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Villain Overview

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 Don Logan in Sexy Beast, The Rabbi in Lucky Number Slevin, Nizam in Disney's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Trevor Slattery in Iron Man 3, and General Woundwort in the 2018 adaptation of Watership Down.

Biography

Early life

Archaibald 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

10 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 leave 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 evil 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.

Personality

Archibald Snatcher is a self-stylized, conniving and manipulative exterminator who is hell-bent on eradicating the Boxtrolls, a peaceful race of friendly monsters who have adopted an orphaned boy, Eggs. Leading a band of ragamuffins called the Red Hats, his grand scheme involves ridding the city of the trolls to seize power over the town. Snatcher dreams of being part of high society and fancies himself a connoisseur of fine cheeses, despite his allergy, eating cheese can cause him to swell up. Determined to get the respect he feels entitled to, he will do anything (no matter how ruthless he is) to get it, even if that means leaving destruction in his wake. He is shown as completely evil in nature as he will stop at nothing to get what he wants: the respect and power from everyone in Cheesebridge. That is the two only things that matter for him. Trying to exterminate a race of peaceful creatures and sacrificing children or anyone he considers a threat to his plans is no problem for him and he shows no remorse for his crimes. He takes even sadistic delight when Eggs discovers his father alive and driven crazy by spending 10 years hanging upside down. He is also extremely uncharitable and ruthless in nature, being willing to exterminate an entire group of Boxtrolls with a giant smashing machine and attempting to kill Eggs and Winnie, two young children, with his robot. He is also a very charismatic and persuasive actor, posing as an opera singer named Madame Frou Frou to tell everyone the story about the Boxtrolls being mindless monsters and dressing up Eggs as a Boxtroll to execute him in front of the citizens in order to gain a White Hat. Also, he is relatively polite in public and he has some comedic moments. However, his acts are not comedic in the slightest. His goal and acts seems to stem from the fact that his father always told him that if people work hard enough, it deserves a white hat, but said father found himself without anything before his death despite all his hard work. This makes Snatcher despising the White Hats for looking down at him and people like him and has spent his entire life plotting in the hope of reaching the top. But despite that, there is no extreme act he would not do to win his White Hat.

In spite of his intelligence, he is shown to totally disregard his allergy to cheese, since he actually loves the taste of it, which, of course, along with his lust for power, contributed to his demise.

He is also shown to be very arrogant, narcissistic and self-centered; the most obvious trait is Snatcher's desire for power, respect and entitlement, which shows how he would have killed the entire race of Boxtrolls and burning alive a disguised Eggs only to get Lord Portley-Rind's White Hat. Although it is not really obvious, Snatcher does not have a lot of respect for his employees, by calling them "Stooges" and he threateningly confronts Mr. Pickles after mentioning his allergy to cheese.

Quotes

A boxtroll cannot choose a new life because a Boxtroll does not aspire to be anything more than a weak, lowly pest! But a man, a great man and his... stooges can choose to change their lives. Our dreams are in our grasp! Let us be dream-graspers, fate-snatchers, destiny-takers! Let's grasp our dreams and shove them down everyone's throat! Am I not right?
~ Snatcher's speech to his fellow Red Hats.
You really think Portley-Rind and his mob will help a nobody like you? In this town, you want help, you got to help yourself. That's what a man does! (Eggs: You're a liar! When I tell Winnie's father the truth, he'll...) He'll thank me! Because all your little Boxtroll friends are going to die. TONIGHT! (Eggs: What?) THEY'LL MAKE ME THE MOST RESPECTED MAN IN THIS TOWN! They'll have no choice but to give me a white hat, they'll parade me into the Tasting Room on their shoulders. And I'm NOT gonna let that be ruined by some little Boxtroll sewer rat!
~ Snatcher (disguised as Madame Frou Frou) to Eggs and attempting to strangle him to death with a scarf.
We could have been something special, but you have broken our agreement.
~ Snatcher as Madame Frou Frou to Lord Portley-Rind.
Wake his Lordship. The unspeakable has happened; we must speak of it immediately!
~ Snatcher to Lord Portley-Rind.
When I destroy every last Boxtroll in this town, I shall earn my white hat and join you in the Tasting Room.
~ Snatcher to Lord Portley-Rind as he tries to take a look in the tasting room but the other white hats closed the door harshly, much to his disappointment.
Miss Portley-Rind, Your Lordship, sirs. I bid you good night. I'm sure we'll be seeing each other again very, very soon. (Lord Portley-Rind: Winnie!) Don't forget. I'm a size six-and-a-half. Order ahead!
~ Archibald Snatcher.
Men, don your white hats.
~ Archibald Snatcher.
Unless you are referring to how cheese brings men of respect and power together in brotherhood, no, I do not know what cheese does to me!
~ Archibald Snatcher.
It can't be. It's not possible. It's not right!
~ Archibald Snatcher realising that Eggs(the Trubshaw baby) is alive.
Looks like the Boxtrolls have a new victim, miss, and her name is you.
~ Snatcher to Winnie Portley-Rind as he seems to be attempting to kill her or trap her because she overheard him.
I have been reasonable and I can be unreasonable.
~ Archibald Snatcher to Herbert Trubshaw.
You think you can win and live happily ever after?! They'll never accept the likes of us!
~ Snatcher to Eggs.
YEEEESSS!!! Archibald Snatcher, you finally DONE IT! Now... to the TASTING ROOM!!!!
~ Snatcher after completing his goal of getting the White Hat by holding Winnie hostage.
You bit me! With your mouth!
~ Archibald to Winnie.
I have made me, boy. This is my destiny! "after eating the cheese sample" Aromatic, okay, with an undertone of a mother's...
~ Archibald Snatcher's last words before his body explodes after eating a piece of cheese even though he is lactose intolerant.

Trivia

  • Snatcher is the first male main antagonist of a Laika and Focus Features film, since the Beldam and Aggie Prenderghast are both female. He would later be followed by the Moon King as the second male main antagonist.
    • He is the first fully human main antagonist in a Laika film and therefore has no supernatural abilities. Aggie Prenderghast was once human, but was turned into a powerful poltergeist during the events of ParaNorman.
    • He is so far the only main antagonist in a Laika film to die onscreen.
  • As said above, Snatcher is lactose intolerant which also resulted on his demise.
    • Logically, however, he would have survived, though with diarrhea, gas and some bloating.
  • Barry Humphries was considered for the role of Archibald Snatcher.
  • While he is the villain, he is right about how Lord Portley-Rind and his fellow nobleman waste taxpayers money on fancy cheese dinners. Though ths begs the question on why Snatcher wishes to join the White Hats of that's all they do while he and his men have inportant jobs as exterminators.
  • According to Snatcher, his dad once said that you can earn a White Hat through hard work, but his dad died bore doing so. It's likely this is also a prime motivator for Snatcher wanting to join the White Hats, because he wanted to succeed his father's amibtions.

Navigation

          LaikaTitle.png Villains

Animated Features
Coraline: The Beldam | Other Mr. Bobinsky | Other Spink & Other Forcible
ParaNorman: Agatha Prenderghast | Judge Hopkins
The Boxtrolls: Archibald Snatcher | Mr. Gristle | Mr. Trout | Mr. Pickles
Kubo and the Two Strings: Raiden the Moon King | Karasu and Washi | Giant Skeleton | Garden of Eyes
Missing Link: Lord Piggot-Dunceby | Willard Stenk | Mr. Collick | The Yeti Elder

Short Films
Moongirl: Gargaloons

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