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Give up, Trubshaw! Boxtrolls lost a looooooooong time ago! These miserable pests will never be a match for a man with a dream!
~ Snatcher capturing Eggs and the Boxtrolls.
For a White Hat? I will destroy every last Boxtroll in this town!
~ Archibald Snatcher - his most famous quote.
I'll make those Brie-stuffed pigs bow down to me! I'm gonna be somebody!
~ Archibald Snatcher under the "cheese fits".

Archibald Penelope Snatcher (also known by his female persona Madame Frou Frou) is the main antagonist of Laika's 3rd full-length animated feature film The Boxtrolls.

He is an exterminator and the leader of the Red Hats, secretly planning to become one of the White Hats. He is the archenemy of Eggs.

He was voiced by Ben Kingsley, who also played Nizam in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

History

Archibald Snatcher was raised in the town of Cheesebridge, he was enemies with Lord Portley-Rind because he was never accepted to be a member of the White Hats. He then became an exterminator, trying to hunt the Boxtrolls that lived under the town.

Snatcher used to friends with Herbert Trubshaw, an inventor, until one day, he told him his plan to kill The Box Trolls and ask him to build an automaton to achieve it. Herbert, knowing the Boxtrolls were innocent, refused. This led to Snatcher threatening to kidnap his son. During the struggle, Herbert gave his son to the Boxtrolls. Snatcher then knocked him down and imprison him.

Snatcher later tells Lord Portley-Rind that the Boxtrolls have taken a human baby and vows that he will "protect" Cheesebridge by destroying them in exchange for a White Hat. As the days pass, he warns the villagers of the Boxtrolls, setting a curfew on the town and trapping every troll that he comes across with the aid of his henchmen, Mr. Gristle, Mr. Trout, and Mr. Pickles.

Boxtrolls

Ten years later, Portley-Rind's precocious daughter named Winnie notices the trolls and sneaks out of the house. That is when she comes across the film's hero Eggs. Unfortunately, Eggs runs off and Snatcher discovers Winnie and escorts her home. Afterwards, Snatcher and his thugs capture the Boxtrolls including Eggs' adoptive father, Fish.

Determined to save Fish, Eggs disguises himself as a man and sneaks into the village, where he comes across a fairground where Snatcher disguises himself as a performer named Madame Frou Frou and sings the story of the Trubshaw baby's "kidnapping and murder" by the Boxtrolls. After another meeting with Winnie, Eggs slips into Snatcher's hideout, a factory.

Snatcher tests a piece of cheese by devouring it and his allergic reaction begins, causing his face and hand to swell and begins to hallucinate. Mr. Gristle tosses a bucket of leeches onto his boss, curing him. As Snatcher's henchmen tend to him, Eggs manages to free Fish. The Red Hats discover Eggs and try to shoot him down, but Winnie interferes and Snatcher takes her captive. Eggs swings down on a rope and saves the girl. Both of them run out of the factory and out of the reach of Mr. Gristle.

When Winnie asks Eggs where he came from, Fish tells her that his father, Herbert Trubshaw, was once a famous inventor who cared for the Boxtrolls. When he was a baby, Snatcher ordered the boy's father to build something to help him with his plan. Trubshaw refused and he tried to take the infant from him. The inventor gave baby Eggs to the Boxtrolls for safekeeping and Snatcher supposedly killed Trubshaw by striking him with a wrench.

Eggs and Winnie go to a ball hosted by Portley-Rind. In his Madame Frou Frou costume, Snatcher nabs him and prepares to throttle Eggs until Frou Frou is called to the dance floor, giving Eggs time to escape. As Winnie teaches Eggs to dance, Snatcher tries to grab him, with little luck. Portley-Rind reveals a giant cheese wheel known as the "Briehemoth" and when Eggs tries to convince him that Snatcher was lying, he accidentally knocks the giant cheese into the river. Portley-Rind tells Eggs to get out of his house after our hero tries to expose the exterminator as a fake.

Later, as Eggs (out of humiliation) tells the Boxtrolls that he is not one of them. Suddenly, Snatcher (manning a giant robot) breaks into their home and begins destroying it. As the Boxtrolls' first and only instinct is to hide, they do the sort and Eggs urges them to get up and fight as Snatcher's machine would kill them however to no avail. Eggs tries to get them to the surface but the machine destroys the way out, Snatcher begins stealing the Boxtrolls and Eggs manages to grab Fish. He has backed into a corner by Snatcher and his goons, he tries to plead but Snatcher mocks him as Boxtrolls lost ten years ago and as he orders Mr. Gristle to fire, Eggs is then tied up, catapulted to a rock wall and is knocked out on impact. Trout and Pickles untie Eggs then Gristle knocks out Fish who was trying to scare them off, they capture Eggs and the trolls and leave.

Inside the factory, Eggs is locked in a cage and notices a crazy man hanging from chains. He realizes that the prisoner is his long-lost father and Snatcher crushes the Boxtrolls in a giant machine before vowing to kill the last one.

The next day, Snatcher seizes power over Cheesebridge and tells Lord Portley-Rind that he has exterminated the Boxtrolls and is ready to off the last one. Eggs is bound, gagged and stuffed into a Boxtroll costume while the Red Hats dangle him above a furnace. Snatcher is about to place Portley-Rind's hat on his head when Winnie stands up to him and convinces Mr. Trout and Mr. Pickles to redeem themselves, which they do.

Unfortunately, Mr. Gristle grabs the controls and prepares to finish off Eggs when Trubshaw and the Boxtrolls, who have slipped out of their boxes before being crushed, attack Mr. Gristle, lower Eggs and untie him. Winnie then reveals the truth about the Boxtrolls being docile creatures and that Snatcher lied to everyone about Trubshaw being killed by the Boxtrolls when he is still alive. Trubshaw then reveals himself to everyone, making them realize that Snatcher has deceived them all those years. Despite his plot being exposed, Snatcher dons his machine in an attempt to get the White Hat to himself, causing havoc around the city.

Eggs, Winnie and the Boxtrolls make an attempt to bring down the machine while Winnie and some of the trolls distract Snatcher with the White Hat. In a fit of rage, Snatcher tries to finish off Eggs by striking him with his wrench, but Winnie, Trubshaw and the Boxtrolls (aided by Mr. Pickles and Mr. Trout) sabotage the robot and it falls down on Mr. Gristle, crushing him to his death. Eggs and Snatcher fall onto the Briehemoth, which has been fished from the river. This triggers Snatcher's cheese allergy and he grows into a monstrous and amorphous blob. He takes Winnie hostage and forces Portley-Rind to give him the White Hat.

Declaring that he has finally won, Snatcher enters the tasting room, where he forces Eggs, Fish and Portley-Rind to introduce a new brand of cheese that he wants to taste. Winnie manages to wriggle out of his grasp by biting him on the hand. Just as Snatcher is about to taste a small piece of the cheese, Eggs tries to convince him to let go of his lust for power, telling that getting everything he wants won't change who Archibald Snatcher is and that he has the power to make himself into what he wants to be. Snatcher is taken aback by Eggs's words and appears to consider them, but ultimately the fiendish exterminator refuses and eats the given sample. At first, Snatcher finds the taste of the cheese to be delicious, but then seconds later, his allergy to milk finally sets off and he immediately explodes to his death in a yellow slimy mess, though Eggs, Fish, Winnie and Portley-Rind survived the entire ordeal.

With Snatcher's plot finally exposed and foiled, the citizens of Cheesbridge agreed to live peacefully with the Boxtrolls, and Winnie tales the tale of Snatcher's death to the crowd, earning an outstanding ovation from both the Boxtrolls and citizens; even Portley-Rind happily compliments Winnie for a good performance.

What Makes Him Pure Evil?

  • Constantly slandered the Boxtrolls in order to exterminate them so he would be given a position of a White Hat. What's more, he twisted the story to cover up his own crimes against Eggs and his father.
  • Successfully captured all of the Boxtrolls and later tried to kill them. Worse, he did the latter in front of Eggs.
  • Kidnapped Eggs' father offscreen and later held him up for years before he went insane, all while stating that "if he is good, he gets jelly."
  • Disguised Eggs as a Boxtroll and later tried to burn him alive in the eyes of the citizens of Cheesebridge.
  • He attempted to strangle Eggs with a scarf in a closet.
  • While he has plenty of comedic moments (with a comical alergic reaction to cheese and dressing in drag disguised as Madame Frou Frou), he is still a dangerous threat and his actions are still heinous and taken seriously while also becoming less comedic throughout the story. Also while his death is somewhat comedic (as he dies from eating too much cheese), it is not detracting as the characters saw it as a horrifying defeat, but not a sympathetic one.
  • Sees his three henchmen as nothing more than stooges, all three of which are not as evil as he. Mr. Pickles and Mr. Trout genuinely believe they are on the side of good against the "evil" boxtrolls, but they begin having doubts about his plan and turn good when they realize the truth. Mr. Gristle, while less redeemable and more willing to partake in Snatcher's shadier crimes, is more mindless and insane than having a clear moral agency.
  • Has no excuse for his actions, outside of one moment during a cheese-filed rant where he says that his father once told him if you work hard enough you get a white hat, but got nothing instead. While this hints to why he wants to climb up to the top and join the White Hats, he's far past it given what he does in the present. This also doesn't prove that he loved his father.

Trivia

  • Archibald Snatcher is one of only two Laika villains to be Pure Evil, the other being The Beldam from Coraline.

External Links

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           UniversalLogo.png Animation Pure Evils

Animated Features
Warren T. Rat | Steele | Botticelli Remorso | Archibald Snatcher

Sequels
Mr. Grasping | Toplofty and O'Bloat | Chief McBrusque

Novelizations
Sharptooth

See Also
Universal Pictures Pure Evils

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