Directed by: Anthony Leondis
Premise: An animated film that takes place in a
fantasy world where hunchbacked workers, called Igors, work for mad scientists.
One particular Igor (voice of John Cussak) defies the social order and builds a
monster of his own. Things get complicated when the creature turns out to be
nice rather than evil.
What Works: The film is a clever homage to classic
science fiction and horror films like Frankenstein, Bride of
Clockwork Orange, and The
Fly. It has a lot of physical comedy and sharp, witty dialogue, most of
it delivered by Scamper (voice of Steve Buccemi) as a suicidal rabbit who Igor
has made immortal, and Brain (voice of Sean Hayes), a cerebellum in a jar who is
not very intelligent. A lot of the wit makes for a good laugh, at least for the
What Doesn’t: Although the the wit is intended
for adults and the physical comedy is aimed at children, Igor’s sense
of humor is so dark that it plays more to grown ups. Parents will probably be
uneasy with the idea of their children laughing at Scamper, who is constantly
trying to kill himself. The film would have been more successful if it had
embraced an R-rating and gone the route of South
Park, carrying the mature humor all the way. Instead the film is
determined to capture the youth audience but the film ends up alienating both.
On top of the faults of the film’s approach, the animation of Igor is not very
good. Some chase scenes are edited very sloppily and the plot is a recycled
“little white lie” storyline. The film hints at a theme similar to Monsters,
Inc. but it gets there too late
and does not play out the thematic and narrative implications. In addition to
its homages to other science fiction pictures, Igor rips off its look and some
of its characters from The
Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse
Bride, and the whole picture lacks a sense of creativity or innovation
that have made other animated pictures so successful.
Bottom Line: Igor is a disappointment. Steve Buccemi gives a strong performance and adds a lot of humor, but too much of this film is recycled or just plain stolen from other movies to make this film worth it.
Episode: #207 (October 5, 2008)