Follow TV Tropes


Characters / The Boxtrolls

Go To

    open/close all folders 


An orphaned human boy raised by the Boxtrolls.

  • Break the Cutie: Snatcher is fond of cheese and wants to treat the boy like a boxtroll.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Shares a knack for tinkering with his adoptive family, the Boxtrolls. He seems to have inherited it from his biological father, Mr. Trubshaw.
  • Happily Adopted: Even though he is reunited with his biological father again at the end and having not known he was an orphan (or even a human) until Fish tells him a decade later, Eggs lives a very happy life with Fish and his adopted Boxtroll family and loves them all very much. This causes him much sadness when Snatcher takes nearly all of them away.
  • Has Two Daddies: At the end of the movie, he has now two fathers: Fish, his adopted one, and Mr. Trubshaw, his long-lost biological one. He's shown working with them.
  • Heroic BSoD: When Fish — the troll who raised Eggs for ten years; his adoptive father — is finally captured by Snatcher, Eggs seem to shut down for a little while before ultimately deciding to rescue him, thus finally taking action against Snatcher for the first time.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: He briefly becomes convinced of this after his disastrous attempt to blend in with civilized people and Lord Portley-Rind's refusal to help.
  • Implied Love Interest: With Winnie. The two share several bonding moments, and are shown to really enjoy dancing with each other at one point, but nothing is confirmed by the end of the movie.
  • Interspecies Adoption: He is a Cheesebridge orphan reared since infancy by the eponymous Boxtrolls, to the point that for a long time he thinks he is one.
  • Kid Hero: He is the heroic character of the story, and he is young.
  • Missing Mom: In the course of the film, we are introduced to both his adoptive father and his biological father, but we never learn about the whereabouts of his mother. Including in the flashbacks.
  • Nice Guy: What Eggs lacks in social skills he more then makes up for in sweetness.
  • No Name Given: We only know his adopted name, but not his original name. It may be Herbert Trubshaw Jr., since the Boxtrolls song says his fathers name as "Trubshaw Sr.".
  • No Social Skills: Having been raised by the Boxtrolls, social standards are completely alien to him and he needs to have simple greetings explained to him.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Eggs believes completely that he is a Boxtroll until Winnie shows him midway through the movie that he is a human.
  • Raised by Wolves: He is a Cheesebridge orphan raised since infancy by the eponymous Boxtrolls, to the point he considers himself one of them... up until he meets Winnie, that is.
  • Unkempt Beauty: The poor hygiene conditions in which he has lived do not make him any less adorable.

    Winifred "Winnie" Portley-Rind
Played By: Elle Fanning

Eggs's first human friend.

  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Winnie is enraptured by the nasty, violent legends her high-society parents try to shelter her from. When she first encounters the "monstrous" boxtrolls, she thinks they intend to devour her flesh and drink her blood, and tells them (rather melodramatically) to do it quickly. When they turn out not to have any interest in her, she's quite put out.
  • Fiery Redhead: She's quite outspoken.
    Winnie: You're the worst pick-pocket I've ever seen! Here! [tosses him a coin] Buy a book on how to be a better thief!
  • Freudian Slip: When she first meets Eggs, she excitedly asks if all the grisly stories she's heard of boxtrolls are true, then why they let him live, then whether they devoured his family, then "did they let you watch?!" She then hastily backpedals, "I-I mean... did they make you watch?" Nightmare Fetishist, indeed!
  • Girlish Pigtails: Wears her curly, red hair in pigtails.
  • Implied Love Interest: With Eggs. The two share several bonding moments, and are shown to really enjoy dancing with each other at one point, but nothing is confirmed by the end of the movie.
  • In-Series Nickname: Often called "Winnie".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As bratty and fetishist as she is, she helps Eggs to save the Boxtrolls.
  • Little Miss Badass: She could defy a big, dangerous machine.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: She seems to have no friends until she meets Eggs, and emotionally distant parents. This is especially true of her father, who is too obsessed with his Nice Hat and fancy cheeses to pay her any mind at all.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: She is fascinated by all the gory tales of the boxtrolls and their rivers of blood... and very disappointed when they turn out to be untrue. In the end, she's seen performing a stage show about the confrontation with Mr. Snatcher and rather gleefully describes how his he exploded into a cloud of guts and innards.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She's outspoken, a Little Miss Badass and a Nightmare Fetishist. She also wears a pink robe and likes to dance.
  • Vocal Dissonance: For such a small child she has a very deep and mature voice who could be one coming from the mouth a 20 years old one.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Very much wants her father's attention and approval.


Eggs' adoptive Boxtroll father.

  • Good Parents: Although he parents by Boxtroll standards (probably not bathing their children and feeding them bugs), Fish has been a very loving and caring father to Eggs.
  • Lovable Coward: Like every Boxtroll, Fish always hides and cowers in his box whenever there's any danger — unless you harm Eggs.
  • Papa Wolf: Despite instinctively hiding in his box at any threat of danger, that all changes the moment his kid is harmed. For a brief moment we see an uncharacteristic display of aggressiveness from Fish, baring his teeth and growling at the Red Hats after they hurt Eggs. Though he's knocked out almost instantly, it's still an incredibly brave act for a shy little Boxtroll.
  • Parental Substitute: For Eggs. Eggs indirectly calls the boxtroll his father at one point.

    Archibald Penelope Snatcher
Played By: Ben Kingsley

A pest exterminator obsessed with moving up in the world. After a baby boy is apparently kidnapped by the boxtrolls, Snatcher makes a deal with Lord Portley-Rind: in exchange for exterminating every last boxtroll in town, Snatcher will be rewarded a spot in Portley-Rind's inner circle and everything that goes with it: power, a Nice Hat, and all the fancy cheese he can eat.

  • Ambition Is Evil: He is obsessed with climbing the social ranks by rounding up and exterminating all of the boxtrolls. His obsession drives him to spread outrageous lies about the boxtrolls being savage, baby-eating monsters, threaten children, mistreat his lackeys, and eat cheese despite his violent allergies to the stuff.
  • Ax-Crazy: Post-Villainous Breakdown, as he rampages through the city. Not that he was really sane all the time.
    Snatcher: I have been reasonable but I can be unreasonable!
  • Bad Boss: He refers to his lackeys as "Stooges" and threateningly confronts Mr. Pickles after he brings up his cheese allergy.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Though he doesn't actually succeed in slaying the boxtrolls, and though it causes his death, he does get a white hat, and he does taste cheese in the tasting room in the end.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He looks like at first comical and funny, but it's clear that there's no extreme act he wouldn't commit in order to win, no matter how morally questionable it is. We also finds out out that in the past he apparently killed Egg's father with a wrench. While he didn't kill him he kept him prisoner for years and drove him to madness.
  • Big Bad: Leader of the Boxtroll Exterminators.
  • Body Horror: Snatcher's "Cheese Fits" cause him to swell up horribly.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: He gets a massive Cheese Fit that makes him look monstrous. Not only is it caused by allergies, but a single piece of cheese after kills him.
  • Daddy Issues: One part of his rant while bloated by cheese at his lair mentions how his father used to always tell him that if you work hard enough, you earn a White Hat, but said father still ended up with nothing prior to his death despite all his hard work. This might be a prime motivator in Archibald feeling he has to rise above the mediocrity of his status and get a White Hat.
  • Death by Gluttony: He is obsessed with cheese-eating as a sign of status even though he has a violent allergy that causes him to swell up and develop a nasty rash. At the film's end, he blackmails his way into Lord Portley-Rind's tasting room and, despite already suffering from a nasty "cheese fit" after landing on a giant wheel of Brie, devours a sample of Portley-Rind's rarest cheese. After a Delayed Reaction long enough for Snatcher to feign cheese expertise, a Distant Reaction Shot shows he messily exploded in a cloud of cheese-y mist.
  • Death by Irony: He gets done in by the accomplishment of his ultimate objective -tasting gourmet cheese in the White Hats' tasting room.
  • Drunk on Milk: Well, milk by-product at least; cheese makes him act like a surly drunk.
  • Evil Brit: He's voiced by Ben Kingsley.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Particularly when Drunk on Milk.
  • Famous Last Words: "Aromatic... Oakey... With an undertone of a mother's—"
  • Fantastic Racism: Towards the Boxtrolls. He often refers to them as parasites.
  • Fat Bastard: He has a disgusting pot belly and a personality to match.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He always act nice and polite in public and he's also a bit goofy at times. Too bad he's also a manipulative and unscrupulous psychopath once his true nature is exposed.
  • Freudian Excuse: Hinted. He mentions at one point how his father used to always tell him that if you work hard enough, you earn a White Hat, but said father still ended up with nothing prior to his death despite all his hard work. This might be a prime motivator in Archibald's feeling that he has to rise above the mediocrity of his status and get a White Hat.
  • Glory Hound: Apparently his only reason d'etre is seeking fortune and fame at any cost.
  • G-Rated Drug: He is obsessed with cheese as a status symbol, even though eating it causes a violent allergic reaction that not only makes his face swell up in a nasty fashion, but causes him to act like a surly drunk and even hallucinate at one point. One of his lackeys, Mr. Pickles, even warns him "You know what cheese does to you..."
  • The Heavy: He's responsible for almost every conflict in the plot.
  • It's All About Me: He wants to become the most important man in the village and everyone around him is an expendable pawn.
  • Jerkass: Kind of a given, considering he's the Big Bad.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: During a pseudo-drunken rant, he gripes about how all Lord Portley-Rind and his fellow White Hats do is sit around and waste taxpayer's time and money on eating fancy cheeses, which is a startlingly accurate description.
  • Karmic Death: He meets the exact goal he wanted, and it ends up sucking for him big time.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: His Famous Last Words: "Aromic, oakey, with an undertone of a mother's— (BOOM!)
  • Knight of Cerebus: Despite being Laughably Evil, his ruthlessness and greed makes him a genuine dark and dangerous villain for a child's movie.
  • Large Ham: His vocal inflections are rather bizarre and he tends to draw out words and shout a lot.
  • The Last Straw: He is already bloated from falling in the remains of the Briehemoth. Eating one more piece of cheese caused him to explode.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He lied to the citizens of Cheesebridge that all Boxtrolls are vicious murderous monsters when they were actually framed for a crime he effectively committed. He also took advantage on Lord Portley-Rind's love of cheese into making him believe that the Boxtrolls will come after said food next in order to convince him to give him a white hat if he'll kill all Boxtrolls in town.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Snatcher. Although the Embarrassing Middle Name of "Penelope" dampens the effect somewhat.
  • Nice Hat: He and his lackeys wear red hats, and his obsession with moving up in the world includes getting a spot on the council and a white hat of his own for wiping out the Boxtrolls.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: At first looks like an humorous and eccentric Egomaniac Hunter but he's also overly cruel and remorseless. Towards the end he even arrives very close to achieve his main goal.
  • Obviously Evil: His name alone should fill you in. And if it doesn't, his spider-like movement and snake-like voice will.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: His "Madame Frou Frou" disguise doesn't really hide his true identity to the viewer. It's just him wearing a dress, a wig and lipstick. In-Universe, it fools everyone though.
  • Plot Allergy: His severe allergies (he swells up from a tiny sliver of extra mild Cheddar) is part of what prevents him from joining the White Hats and eventually leads to his Karmic Death.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The tasted cheese he eats at the ending causes his allergy (along with the rest of his built-up allergic reaction) to do him in.
  • Redemption Rejection: "I have made me, boy. This is my destiny!"
  • The Resenter: Snatcher despises the White Hats for looking down on him and people like him, and has spent his entire life scheming in hopes of reaching the top.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: His obsession with upward nobility and insistence on cheese-tasting despite his violent allergies causes him to explode into a cloud of nasty yellow mist.
  • Slasher Smile: He shows this everytime he's gloating or he's truly happy.
  • Smug Snake: He repeatedly makes himself out to be a bigger, brighter, and more important man than he truly is.
  • Social Climber: The entire motivation for his schemes.
  • The Sociopath: The only things that matter to him are power and greatness. Trying to exterminate a race of peaceful creatures and sacrifice children or everyone else he sees as a threat to his plans is not a problem for him.
  • Sore Loser: His reaction after his plan to obtain a White Hat fail ? To go into a chaotic rampage endangering everyone around him and trying to obtain what he wants by brutal force.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Really, Archibald, you know that you're deathly allergic to cheese... and you're so hell-bent on joining the White Hats that you STILL insist on eating it? It's not like he wasn't warned, either.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Subverted with cheese. He's incredibly allergic to the stuff, and the fact that he gives two different pieces the same description implies that he only considers cheese tasting as a show of status.
  • Twitchy Eye: Has one after Mr. Trout corrects him about everything "we've worked for" rather than "I've worked for".
  • The Unfettered: He's willing to committ a genocide of innocent little monsters and killing anyone who stands in his way if that would mean obtaining an high position in the society.
  • Verbal Tic: Snatcher has a habit of pronouncing words a lo-o-o-o-ong ti-i-i-i-i-i-ime for emphasis.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: He's easily the darkest part of the film, being singlehandedly responsible for its most intense scenes.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • He is correct when he says the Box Trolls don't aspire to be anything more than weak pests.
    • During a pseudo-drunken rant, he gripes about how all Lord Portley-Rind and his fellow White Hats do is sit around and waste taxpayer's time and money on eating fancy cheeses, which is a startlingly accurate description.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Eggs and Winnie reveals all his evil deeds to the population, Snatcher becomes furious and goes in a destructive rampage through the city, laughing maniacally in order to force Lord Portley-Rind to give him his hat.
  • Villainous Crossdresser: He performs as Madame Frou Frou to spread fear of the boxtrolls.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Before Eggs and Winnie reveal his lies, he's shown to be rather liked in Cheesebridge, as the entire population sees him as their protector against the "evil" boxtrolls. At one point, the entire town pressures lord Portley-Rind into giving him a white hat.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Played for Laughs. To the audience, his Madame Frou Frou disguise is very much Squick-inducing. However, In-Universe, several men are shown to find Madame Frou Frou very sexy.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He has no qualms with attempting to kill Eggs on multiple occasions as well as Winnie when She Knows Too Much.
  • You Monster!: Eggs calls him the true monster in his Shut Up, Hannibal! moment.

    Lord Portley-Rind
Played By: Jared Harris

Winnie's father, leader of the White Hats.

  • Adults Are Useless: If it's not about cheese, he has absolutely no interest.
  • Authority in Name Only: He and his fellow White Hats. They appear to be the ruling body of Cheesebridge but are obsessed with cheese and their Nice Hats to the point that they neglect their duties to the city... and in his case at least, his family.
  • Berserk Button: Any harm to the cheese stores will get him pissed.
  • Establishing Character Moment: At the start of the movie, Archibald Snatcher comes to his house in the middle of the night to tell him (falsely) the boxtrolls have stolen a child. He says it can wait till morning. Archibald then says they've broken into his cheese stores. He's instantly horrified, then promises Archibald whatever means he needs to protect his cheese. Highlights his disregard for human life, selfishness, and his unholy obsession with cheese.
  • Heel–Face Turn: At the end he's seen cheering Winnie on in her show. A far cry from every other appearance in the movie, where he ignores her unless she mentions cheese or his white hat.
  • Jerkass: He ignores his daughter, uses funds for a children's hospital to build a wheel of cheese, looks down on everyone including his fellow white hats, and pretty much cares only about cheese. He does indeed care about Winnie and gives up his white hat for her...after thinking it over and trying to weasel out of it.
  • Karma Houdini: Lord Portly-Rind doesn't really suffer any consequences despite being an awful father, a waster of taxpayers money, a possible adulterer, a Jerkass, and an idiot. Unless you count having his white hat snatched from him and bumping into Snatcher's machine.
  • Nice Hat: As a members of the White Hat Council, the ruling body of Cheesebridge, he wears a very tall white hat as a status symbol. The White Hat is perhaps the only thing other than cheese that can catch his attention.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: He ignores his daughter in favour of cheese or his white hat.
  • Not So Different: Like Snatcher, he spends a lot of time wearing his hat and eating cheese with his three cronies.
  • Skewed Priorities: His Establishing Character Moment has him brush off the (false) news that the boxtrolls kidnapped a child, then become concerned only when told they could get into his cheese stores. Also uses civic funds to commission a massive wheel of cheese instead of building a children's hospital. In fact, his obsession with cheese puts a serious cramp in his relationship with his daughter Winifred, and at one point blinds him to the fact that she's trying to warn him of the Big Bad's evil plan.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He continues to belittle Snatcher and tries to get out of his deal with him even after Snatcher showed up while piloting a giant Tripod Terror that could easily squash him. It comes back to bite him once Snatcher has his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cheese. It's the one thing that he openly loves... even more than his daughter.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Never before has one man so perfectly embodied Hanlon's Razor.
  • Villain of Another Story: Let's make a list. He wastes taxpayer's money and time just sitting around eating rare cheese, completely ignores his daughter to focus more on his hat and cheese, spends charity money for a children's hospital on a large wheel of cheese that most likely only he and his other White Hats would have eaten, completely ignores Eggs' public confession, tries to get out of his deal with Snatcher, when it is revealed the Boxtrolls are alive he flat out rubs the fact into Snatcher's face that he will never get what he wants, and even when his daughter was caught by Snatcher and he had to trade his hat to save her he tries to negotiate with him for something else. If Snatcher wasn't such a monster Lord Portley-Rind could have easily been the villain of this story.

    Mr. Trout, Mr. Pickles & Mr. Gristle
Played By: Nick Frost (Trout), Richard Ayoade (Pickles) & Tracy Morgan (Gristle)

Snatcher's henchmen. Trout and Pickles aren't bad men, and are in fact convinced they're doing Cheesebridge a service by getting rid of the "evil" boxtrolls (though Mr. Trout starts to have some doubts about this). The same cannot be said, however, for the vicious and sadistic Mr. Gristle.

  • Ax-Crazy: Mr. Gristle takes considerably more delight in the unpleasant parts of his job than Trout and Pickles.
  • Bald of Evil: All three of them have their heads shaved.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Gristle is short, Trout is big, and Pickles is thin.
  • Captain Obvious: Much of Mr. Gristle's dialogue is him describing what he's doing. "I'm jumping on a cage!" "I'm swinging on a chain!"
  • Curse Cut Short: At the climax, Mr. Gristle lets out an "Oh sh--" right before he's crushed to death by the falling remains of Snatcher's Tripod Terror.
  • Famous Last Words: "I have lost a lot of blood... OH SH--" Mr. Gristle
  • Fat and Skinny: Mr. Trout and Mr. Pickles.
  • Fat Idiot: Beautifully averted with Trout. He seems to be the smart one of the trio, and his official bio states that he enjoys Shakespeare and French poetry.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Mr. Gristle
  • Heel Realization: It eventually dawns on Trout and Pickles that they're not the good guys, and all it takes to get them to rebel against Snatcher is an Armor-Piercing Question from Winnie.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: All three of them are, in different ways. Mr. Trout and Mr. Pickles start out convinced they're keeping the streets safe from "monsters" but growing increasingly concerned with their and Mr. Snatcher's actions as the movie progresses, leading to a Heel–Face Turn. Mr. Gristle, on the other hand, lacks the intelligence to be capable of any form of calculated evil, just mindlessly destroying whatever Snatcher orders him to.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Done by Mr. Pickles and Mr. Trout. Averted with Mr. Gristle.
  • Obliviously Evil: Mr. Trout and Mr. Pickles, who both believe they are the good guys. They waver throughout the movie, though.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Mr. Gristle may be the smallest henchmen, but he's by far the most dangerous, from his relentless bloody-mindedness, not to mention a surprising deal of agility.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Mr. Trout as part of his character.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Inverted. Mr. Gristle is the shortest of the lot and the most unintelligent (being, as he is, a mindless destroyer).
  • Smarter Than You Look: Mr. Trout, played for laughs.
  • The Sociopath: Mr. Gristle is a very low-functioning example of one.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: While humoring their boss's desire to replicate the White Hats' cheese tasting table, Trout and Pickles assure him point-blank that there's "nothing horrifying" about his cheese-eating, and they aren't just telling him what he wants to hear because they're afraid of him.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Trout and Pickle show more disgust in following Snatcher's orders and the express remorse more than once. Mr Gristle is more willing to cause harm but seeing that he's a total psychopath with very little connection to reality is debatable if he's genuine evil or not.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Trout and Pickles are convinced they're the good guys fighting the forces of evil, but as the movie goes along they begin to doubt this perspective.

    The Boxtrolls

A troll species that wear boxes as clothes and only come out at night.

  • Benevolent Monsters: They are friendly monsters. They only collect human things to do machines for themselves.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Their first instinct when confronted to a danger is to hide in their boxes, even when hiding is useless and running would be a better option. Also, while they love each other, they also tend to shrug it off when one of them is captured and to resume going on with their lives.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Their eyes glow at night. Comes in handy since they do their scavenging at that time.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: They may be trolls, but they're a benevolent species.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Their area of expertise is making inventions out of trash.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Shoe, the second most prominent boxtroll, is snappish and greedy about his scavenges, but he's as friendly as the rest of his kind when it counts. He even tries to comfort Eggs when Fish is captured.
  • False Teeth Tomfoolery: Sweets wears a set of human teeth he's attached to, although they keep falling out.
  • Those Two Guys: Sparky and Match, two boxtrolls who are always seen tinkering with a toaster.

    Mr. Trubshaw
Played By: Simon Pegg

The father of the child who was abducted by the Boxtrolls ten years before the events of the movie. He's said to have gone mad with grief and to have chased after the Boxtrolls, only to meet a grizzly end.

  • Break the Cutie: After being Snatcher's prisoner for ten years, he's been left as a broken lunatic.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: He's an inventor.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: He's Eggs' biological father.
  • Nice Guy: Presumably, as he saw past the Boxtrolls' appearance and regarded them as kindred spirits due to their shared love of inventing.
  • Posthumous Character: He's said to have died 10 years before the events of the film. Subverted when it turns out that it was a lie spread by Snatcher.
  • Sanity Slippage: Having been kidnapped and dangled upside-down with chains for 10 years straight "scrambled his noodles good." He gets a little better in the end.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Jelly.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's hard to talk about him without revealing that he's still alive or that he's Eggs' biological father.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: