Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Blame it on Shrek. Blame it on Tim Burton. Animated features used to be for children. Now they aim to please the zeitgeist aficionados, post-modern poseurs, designer cynics and intellectual games players.

Igor is so far out there, it can’t get back. There are too many ideas, both verbally and visually, to take in before the ghost of Walt Disney has a spectral moment. The old rule was simplicity and storyline. The new rule is swot up on satire and keep the metaphors moving.

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In the land of Malaria, the king has decided that evil is more profitable than goodness. The Evil Science Fair, at which inventors of every stripe and hue, are invited to present their latest creation, is the highlight of the year. The winner will be the one with the greatest potential for nastiness.

Igor is a hunchbacked dwarf, similar in every way (but one) to hundreds of other Igors, whose sole purpose is to serve their masters. They are malformed slaves, incapable of independent thought. However, this Igor is different. He hangs out with his mates Brain, a reject from Sid’s Room in Toy Story, and Scamper, an indestructible rabbit who specialises in resurrection.

Together they build a monster for The Evil Science Fair in the tradition of Dr Frankenstein. Their creature is a giant woman, called Eva (is somebody taking the piss out of WALL-E?), who, once animated, only wants to be an actress. Even after an axe murderer brainwash, she remains incapable of evil intent – it’s all "me, me, me" and “I’m ready for my close up now.”

Igor is sympathetic enough, with his twisty little smile and generous heart. His pals may have a stack of one-liners on the runway, waiting for take off, but are too incomprehensively weird to relate to. The villain and main opposition at the Fair is a camp dandy with malicious wit and no scruples whatsoever.

If the film had remembered the golden rule – simplicity/storyline – it would not have tried so hard to be smarter than anything else. Grown up gags are fine as long as there is enough for the kids to enjoy as well. In this case, there ain’t.

Reviewed on: 19 Oct 2008
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In the land where evil is honoured and inventions are monstrous.
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Director: Anthony Leondis

Writer: Chris McKenna

Starring: Voices of: John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, Sean Hayes, John Cleese, Eddie Izzard, Molly Shannon, Jay Leno, Jennifer Coolidge

Year: 2008

Runtime: 87 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US, France


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