As DreamWorks' "How to Train Your Dragon 2" lands in theaters this weekend, shooting to the top of the Best Animated Feature Film Oscar race, Focus Features and Laika Entertainment have a counter in the form of the first full-length trailer for their latter-year hopeful "The Boxtrolls."

The film, based on Alan Snow's 2005 novel "Here Be Monsters!," tells the story of an orphaned boy named Eggs who was raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors called the Boxtrolls. It promises, both in concept and apparently in execution, to paint a vibrant universe and fill it with memorable characters. Directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi come from strong visual backgrounds in both animation and video games, and they look like they're flexing some muscles here. The film has a stellar look.

Laika's last release was 2012's "ParaNorman," another dazzling blend of CG-enhanced stop-motion animation. Before that it was Henry Selick's "Coraline" and Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride" — a brilliant, run, to be honest, all of them Oscar nominees. As I said recently, this could very well be DreamWorks' competition this season.

Check out the new trailer below and tell us what you think.

Kristopher Tapley has covered the film awards landscape for over a decade. He founded In Contention in 2005. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Times of London and Variety. He begs you not to take any of this too seriously.