It's the kind of thing that shouldn't be a big deal, but it is. The creators of "ParaNorman" are bringing us yet another gorgeous CG/stop-motion 3D film that sneaks in a pretty great message about what makes a family.
As we learn in this trailer, there are all sorts of families in the world -- ones with a mom and a dad, two moms, two dads, a fabulously extended family full of aunts and uncles and friends, and sometimes families are even made up of strange creatures that live in boxes underground, but which are equally loving.
"The Boxtrolls" takes place in a fancy, cheese-obsessed town called Cheesebridge. Although the Boxtrolls have been given a bad rap, they've adopted a sad Victorian orphan named Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright), and they go do things like rifle through the garbage for goodies and make cool gadgets from what they've found. It's an entire underground society, a funky-looking world that exists peacefully until Archibald Snatcher (Sir Ben Kingsley) decides getting rid of the Boxtrolls once and for all is his number one goal. Perhaps Eggs will find a helping hand (and friend) in a fancy girl named Winnie (Elle Fanning) who lives above ground, where money and cheese are plentiful.
The gentle message about the many different ways people can make a family dovetails perfectly with the recent court rulings on gay marriage, but it's not the entire point of the story. Similar to Mitch's character in "ParaNorman," who just so happens to be gay, "The Boxtrolls" is, on one hand, a cute, steampunk-y story about kind monsters and stinky cheese; on the other, the message can't be ignored.
Travis Knight, the president and CEO of Laika animation studios, told the Hollywood Reporter, "The Boxtrolls are a very loving community that have been marginalized by the lies and distortions of others... It doesn't take someone who's got a PhD to recognize that of course there are metaphoric elements to the message in our movie."
Based on Alan Snow's illustrated novel for kids, "The Boxtrolls" has a very cool voice cast that includes BFFs Simon Pegg and Nick Frost ("The World's End," "Hot Fuzz"), Richard Ayoade ("The Watch," "Submarine"), Toni Collette ("The Way, Way Back"), and Tracy Jordan ("30 Rock").
"The Boxtrolls" is headed to theaters on September 26, 2014.