Watch ‘Into the Arms of Strangers’ With Your Kids After You Take Them to ‘The Boxtrolls’

By  · Published on September 26th, 2014

Sabine Films

This is another Doc Option that requires a “yes I’m serious” disclaimer. How, you may ask, can a documentary about a WWII-era social program that rescued Jewish children from Nazi Germany possibly be compared to a whimsical stop-motion animated film about cute trolls that wear boxes? All shall be explained! The Boxtrolls is a delightful romp, and in addition to engaging any child who sees it, the movie will gently introduce them to certain darker truths about the world. Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport can then help them understand those truths as they apply to real life.

The story of The Boxtrolls focuses on the struggle of the eponymous race of creatures to survive while human exterminators are trying to hunt them all down. These villains use propaganda to demonize the boxtrolls so that the common people solicit their efforts. They round up the boxtrolls and put them to heavy labor in a factory. And their ultimate goal is to destroy all the boxtrolls en masse. The movie is, essentially, a beat-for-beat primer on how pogroms against minorities are born and enacted, even if that isn’t evident to any kid who doesn’t know their historical context.