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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!||„|
|~ Archibald Snatcher capturing Eggs and the Boxtrolls.|
|“||For a White Hat? I will destroy every last Boxtroll in this town!||„|
|~ Archibald Snatcher's his most famous quote.|
Archibald Penelope Snatcher, also known by his female persona Madame Frou Frou, is the main antagonist of Laika's third full-length animated feature film The Boxtrolls. He is an exterminator and the leader of the Red Hats. He secretly plans to become one of the White Hats by exterminating all of the boxtrolls, after he made them look like a threat to the people of Cheesebridge, and to seize power over the town. He is the archenemy of Eggs and Winifred 'Winnie" Portley-Rind.
He was voiced by Sir Ben Kingsley, who also played Dr. Xavier Fitch in Species, Don Logan in Sexy Beast, The Hood in the Thunderbirds film, Fagin in the 2005 Oliver Twist film adaptation, The Rabbi in Lucky Number Slevin, Nizam in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Trevor Slattery in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and General Woundwort in the 2018 Netflix Watership Down adaptation. While singing and under his Madame Frou Frou identity, he was voiced by Sean Patrick Doyle.
Archibald Snatcher was raised in the town of Cheesebridge and was enemies with Lord Portley-Rind, the cheese-loving mayor of Cheesebridge, who rejected him from being a member of the White Hats, a group whose members, like Portley-Rind, are known for being cheese-lovers, despite Snatcher having a severe allergy towards cheese. Snatcher then became a pest exterminator and proceeded to hire his three henchmen, Mr. Gristle, Mr. Trout, and Mr. Pickles, to assist him in exterminating the box trolls.
Snatcher used to be friends with Herbert Trubshaw, a brilliant inventor, until he told him his plan to kill The Box Trolls and ask him to build something that could help him. Herbert, however, knowing the Boxtrolls were innocent, refused and Snatcher threatened to kidnap his baby son. During the struggle, Herbert gave his son to the Boxtroll Fish to protect him. Snatcher then knocked his former friend out and imprison him by having him hanged upside down for many years which would drive Herbert to insanity.
Because of Snatcher's actions, this spark rumors that the box trolls have kidnapped Herbert's son, which caused the son, whom Fish adopted and later named Eggs, to earn the alias The Trubshaw Baby. Using this as an opportunity to get what he desired, Snatcher tells Lord Portley-Rind that the Boxtrolls have taken the baby and made up lies that they killed the child. When he was eventually dismissed by the mayor, when he tells him that they'll deal with it in the morning, Snatcher wouldn't budge and as he was being forced out by the butler, he made another lie that the box trolls would also come for the cheeses of the town which horrifies Lord Portley-Rind. The mayor then states that he'll pay for anything for him to exterminate the box trolls but Snatcher tells him that he doesn't want money and that he wants a White Hat, to which Portley-Rind-Rind firmly refused, dismissing it as absurd.
As Snatcher is leaving, proclaiming that he'll say goodbye to his cheeses, this caused the mayor to change his mind and he tells the exterminator to kill every box troll and bring back proof that he did it. Finally about to get what he wanted, Snatcher vows to destroy every last box troll in Cheesebridge.
Ten years later, Portley-Rind's precocious daughter Winnie notices the box trolls and she sneaks out of the house. That is when she comes across Eggs. Unfortunately, the boy runs off and Snatcher discovers Winnie and he escorts her home. Afterwards, he and his thugs capture some of the Boxtrolls including Fish.
Determined to save his adopted father, Eggs disguises himself as a man and sneaks into the town, where he comes across a fairground where Snatcher disguises himself as a performer named Madame Frou Frou, who sings the story of the Trubshaw baby's "kidnapping and murder" by the Boxtrolls., much to Egg's dismay. After meeting with Winnie a second time, he slips into Snatcher's hideout, where he and his henchmen held a cheese test, where they pose themselves as White Hats.
Snatcher devours a tiny piece of cheese to see of on what would happen and his allergy reaction begins, causing the right side of his face and his right hand to swell and he begins to hallucinate. Fortunately, however, Mr. Gristle tosses a bucket of leeches onto his boss, curing him. As Snatcher's henchmen tend to him, Eggs manages to free Fish but was caught by the Red Hats and they attempted to stop him, but Winnie interferes and Snatcher takes her captive, but Eggs swings down on a rope and saves her and they both escape from the hideout 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.
When Eggs and Winnie go to a ball at Lord Portley- Rind's mansion, Snatcher, in his Madame Frou Frou persona, nabs him and prepares to throttle Eggs until he is called, as Frou Frou, to come to the main hall, giving Eggs time to escape. As Winnie teaches Eggs to dance, Snatcher tries to grab him, with little luck. When Portley-Rind reveals a giant cheese wheel that he bought known as the "Briehemoth", Eggs tries to reach to him, but was grabbed by Snatcher, forcing Eggs to bite him and this caused Snatcher to throw the boy into the stand that held the Briehemoth and it rolled right out of Cheesebridge and into a river. When Eggs reveals himself as the Trubshaw baby and tries to expose Snatcher as a fraud, Portley-Rind didn't believe him and he kicks Eggs out of the ball. As the boy was leaving, Snatcher sneers at him and lets out a sinister chuckle, which shows that he was able to leave scot-free.
Later, as Eggs (out of humiliation) tells the Boxtrolls that he is not one of them, which inadvertently demoralized them, Snatcher (manning a giant robot called the Mecha-drill, to which he forced the box trolls to build) breaks into their underground home and begins ravaging 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 but to no avail. Eggs tries to get them to the surface himself but the machine destroys the way out and Snatcher begins taking all the Boxtrolls but Eggs manages to grab Fish. He is then backed into a corner by Snatcher and his goons. Eggs tries to plead with them 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. Mr. Trout and Mr. Pickles untie Eggs and Gristle knocks out Fish who was trying to scare them off. As a result, Eggs and all the box trolls were captured.
Inside Snatcher's factory hideout, Eggs is locked in a cage and is hanged beside a crazy old man with log shaggy hair. Eggs then realizes that the prisoner is his long-lost father Herbert Trubshaw and Snatcher crushes the Boxtrolls, seemingly killing them, with a smash compactor before vowing to kill the last one, which is Eggs.
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 then 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 him, and freed Eggs. 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. When they finally discovered that Snatcher is an unscrupulous liar they immediately turn against him, including Lord Portley-Rind, who also discovered that Snatcher is also Madame Frou Frou. Despite his plot being exposed, Snatcher begins attacking the mayor with his Mecha-drill in an attempt to take his white hat by force as well as wrecking havoc on Cheesebridge.
Eggs, Winnie and the Boxtrolls make an attempt to bring down the machine while Winnie and some of the box trolls distract Snatcher with Portly-Rind's hat. When Winnie was eventually cornered, Snatcher took opportunity to take the hat but noticed that his machine's robotic arm was disabled by Eggs and two Boxtrolls. In a fit of rage, Snatcher tries to finish off Eggs by striking him with his wrench, but with help from Winnie, Trubshaw and the Boxtrolls (aided by Mr. Pickles and Mr. Trout), Eggs was able to disable the Mecha-drill by pumping in water from the sewers and into the machine's furnace which caused it to explode. The deactivated Mecha-drill then falls onto Mr. Gristle, crushing him, and Eggs and Snatcher both fell onto the Briehemoth, which has been fished from the river by the other White Hats. This triggers Snatcher's cheese allergy and he emerged out of the giant cheese wheel severely swollen and disfigured which disgusted everyone. He takes Winnie hostage and forces her father to give him his White Hat.
Declaring that he has finally won, Snatcher goes to the tasting room with Portley-Rind, Eggs and Fish, where he forced the mayor to introduce the tastiest cheese in the world. 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 he 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 cheese allergy finally sets off and he immediately explodes in a cloud of yellow smoke and yellow mess, thus ending his threat for good.
With Snatcher's plot finally foiled, the citizens of Cheesbridge agreed to live peacefully with the Boxtrolls, and Winnie tells 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.
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.
- 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.
- According to Snatcher, his dad once said that you can earn a White Hat through hard work, but his dad died poor 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 ambitions.
- In his Cheese Fits form, Kingsley spoke with only a half of his mouth open to correspond with the swollen mouth of Snatcher.
- Archibald Snatcher on the Pure Evil Wiki