what critics are saying so far. The movie just opened in the UK, and the Brits are more in favor:

The Guardian: “The visuals are dazzling, the voices expressive, and the end-credits sequence offers a laugh-out-loud appraisal of the madness of the animators’ labour-intensive craft.”

Time Out: “It’s no surprise that this digitally animated adventure from the producers of Edward Gorey-esque kids’ fairytales ‘Coraline’ and ‘ParaNorman’ is an ooky, spooky affair. But the sheer stomach-churning weirdness of ‘The Boxtrolls’ is still a shock.”

HitFix: “If you liked ‘The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists!,’ the ‘Wallace & Gromit’ films, anything by Monty Python or just funny, witty movies in general, make sure you catch Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi’s ‘The Boxtrolls.’ Based on the book ‘Here Be Monsters’ by Alan Snow, I can’t remember the last time I saw a family animation so visually rich, tightly scripted and charmingly performed which was also built on a sound and progressive message. It’s unlikely to become a cultural juggernaut on the level of something like ‘Frozen,’ but I think it is as enjoyable.”

Empire: “There’s slapstick and silliness to entertain small children and nefarious plots for the adult audience to untangle, making this a far more handsome prospect than any of its characters could imagine.”

The Wrap, not so hot: “A surprisingly charmless and aimless movie from Laika Studios, who previously crafted the wonderfully dark ‘Coraline’ and ‘ParaNorman,’ this latest venture seems destined to disturb young viewers while thoroughly boring their parents.”

Variety: “They’re not cute, they’re not funny. They’re neither scary nor special nor even all that original. Ladies and gentlemen, they’re ‘The Boxtrolls,’ and as animated kid-movie characters go, these drab, cardboard-clad critters are about as compelling as a bunch of pet rocks. Repeating a lot of the same beats from the studio’s first two stop-motion adventures, ‘Coraline’ and ‘ParaNorman’ — a pair of Gothic fantasies in which outcast kids play intermediary between superstitious humans and their supernatural neighbors — Laika’s disappointing latest represents a baffling misappropriation of talent.”

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