When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife's pain, the man finds a piece of root in the backyard and chops it and varnishes it into the shape of a child. However the woman takes the root as her baby and starts to pretend that it is real. When the root takes life they seem to have gained a child; but its appetite is much greater than a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bozena
...
Karel
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Alzbetka's Mother
...
Alzbetka's Father
Kristina Adamcová ...
Alzbetka
Dagmar Stríbrná ...
Pani spravcova (mrs. caretaker)
Zdenek Kozák ...
Mr. Zlabek
Gustav Vondracek ...
Mladek, the postman
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Gynaecologist
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Bulankova, the social worker
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Policeman at station
...
Young postman
Jan Jirán ...
Karel's co-worker
Zdenek Palusga ...
Uniformed policeman
Frantisek Polata ...
Plainclothes policeman
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Storyline

When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife's pain, the man finds a stump in the backyard and chops it and varnishes it into the shape of a child. However the woman takes the root as her baby and starts to pretend that it is real. When the root takes life they seem to have gained a child; but its appetite is much greater than that of a normal child. Written by bob the moo

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Release Date:

25 January 2001 (Czech Republic)  »

Also Known As:

Little Otik  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,335 (USA) (21 December 2001)

Gross:

$116,710 (USA) (3 May 2002)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally, Jan Svankmajer wanted to shoot this film in early nineties and considered to cast Woody Allen and Mia Farrow as Karel and Bozena. See more »

Quotes

Alzbetka: Before I was born did you sometimes take me out of your tummy and put me back in again?
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Connections

Referenced in Marta a Vera: Vecírek (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fairy Tale for Adults:
8 June 2006 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

The film is based on Czech fairy tale "Otesánek" ("Greedy Guts"). It is a story of a loving but childless couple, Karel and Bozena whose biggest dream is to have a baby. To make his wife smile, Karel digs up a tree root and carves it to look like a human baby. So overwhelming is Bozena's wish to become a mother that by its power, the stump transforms into a living creature with enormous appetites. Very soon, the baby formula and carrot soup are not enough to feet the little monster and mysteriously, people begin to disappear.

"Little Otik" is similar to Svankmajer's earlier feature movies "Alice" and "Faust" but it is more plot-driven, has fewer stop-motion animation sequences that would not even begin until 40 or so minutes into the film. Another problem that has been noted by almost every viewer is that the movie is slightly (126 minutes) overlong and it drags a little toward the end. As excellent as Svankmajer is a live-action director, what makes him unique is the groundbreaking combination of both live-action and darkly-humorous, visceral, and surreal animation and I wanted to see more of it. Still, "Little Otik" is highly original, funny, dark, and sinister with first rate acting from live actors and many great scenes and effects. Young Kristina Adamcová is especially good as Alzbetka, Karel's and Bozena's next door neighbor, precocious and very observant girl. I highly recommend "Little Otik" but I believe that the best introductions to Svankmajer are his short stop-motion and clay-motion films. The DVD includes the B/W 12 minutes long early film "Flat" (1969) - this is Svankmajer in his nightmarish best. We are in the claustrophobic apartment with the film protagonist where every object is an enemy and predator. Pay attention to the ending -"Abandon hope all ye who enter here".

7.5/10


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