The Boxtrolls is certainly a grown-up feat. The latest work from Laika Studios builds on the company’s previous films (Coraline and ParaNorman). Combining stop-action animation with CG technology, the studio created a visually stunning, darkly comic “hybrid” motion picture that was selected for screening at the prestigious Venice Film Festival.
Based on a story in Alan Snow’s massive graphic novel “Here Be Monsters,” this Focus Features release tells a tale about a human boy called Eggs who is raised underground by a group of trolls (the Boxtrolls) whose lives are in mortal danger due to Archibald Snatcher’s evil plan to eradicate them. There are moments that might be too intense for young children, so parental discretion is advised.
The film’s voice cast features actors from the U.S. (Elle Fanning, Tracy Morgan), Australia (Toni Collette) and the U.K. (Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost). Game of Thrones’ Isaac Hempstead Wright portrays teenage Eggs, but baby Eggs is voiced by a Los Angeles-area boy, Max Mitchell, who makes his movie debut at age 5 with this role.
Although it was his first acting job, Max was familiar with this type of work, since he had accompanied his mother, actress Salli Saffioti, to voice-over studios for her work. Saffioti says Boxtrolls co-director Graham Annable came to Los Angeles to record Max and marveled at how well they worked together and how much fun they had.
We also asked Max about his experiences.
What did you like best about doing the voiceover of baby Eggs?
Best part of baby Eggs was when I got to growl.
Was there anything hard about doing this?
Everything was easy.
If you were a Boxtroll, what type of box would you wear and what would be your name?
My name would be Eggs and I’d wear a box with an egg on it. Because my name is Eggs.
Do you want do more voiceover acting?
I think maybe I’d like to do more voiceover. I think just animation.
Did you like working with Graham and the Laika people?
I didn’t like working with Laika and Graham, I loved it!
The Boxtrolls will be released in theaters Sept. 26. Learn more at www.theboxtrolls.com.
Michael Berick is Calendar Editor of L.A. Parent.