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Kingsley: More to 'Boxtrolls' Than You Think

10 Jan, 2015 By: Chris Tribbey

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — On its face, The Boxtrolls may look like a pretty simple, straightforward family film, a 3D stop-motion animated movie following a group of misunderstood subterranean creatures who’ve raised a human boy as one of their own.

But there’s so much more going on with this story. That’s why legendary actor Ben Kingsley agreed to step outside of his normal comfort zone and be the voice of the film’s main antagonist, Archibald Snatcher.

“It’s an immensely enjoyable script, beautifully written, and the psychological journey of each character is absolutely sound,” Kingsley said. “There’s an extraordinary debate within the film whether [the Boxtrolls are] the goodies or the baddies. It’s a very, very brave device, where certain characters step outside of the narrative and then step back into it.”

“[Boxtrolls] constantly reminds the audience it’s a fable … told in the same way Grimm’s fairy tales do, Charles Dickens did,” Kingsley said.

The Boxtrolls — pulling in nearly $110 million at the worldwide box office and coming from animation studio Laika, creators of Academy Award-nominated Coraline and ParaNorman — hits DVD and Blu-ray Disc Jan. 20 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Playing a bad guy was one thing, Kingsley said. Playing a bad guy with only his voice as the medium was quite another.

“I had to bring a force and an energy to the piece that would allow the children to fight back,” he said. “If I as the dark force am weak, it lessens their heroism. [And] I needed to liberate my own voice, not rely on any physical gestures, no mannerisms whatsoever.”

Kingsley said that his role in The Boxtrolls is indicative of how much and how quickly the entertainment industry has changed. Being the voice of an animated character isn’t something an Academy Award winner needs to shy away from.

“The world has diversified so much. Now, you can be on a series on Netflix, you can do a commercial for an automobile, you can be in a video game … so many doors are opening,” he said.

Universal is releasing The Boxtrolls as a DVD, Blu-ray 3D combo pack and Blu-ray combo pack, with bonus features for the Blu-ray offerings including preliminary animation sequences (with optional commentary from directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable), several featurettes, and more.

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