Rating: Rated PG (mild themes and violence)
Adult horror fans will immediately respond to the name, Igor. He's the hunched one who helps mad scientists or vampires get their work done. Not sure what a children's audience will make of him. They will miss the Frankenstein parallels. Perhaps they will just enjoy the bizarre settings, characters and plot.
The animation for Igor and his country of Malaria is bright and creative with its range of mad doctors, Igors and machines. Malaria used to be prosperous, but at the behest of the King, evil scientists created clouds which darkened the country. The main industry became the invention of evil and destructive machines – for which the rest of the world paid protection money so that the machines would not leave Malaria and wreak havoc. So far, so bad for Malaria.
Each year there is a competition for the most destructive creation at the Evil Science Fair. Dr Schadenfreude wins each time because he steals other scientists' ideas. This year, despite his ambitions to depose the King, he is in for a shock.
Igor is one of many hunchback assistants in the land (whose degree, cleverly, is a Yes, Masters degree). His ambition is to create the winner of the competition (he already has some secret creations, a scatty brain in a bottle and a chattering rabbit with a death wish. Now he creates Eva – but she wants only to be an actress (and keeps singing the excruciating song from Annie, 'Tomorrow'). Will she destroy? Will Igor fall in love with her? Will Igor see the evil of his ways? Will Dr Schadenfreude prevail? What do you think!
You can see the wry sense of humour behind the storytelling, some slapstick laughs and some spoofing and some popular songs sung by Louis Prima.
The voice cast is very good indeed. John Cusack bears the brunt of it with a great deal of dialogue as well as voiceover as Igor. John Cleese is his mad scientist boss and Eddie Izzard is Dr Schadenfreude while Jay Leno is the King. Much of the humour comes from Sean Hayes voicing the Brain and Steve Buscemi as the rabbit. Eva is Molly Shannon.
Not a great animation comedy but quite entertaining.
Village Roadshow Out January 8
Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.