In recent years, animation studio Laika has gained a reputation for the technical wizardry and narrative care put into features such as Coraline and ParaNorman. In the run-up to their latest movie offering, The Boxtrolls, Laika has also become known for unusual previews – well-embodied by the film's newest trailer.
Whereas previous trailers/featurettes mused on the fluid nature of family or showed off the sheer amount of work and VFX know-how going into The Boxtrolls, this preview finally gives audiences a hint of the movie's plot. Nonetheless, the trailer is still nonstandard due to its complete lack of dialogue, leaving the context of the fun, frenetic imagery up to our imagination.
Directed by Graham Annable (ParaNorman) and Anthony Stacchi (Open Season), The Boxtrolls makes use of the voice talents of Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3), Elle Fanning (Maleficent), Simon Pegg (The World's End), Jared Harris (Mad Men), Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd), and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Game of Thrones), among others.
Adapted from the novel Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow, The Boxtrolls apparently follows an orphaned child adopted by a clan of secretive creatures living below the fictional town of Ratbridge, England. When a sadistic exterminator targets his erstwhile family, this child must reach out to the society that abandoned him for help.
Though The Boxtrolls' latest preview is certainly charming, it also continues to withhold the larger framework of the film's story from viewers. Given recent movie trailers' penchant for simply spoiling major plot points months before theatrical release, this is something of a gift from Laika.
That said, it would be nice to finally hear the voice work going into the feature – especially since the assembly of talent going into it is so impressive on paper. With more than six months to go before The Boxtrolls' premiere, we will no doubt see more comprehensive trailers to come. Hopefully, they'll retain the now-signature quirkiness Laika has placed in its recent promotional material.
The Boxtrolls will clamber into theaters on September 26th, 2014.