A 19th-century drama about a man whose heart was replaced with a clock when he was born. The situation dictates that he should avoid feeling strong emotions -- love, most of all -- but he just can't keep his feelings under wraps.
Edinburgh, late 19th century. Little Jack is born on a day so cold that his heart remains frozen. Madeleine the midwife replaces his heart with a cuckoo-clock. It will work, as long as Jack follows the rules, mainly not falling in love. But his encounter with a fiery-eyed girl singing on a street corner and his decision to chase after her will test the resistance of his makeshift heart to the breaking point... Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart is a magnificent love story set in an exciting period full of fabulous inventions, eccentric characters and fantastic adventures. Adapted by Mathias Malzieu from his best-selling novel and the gold-selling album by his band Dionysos, this superbly animated movie is about passion and acceptance of others. Written by
Out of curiosity, I watched both the French and the English-dubbed versions. The latter is slightly worse than the former, which isn't very good to begin with, except for some bits.
It's an animated musical, written and directed by Mathias Malzieu. The score is a rock album released in 2007 by the band Dionysos, in which Mr Malzieu sings. The album itself is adapted from a novel written by... Mathias Malzieu. Who also leads the cast of the movie. And like most multi-tasked artists, he isn't very good. I can't talk about the novel, but the movie's writing is poor. At least, the man sings in tune.
The worst of it all is definitely the score. The music is rather unpleasant and often out of place, but the French lyrics are so bad that they make the average lines of Grand Corps Malade sound good by comparison (the man wrote his own pieces.) When the French sing in English, it's even more ridiculous. The lyrics of the English version are also poor, but not because they lost something in translation.
The French cast is very uneven. The many artists invited to perform on the album also play their parts in the movie. Sure, they can sing, but some of them have no clue about acting. When seasoned veteran Jean Rochefort shows up as Melies, it's like a breath of fresh air. He steals the show and makes the film suddenly watchable. Unfortunately, the English version loses him, and all his charm; it also loses a few good voices for more neutral ones.
The animation is subpar for a French product, but not always. It plays with different styles along the story, sometimes with great effect.
Too bad it's a musical. It could have been good otherwise, losing the annoying songs and replacing some of the cast with proper actors in the process. That and some work on the script.
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