The Boxtrolls, rated PG

Starring Ben Kingsley, Elle Fanning, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Simon Pegg, Tracy Morgan

Austin Family critical rating: 5 stars of 5 stars

Austin Family Family-Friendly rating: 4.5 stars of 5 stars

The Boxtrolls is a delightfully dark and lovingly crafted stop-motion animation feature.

Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has grown up among the Boxtrolls, an underground society of troll-like creatures who scour the aboveground village of Cheesebridge at night. The wicked Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) is out to eradicate the Boxtrolls entirely, chasing them around Cheesebridge with his henchmen.

The voice acting here is tremendous, with Elle Fanning adopting a great British accent and Kingsley giving a funny and menacing performance. The Boxtrolls is wonderfully strange in the way that sometimes only animation is allowed to be. With more than a few nods to eerie real-life parallels, The Boxtrolls is bold and inventive, and one of the best animated pictures I’ve seen this year.

Jack Kyser is a graduate of Austin High School and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

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