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
The character of Méliès (Mlis in the English language version) is based on Georges Méliès, a French stage magician, and pioneer in both film and film techniques. See more »
Even though this is the first time Madeleine has done the clock heart procedure she somehow knew the three rules. See more »
The moment I saw her, I felt a rumbling like an earthquake devastating my clock. My gears started creaking, my tick-tock racing... I was gasping for breath, my head was spinning, my hands were whirring...
How did that feel?
Well, there you go.
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A Wonderful Film. One Of The Top Five Animated Features Of The Decade.
I didn't think I could love French cinema any more than I do. I've watched some of the best of live-action French cinema, but I've never seen an animated French feature (produced by Luc Besson produced, no less). Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart kindled an interest in me to watch more French cinema.
The beautiful thing about this movie, other than the way it looks, is its style. It is based on a rock concept album by the rock band Dionysus, so it is a musical - a feature animated musical. Simply put, Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart is the best animated feature since Toy Story 3 (not counting The Wind Rises for the sake of our mostly American readers) and it is the best musical since Sweeney Todd and Hairspray.
The movie has a very unique animated look. It is not quite as clay animated as Mary and Max but not as "normal looking," per se, as Finding Nemo. It comes off as a cross between the two. I'll admit, I am no expert in the creation of animated films but I do know what works in a film. Another aspect of the film's look, its art direction, is quite beautiful. It is dark, mysterious and effective in its tone. Speaking of which - the tone is quite dark with an underlying feeling of loss and rejection.
Even the score, in its happiest moments, have a heavy feeling under the surface. Although love does find its way into the story and the objectives of the characters, loss and judgment resurface. The themes are quite adult and not appropriate for young children.
As to the finest aspect of the movie - the score and songs, I would love this to be turned into a Broadway musical. The style of the musical and the editing combined is reminiscent of Moulin Rouge, filled with vivacity and rapid pacing. The songs each carry their own beat and enhance the personalities of each character and its intentions. There is a mixture of ballads, rap, rock and even Latin. I would buy the soundtrack to this movie.
The story itself is about a boy born with a heart so weak that falling in love would be too much for him. The movie follows his early life where he inevitably falls in love (screenwriting 101) and the strength of his heart is put to the test.
I have learned over the years that just because a film is animated, it's not necessarily designed for children. Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart isn't exactly The Grave of the Fireflies but it is not for young children either. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18. And my rating is 5 out of 5 stars. It is a wonderful film. It is one of the top five animated features of this decade.
Reviewed by Willie J.
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