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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
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 was voiced by the Academy Award winning actor, Ben Kingsley, who also played Don Logan, The Rabbi, Nizam, and Tamir.

Biography

In the beginning of the film, Snatcher 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 he comes across with the aid of his henchmen, Mr. Gristle, Mr. Trout and Mr. Pickles.

Ten years later, Winnie, Portley-Rind's precocious daughter, notices the trolls and sneaks out of the house. That's when she comes across our 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 to ten times its normal size 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, the boy, aided by 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. Snatcher, in his Madame Frou Frou costume, 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 his "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, he orders Mister Gristle to fire, Eggs is tied up then 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 captures 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, then 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. Snatcher, who has grown to a monstrous size, 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 Snatcher's 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 Snatcher that getting all the things 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 evil exterminator refuses and eats the cheese. At first, Snatcher finds the taste of the cheese to be delicious, but then seconds later, his allergy finally sets off and he immediately explodes to his death in a yellow slimy mess.

Personality

Archibald Snatcher is a 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 stealing the precious cheese of Cheesebridge and 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, in which drinking milk or eating cheese filled with it can make him swell up. Determined to get the respect he feels entitled to, he will do anything (no matter how ruthless) to get it, even if that means leaving destruction in his wake. He is shown as pure evil in nature as he will stop at nothing to get what he wants: the respect and power from everyone in Cheesebridge. 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 with his robot. He is also very charismatic and persuasive, 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.

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 very 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 only to get Lord Portley-Rind's White Hat.

Quotes

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 thier shoulders. And I'm NOT gonna let that be ruined by some little boxtroll sewer rat!
~ Snatcher (disguised as Madame Frou Frou) to Eggs.
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.
You really think Portley-Rind and his mob will help a nobody like you? In this town, you want, you gotta help yourself. That's what a man does.
~ Archibald Snatcher to Eggs.
I have been reasonable, and I can be unreasonable.
~ Archibald Snatcher.
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.
Aromatic, oakey, with an undertone of a mother's...
~ Archibald Snatcher's last words before he 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 movie, since the Other Mother and Aggie Prenderghast are both female. He would later be followed by the Moon King as the second male main antagonist.
  • He is so far the only main Laika villain to die onscreen.
  • A similarity among the Other Mother, the Moon King and Snatcher is that all were willing to kill children: however, the difference is that the Other Mother murders to survive, the Moon King strives to strip humanity and instill immortality while Snatcher's willingness to kill is for his own selfish goals.
  • As said above, Snatcher is lactose intolerant which also resulted on his demise.
  • Snatcher is similar to the following villains:
    • Governor John Ratcliffe from Disney's 1995 animated film, Pocahontas, as they are both greedy social climbers who seek to advance their status, they also seek to eliminate a particular race (Snatcher: Boxtrolls, Ratcliffe: Indians), and they manipulate others to get what they want.
    • Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit: They desire to annihilate a particular race (Snatcher: Boxtrolls, Judge Doom: Toons), they both wear hats, and they are Pure Evil.
  • Despite at first looking humorous and comical, Snatcher reveals himself to be one of the most evil villains ever appeared in a Laika and Focus Features movie after the Other Mother.
          Laika Villains

Animated Features
The Beldam | Other Mr. Bobinsky | Other Spink & Other Forcible | Other Father | Aggie Prenderghast | Judge Hopkins | Archibald Snatcher | Mr. Gristle | Mr. Trout | Mr. Pickles | Raiden the Moon King | The Sisters | Garden of Eyes | Gashadokuro