Boxtrolls was almost hidden within the late 2014 Fall releases to cinema, and has snuck out to the New Release racks at the end of January 2015. Now some may wonder what’s up with me and the kids movies, well a) I am a father, this was one of the presents my son got for his 9th birthday. b) When I built youth and children’s ministries I leveraged popular media to teach the kids.
Now at first Boxtrolls did not impress, we tried it as a family movie night at home, and it was probably due to running late but the kids lost interest. But then Family Movie Night at our Community Hall Restaurant showed it. And that’s when it shone and gripped the kids. Done in claymation (remember the California Raisins?) and stop motion capture it is the story of scavengers from under the town, trolls that live in boxes, and a child they raise.
But there is more to it, as there is existential arguments that surface for one to reflect on. The first being the powerful use of propaganda in shaping public’s opinion on morality, right and wrong, and how extreme measures need to be taken to remove what is viewed as holding a society back.
The next though is something for Canadians and Albertans to reflect on this year, as we head to elections: does the lust for power corrupt one absolutely? Note the difference from the normal Shakespearenism, it is not absolute power corrupting, but the lust for power. The lust for prestige and position.
For the motion for Snatcher to be able to begin exterminating boxtrolls, comes from political media spin on a “eaten” child, Eggs, from Tropshaw. Yet there is more, for Snatcher wants to mount this search for power to get a white hat and move into the elite inner circle of cheese samplers. Yes cheese, but wait, why is it a commentary on the lust for power? Simple, Snatcher is deathly allergic to cheese where his cronies need to use leeches to reduce the effect and save his life.
The other is the leader of the town, who is so in love with his position and power as the head white hat is not even sure if his own child matters more to him.
Great questions and contemplation about those in power, and those seeking power, what is their underlying reason and rationale for wanting it?
There are currents of redemption within the story, and of not judging a “boxtroll” by its cover, as well as what is true community about (inclusion of all) and how much healthier community is when all have their role to play in making it function.
For those keeners who want to watch the movie, stay posted for quite the existential post credit scene about the “giants” that make them move, and the visual of Unity with the One.
What movies have you seen recently that go beyond the surface to percolate deeper thoughts and conversations?