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Inspired by the book, “Here Be Monsters” by Alan Snow, the town underneath which the Box Trolls live is obsessed with prestige, which is shown by wearing a special white hat, and tasting cheese. The Box Trolls, on the other hand, live happily in the sewers with what they find on the streets at night, and wear boxes for clothes. Then there is Mr. Snatcher, who has lived his whole life on the lesser side of society, and finds himself so completely obsessed with gaining wealth and entitlement that he is willing to exterminate the entire, gentle, underground community to get it. In the beginning stages of Mr. Snatcher’s plan, he attempts to force Mr. Trubshaw, the town inventor who has befriended the box trolls, to create a machine for him. Mr. Trubshaw gives his infant son to the box trolls to save him from Mr. Snatcher, just before he is eliminated for refusing to build it. The boy, whom the trolls named “Eggs” (they are named according the label on the box that they wear), grows up believing that he, too, is a box troll. When Eggs is finally old enough to go above ground and help with the looting of supplies, he inadvertently is spotted by Winnie, the ignored daughter of the wealthiest man in town. Together, they discover Mr. Snatcher’s horrible plan to destroy the box trolls. They also discover who Eggs really is, and they are determined to fight back against the cruelty of a crazy society.
This tale of the boy who was raised by Box Trolls is a wonderful exploration into human nature. The Box Troll boy, Eggs, says it best: “Cheese, hats, boxes.. They don’t make you. YOU make you.” You are the only one who can decide what type of person you are, and bending to the type of person that others think you should be can turn into quite a mess. The town also learns that you can’t judge someone based on rumors you have heard about them. Changing the beliefs of a society is an extremely difficult task, but it will never be accomplished unless someone decides to be the first to be different. Once you take the time to truly learn about other cultures, you may find that you can actually live quite happily among your new friends.
(If you have additional ideas on how this film can be used for educational purposes, please let us know in the comments below.)
Mr. Snatcher: The unspeakable has happened! We must speak of it immediately!
Mr. Snatcher: Evil is afoot.
Mr. Pickles: Have you ever seen a foot be evil?
Mr. Trout: I think he meant evil is nearby.
Mr. Pickles: Here come the exterminators!
Mr. Trout: That sounds like we’re the bad guys!
Mr. Pickles: Here come the exterminators of justice!
Mr. Gristle: We exterminate justice!
Eggs: Why do we do this, Shoe? Carrying on as if everything is normal? They drag us away and we do nothing!
Mr. Snatcher: That’s everything I worked for!
Mr. Trout: You mean we worked for?
Mr. Pickles: I think he means the same thing.
Mr. Trout: I don’t think he does.
Eggs: You said a father was supposed to help, they took care of kids!
Winnie: Well, they’re supposed to.
Archibald Snatcher: You Really think Portly-Rind and His mob will help a nobody like you? In this town, you want, you gotta help yourself. That’s what a man does.
Eggs: You’re a liar, when I tell Winnie’s father the truth, he’ll…
Archibald Snatcher: HE’LL THANK ME. Because… all your little boxtroll friends… are going to die. TONIGHT!
Archibald Snatcher: THEY’LL MAKE ME THE MOST RESPECTED MAN IN THIS TOWN! They’ll have no choice but to give me a white hat, they’ll parade me, They’ll take up on their shoulders. And I’m NOT gonna let that be ruined by some little boxtroll sewer rat!
Eggs: Don’t do it. You won’t change who you are. Cheese, Hats, Boxes. They don’t make you. “You” make you.