Five Trolls and a Baby! Coming to CBS this Fall!


Five Trolls and a Baby! Coming to CBS this Fall!

THE BOXTROLLS

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. MANSION

STOP MOTION BEN KINGSLEY appears, unannounced, at the house of STOP MOTION JARED HARRIS in the middle of the night.

BEN KINGSLEY

'Lo there, Mr. Mayor. Er, Yer Highness? Your Holiness? Duke? Prince? Senpai? Whatever the hell your actual title is. I come bearing terrible news. You know those adorable little sewer-dwelling trolls that pick through our trash and never harm anyone?

JARED HARRIS

Oh, the box-wearing ones?

BEN KINGSLEY

Yes indeed. Well they've murdered a local inventor and kidnapped his son.

JARED HARRIS

How completely out of character! And I suppose you have proof of this?

BEN KINGSLEY

Not an ounce of it. Now, me being the kind-hearted gentleman I am, I would love to help rid you all of this troll problem. I'll gladly exterminate all those pesky, kidnapping trolls if you'll let me join your little oligarchy/mafia racket that runs this town. I want a white hat! I want fancy cheese! I want symbols of esteem, dammit!

JARED HARRIS

Well, one accusation of kidnapping is hardly enough to warrant a mini-genocide. I should really take this up with the council. But on the other hand, I left all the fucks I could be giving in my other hat. Go ahead, get exterminating.

INT. FRAGGLE ROCK

It turns out the BOXTROLLS do in fact have a BABY that DOES NOT BELONG TO THEM, thereby JUSTIFYING a PRETTY BIG AMOUNT of the VILLAIN'S ACTIONS in this movie. They RAISE HIM in their UNDERGROUND WONDERLAND full of UNSAFE MACHINERY cobbled together out of RUSTY CRAP, feeding him BUGS and teaching him to SPEAK somehow. The baby grows up to become ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT.

ISAAC HEMSTEAD-WRIGHT

Man, being stuck in a cave surrounded by diminutive non-humans sure sucks. I'm glad this won't happen to me in Game of Thrones.

FISH (BOXTROLL)

(random gibbering)

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

No, I haven't read the last book. Why?

FISH

(random gibbering)

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Dammit George RR Martin! Get to the dragons already! Also, I'm sick of how Ben Kingsley steals another troll every few weeks. He's captured dozens of us over the years, and having the only family I've ever known being gradually diminished by a madman who's probably turning them into soup is kind of a bummer, you know? We should fight back!

FISH

(random gibbering)

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

You're not my REAL dad! You can't tell me what to do!

ISAAC heads to the SURFACE that night, where he sees DAKOTA FANNING'S SISTER.

ELLE FANNING

Hey! I'm a successful actress in my own right! Quit comparing me to my sibling, at least I'm not Dave Franco. Anyway, I got daddy issues. Seriously, fuck that guy. Jared Harris is always so busy stuffing his face with fancy cheese he barely ever has time to listen to my creepy little girl fantasies. I daydream about boxtrolls eating my toes.

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Wow, classic Tim Burton, am I right?

LAIKA ENTERTAINMENT LLC

Okay, seriously, not every stop motion film is a Tim Burton flick! Jesus, people! We're an independent studio, we've never even heard of Tim Burton!

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Suuuure, and I suppose the whole Hot Topic-friendly, "creepy cute" aesthetic is just a coincidental similarity. So anyway, Elle, you seem somehow non-trollish. Like me. Wait a second, am I a human and not a boxtroll?!

ELLE FANNING

What tipped you off, smart guy? Was it the lack of mottled skin, or the non-yellow eyes, or the...everything about you?

But then ISAAC is chased off by BEN and his WACKY HENCHMEN!

BEN KINGSLEY

So sorry to let those devious boxtrolls get near you, Ms. Fanning. As this town's exterminator-slash-nightwatchmen-slash-curfew enforcer-slash-judge-slash-jury-slash-executioner I take full responsibility.

ELLE FANNING

Yeah, you seem to kind of suck at your job. You'd fit right in with my dad's city council.

BEN escorts ELLE back into her HOUSE.

ELLE FANNING

I'm sorry I went outside after dark in our troll-infested streets, father. I just really wanted to piss you off.

JARED HARRIS

That's nice dear.

ELLE FANNING

You know, I could have died. There were trolls out there. Which eat babies, as far as we know.

JARED HARRIS

Good, good, very good.

ELLE FANNING

You don't give a rat's ass about me, do you?

JARED HARRIS

Oh, Elle, when did you get here?

ELLE FANNING

That's it, I'm saving up for a tramp stamp. That'll show him...

MEANWHILE, ISAAC and his TROLLS are being chased by BEN'S WACKY HENCHMEN in their STEAM-POWERED TROLLMOBILE.

NICK FROST

Yup, it's me, playing the portly bumbling oaf yet again. And oh look, it's my partner, Simon Pe-

RICHARD AYOADE

Actually Simon's playing someone totally different in this movie. I'm your moralistic Laurel and Hardy-style counterpart for this go around. Also Tracy Morgan's here for some reason.

TRACY MORGAN

(is creepy)

NICK FROST

Huh, that's...new I guess. But I'm digging this goofy steam car we're driving. Man, Henry Selick sure loves crazy machines.

LAIKA ENTERTAINMENT LLC

Okay, seriously, Henry Selick had nothing to do with this movie. Nothing at all. There are more than two producers of creepy-fun stop motion movies in the world, you know.

RICHARD AYOADE

And apparently only one subject matter. Observe how our disheveled young misfit is escaping into his Coraline-style spooky other world via a very Nightmare Before Christmas-esque slide down a tunnel.

They capture FISH!

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

My adopted father is gone. The troll that raised me ever since I was a baby has been taken away to be skinned or eaten or turned into a coat or whatever the hell Ben Kingsley's doing with them. Seriously, if you little morons would develop a better defense mechanism beyond "hiding in your cardboard boxes and remaining completely stationary any time you hear a loud noise" we probably wouldn't be in this predicament. Well I'm going to find Fish. And maybe a girlfriend, depending on how closely this film is going to follow the plot of Disney's Tarzan.

EXT. TROLL HATING FESTIVAL

ISAAC emerges onto the SURFACE to discover the whole TOWN is participating in their annual TWO MINUTES HATE against the TROLLS.

ELLE FANNING

Hey! I remember you! You're that non-troll who was hanging out with those trolls!

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

I guess so. What is all of this?

ELLE FANNING

Well years ago, a local inventor was murdered and his baby was kidnapped by the boxtrolls, so every year we hold a special festival commemorating that horrible tragedy with lively songs and dances! See? Ben Kingsley's performing an Eric Idle song about that right now!

BEN KINGSLEY

(singing, in drag)

We have always been at war with Eurasia! We have always been at war with Eurasia!

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

How respectful. I'd hate to see how you people would commemorate 9/11.

ISAAC sneaks into BEN KINGSLEY'S hideout, an old FACTORY. He watches BEN and the HENCHMEN eat CHEESE.

BEN KINGSLEY

Yus, cheeeeese. Lay that sweet orange crank on me, Richard.

RICHARD AYOADE

No way, man. You've had enough.

BEN KINGSLEY

I said give it to me! I need that sweet brie, I'm dying here.

NICK FROST

Alright, you can have a taste. But keep it cool, Ben.

BEN KINGSLEY

(snorts a line of parmesan)

FUCK YEAH!!

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Come on, Fish! We have to escape right now, before Ben Kingsley stops being distracted by his wacky cheese obsession!

FISH

(hides in box, doesn't do shit)

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Wow, half the problems in this movie would be solved if you trolls weren't complete idiots.

But suddenly the FACTORY FLOOR opens up, revealing the CAPTURED BOXTROLLS working on some MACHINE!

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Holy shit, you're all alive! All my good friends and family members weren't killed, and were in fact being held in a cramped, dank underground prison for years so they could perform slave labor for an abusive mad man! I'm so happy!

INT. FRAGGLE ROCK

ISAAC and ELLE meet the rest of the TROLLS in their CAVE.

ELLE FANNING

Oh god, what disgusting creatures! Alright, get with the murdering, you little bastards. My body is ready.

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

We're not going to murder you. God, why do you want to be murdered so badly? There's a difference between having macabre affectations and just being suicidal. Anyway, Fish.... a-am I adopted?

FISH

(random sad gibbering)

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Oh my god! Apparently, years ago, my actual father was the local Doc Brown-style quirky inventor. He knew the boxtrolls weren't monsters, even though they hadn't kidnapped any babies at that time so there was no reason to think they were monsters, but even so, my dad let them invent shit with him. Then Ben came to him demanding he build him some kind of machine, and when my father refused, he killed him. Instead of just... paying him more, I guess. Anyway, the boxtrolls took me away before I could be murdered too, because apparently Ben was worried a newborn baby would testify against him in court. Ben blamed everything on the trolls.

ELLE FANNING

My god! We've been wrong about the trolls this whole time! It turns out they're actually gentle creatures who are smart enough to invent electric lights and complex rail systems but too stupid to communicate with humans and prove their innocence. We must tell the world!

INT. MANSION

JARED is throwing a FANCY PARTY at his MANSION.

JARED HARRIS

Alright, ladies and gentlemen, I have an announcement! We collected a shit ton of taxes from you all to refurbish the local children's hospital, but instead I blew it all on a big block of cheese. Hahaha, embezzlement is hilarious! Seriously, why is my daughter so desperate to connect with me, I'm a worse public official than Boss Hogg and Rahm Emmanuel combined.

ELLE FANNING

Attention everyone! Ignoring my father's gross misappropriation of funds for a second, we have another, more shocking revelation for you all! This boy right here is actually the missing baby that Ben Kingsley said was eaten by boxtrolls!

JARED HARRIS

Who gives a shit? Cheeeese.

CROWD

(prepping their crack pipes)

Cheeeeeeese.

ELLE FANNING

No, fuck this, we're not listening to all you people make eating noises anymore. Some of us have misophonia, you know.

Some WACKY BULLSHIT happens and the CHEESE BLOCK winds up in the RIVER SOMEHOW.

JARED HARRIS

Elle, I'm sending you to a wilderness program. You're deranged. Isaac, go die in a hole somewhere. I am a good father.

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Oh well, I tried.

ISAAC retreats back to his CAVE with the remaining TROLLS.

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

People suck. I'm much happier being a troll. I'll just hide down here in my cave, with all the other asocial bug-eaters and 4channers...

But suddenly BEN KINGSLEY BREAKS THROUGH THE CEILING with his GINORMOUS DRILL!

BEN KINGSLEY

Mwahahaha, finally my machine is complete! Yes, that's right! Apparently I wanted your dad to build me a giant steampunk drill so I could capture boxtrolls to gain esteem, and then I framed the trolls for your dad's murder so I could have an excuse to capture them so THEY could build me my troll-capturing drill instead! This all makes sense while you're watching them movie, it's only when you're leaving the theater that you start to get pissed.

ISAAC and the REMAINING TROLLS are VACUUMED UP!

INT. PRISON

ISAAC awakens to find himself caged next to...

SIMON PEGG

Yay! I'm in this two! You're not through with me yet, Nick Frost!

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Holy shit, are you my...dad?

SIMON PEGG

Yup.

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Weird.

SIMON PEGG

Yeah.

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Well this was a tearful reunion. Sooo... whatcha been up to these past ten years?

SIMON PEGG

Oh, you know, just hanging around. Literally. I've been suspended upside down in this dank cage with nothing but the rats to talk to for almost a decade. I've gone almost completely insane from the isolation and poor nutrition. I long for the sweet embrace of YAY JELLY!

BEN KINGSLEY

Yes, this isn't horrifying at all because he likes jelly. Jelly is a funny word! Simon, keep saying "jelly" so no one thinks about how fucked up this whole scenario is.

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Wait, so, my dad's been alive this whole time? There wasn't even a body when you tried to convince Jared Harris that the boxtrolls were murderers? Why didn't the cops think this was suspicious as balls?!

BEN KINGSLEY

Because this town is run by Jared Harris, who's about as good a leader as Rob Ford, except more corrupt and less competent.

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

A fair point. Alright. So you've won. The trolls are all captured and no one cares that I'm alive and you've been lying to everyone for years. So...movie over?

BEN KINGSLEY

Not so fast!

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Dammit...

BEN KINGSLEY

It's time for me to crush all the trolls into a fine paste, rather than keeping them as my army of personal Oompa Loompa slaves and forcing them to make me more unstoppable weapons of war, like I have been doing.

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

No! Trolls! Please! Run! Move! Wiggle! Do literally anything other than sit there on the crushing device, unrestrained, while Ben sloooowwwwwly walks towards the lever, plays a quick game of sudoku, reviews his taxes, makes some chicken pesto on rice, reads the script for Love Guru 2, and then pulls the lever, crushing you all and killing-

TROLLS

(squashed)

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Seven hells, I suck at rousing speeches....

EXT. TOWN SQUARE

BEN walks his MONSTROUS STEAMPUNK CONTRAPTION into the middle of TOWN.

BEN KINGSLEY

'Lo there, Jared. We meet again. I've come to be inducted into your society of upper class snobs!

JARED HARRIS

And why, pray tell, have you arrived to do so in what appears to be a baby version of the mechanical spider from Wild Wild West?

BEN KINGSLEY

Never mind that. You owe me a white hat, Jared. And as soon as I kill this last remaining boxtroll, which is totally not Isaac bound and gagged and wearing a papier mache boxtroll mask, I shall have fulfilled my vow. Please ignore any muffled screams you may hear coming from the boxtroll, it is simply the wind.

But suddenly, the BOXTROLLS appear and save ISAAC!

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

You're all alive! And you brought my father, who I guess I love now even though he's a brain-damaged stranger to me! How did you escape?

FISH

(random triumphant gibbering)

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

So you all just sort of...walked out from under the crusher at the last second like I told you to?

FISH

(shrugs)

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

How daring. Alright, let's get this wacky climax over with.

The BOXTROLLS, ISAAC, and ELLE have a WACKY FIGHT with BEN and his POINTLESS DEATH MACHINE.

BEN KINGSLEY

Alright, that's enough of that. Seriously, Jared, just give me a fancy hat and some cheese and I'll fuck off.

JARED HARRIS

Ugh, whatever. Here.

They let BEN have some CHEESE in the FANCY PEOPLE ROOM.

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Seriously, Ben, why did you go to all this trouble of fabricating a troll problem and creating a decade-long racket to ingratiate yourself into this weird little inner circle of powerful cheese aficionados?

BEN KINGSLEY

Because I wanted power and esteem!

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

That's dumb. You're dumb.

BEN KINGSLEY

Oh come on, it's not like I'd be any worse at it than Jared, the neglectful father and embezzler who did fuck all while I enforced my own code of law on this town. By all accounts I'm fiercely dedicated to the task of ruling, I'm clever, I exhibit great ingenuity, I'm able to make unpopular decisions and act decisively in times of crisis. I could have cleaned up this town's fucked up government and been a great public servant if you morons had just given me a hat ten years ago. Anyway, time to ride that yellow horse.

BEN melts some CHEESE and INJECTS IT into his ARM. He OVERDOSES and DIES.

INT. DENOUEMENT

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

So the trolls learned to be brave, and the people learned that trolls aren't evil, and Jared didn't learn shit about being corrupt but he did learn how to pay slightly more attention to his daughter. And I got my father back. My creepy, brain-damaged, irreparable traumatized father. Wow, I've got to say, this was definitely a darker film than most of Nick Park's offerings.

LAIKA ENTERTAINMENT LLC

Wait, is that the Wallace and Gromit guy? HE DIDN'T MAKE THIS GODDAM MOVIE. Jesus people, it's hard enough to break into the animation business without your work constantly getting mistaken for someone else's!

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

Then maybe you guys should make less derivative films. Seriously, this is a quirky, cheese-obsessed stop motion riff on snobbish British culture straight of the Wallace and Gromit playbook. This crap is just too-

LAIKA ENTERTAINMENT LLC

Cheesy?

ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT

(jumps out a castle window)

END

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