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Cherry Pop

'The Boxtrolls' (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD +)
(Ben Kingsley, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Tracy Morgan, et al / Blu Ray 3D + Blu Ray + DVD / PG / 2015 / Universal Studios)

Overview: From the creators of 'Coraline' and 'ParaNorman' comes a magical family adventure in 3D about heroes in all shapes and sizes: 'The Boxtrolls.' Quirky, mischievous and good-hearted, these box-wearing creatures have lovingly raised a human boy named "Eggs" (voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright) in a charming cavern below the bustling streets of Cheesebridge. But when evil Archibald Snatcher (voiced by Ben Kingsley) decides to capture the lovable misfits, it's up to Eggs and his feisty young friend, Winnie (voiced by Elle Fanning,) to save the Boxtrolls!

Blu ray3D Verdict: Oh my goodness! 'The Boxtrolls' is another fantastic stop motion film by Laika. In the city of Cheesebridge's a human boy named Eggs ( Isaac Hempstead- Wright) is raised by Boxtrolls, creatures that rummage the streets at night and live under the city. Mr. Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) intends to exterminate every last Boxtroll, all for the love of cheese and a white hat. Eggs needs to teach his family to stop hiding.

Stop motion dates back to Wallace and Gromit, Gumby and many of our favorite Christmas specials. Laika has created movies I adore such as Coraline. This film is another success with its fast pace stop-motion. The way the boxes fold, stack and bend are impressive to watch. The designs of the characters are distinct and detailed. From the trolls who are dirty with glowing eyes and pale blue skin, to the proper humans who are clean with fancy clothes and perfect hair.

The small scale sets are marvelous. The film transports you into two opposite worlds. Once is the view from above the city where we see buildings and streets of stones. At night it's dark with only lamp posts to light the way. The Boxtrolls' under ground lair is a whole other picture. The ground is covered in boxes and tin cans for the characters to slide around on. The room is lit with light bulbs they find and is filled with inventions that they have made.

The writing is witty. The comedy comes through in a very playful manner with its shock humor and, at times, straight-forward jokes. There is even a scene with a rim shot. The trolls, even though they speak gibberish, bring a lot of emotion into their delivery. Speaking of which, the voice talents are sensational. The villain Archibald Snatcher, who is my favorite, uses his amazing voice talents to create this mean, eccentric character. He fits the image that we see on screen. Same goes for the rest of the cast, particularly Elle Fanning who plays Winnie, a snobbish brat that befriends Eggs.

The use of "3D" here is, well, probably the only let down as, well, has it ever been worthy of being something to tout a movie with that couldn't be simply watched in "2D"? Sure there are moments where you think the characters are running right at you, that the blustery conditions have blown something onto your lap, but for the most part - as seemingly always with 3D-promoted movies - there was no need for it to have existed here. That said, my favorite scene is in the middle of the end credits! When the credits roll, please stay sat on your sofa or in your arm chair and what you will see is one of the funniest "fourth wall" jokes you'll have ever seen!

The moral of this story is you can change your nature. The Boxtrolls are used to sneaking around and hiding. Even when they are in danger, they don't fight back. They learn that they can change. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Digital Copy of 'The Boxtrolls'
Includes UltraViolet Copy
Dare To Be Square: Behind the Scenes of 'The Boxtrolls'
5 Featurettes that Take You Inside the Magical World of 'The Boxtrolls'
Feature Commentary with Directors Graham Annable And Anthony Stacchi
Preliminary Animatic Sequences with Optional Commentary by Directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi