The Boxtrolls (from the makers of Coraline and Paranorman) refashions a bit of the Tarzan mythos, taking an orphaned baby boy rechristened Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright) who is delivered to a group of below-ground trolls for safekeeping, making him an honorary member until the fateful day when he encounters a human for the first time who challenges his status. Archibald Snatcher (Sir Ben Kingsley offering further proof that Brits certainly have cornered the market on voicing villainy) convinces Lord Portley-Rind (Jared Harris), the aristocratic leader of a village, that the Boxtrolls are interested in pilfering cheese and stealing babies for nefarious (and bloodthirsty) aims.
Eggs grows up and must spur a change in thinking on both sides and the movie captures this evolution without resorting to merely entertaining through pop cultural references and broad comedy. Directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi, working from a script by Irena Brignull and Adam Pava (based on Alan Snow’s novel Here Be Monsters!) make us believe that monsters can be far more human than mere human beings. (PG) Grade: B+