In a world filled with Mad Scientists and Evil Inventions, one talented evil scientist's hunch-backed lab assistant has big dreams of becoming a Mad Scientist himself and winning the annual Evil Science Fair.Written by
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's first computer-animated film. See more »
Much of the dialogue was added in immediately before release, and could not be synchronized with the animation. See more »
Nice weather we're having, huh? Here in the Kingdom of Malaria, every day's forecast is rainy, with a 100% chance of horror! It wasn't always like this, though. Years ago, Malaria was a sunny land of farmers, until the mysterious storm clouds rolled in, and never left. They killed our crops, and our people became poor. And that's when King Malpert thought up a new way for us to make money: Evil Inventions! The kind that crush you, kill you, bring you back to life, then ...
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King Malbert (Jay Leno) rules the world of mad scientists with flashy clothes and dark storm clouds. As such, the mad scientists all clamor for the honor of winning the royally-sponsored "Science Fair". Each scientist has their own right arm, an Igor, with optional Lorre-esquire manner. When one scientist's efforts leave nothing but his actual right arm, however, his Igor (John Cusack) sees a chance at greatness, in activating his own monster. But is he too good to be evil? This one's a sleeper in every sense, which is kind of a good thing. Although it's a grand year for animation, with ambitious offerings from many studios, sometimes you look for something a little simpler. Igor excels at that. There are just a few things that keep it out of the "great" category, so let's point those out first. Technically, there are a few instances when the lip-sync is off, probably due to shuttling, as noted below. A noticeable number of the jokes (and a couple of songs) have the feel of being recycled from other animated films, which is never good. This being an animated comedy, that naturally hampers the story a bit. Although pop culture references (a recurring complaint on various message boards) are kept to a bare minimum, the ones used...well, grate on the nerves a bit.
The good parts: the film is beautiful to look at, in a "Tim Burton" fashion. The tight animation is well-serviced in digital; a feat in itself, since the credits reveal that this thing was literally made around the world. Visuals of the environment are consistently stunning. The stylized design does help to endear you to the characters, who themselves are a parade of great ideas, with voice talent that shows some thought. Examples include Igor's pals: the surly Scamper (Steve Buscemi), a reanimated roadkill rabbit, with the tire track to prove it, and Brian (Sean Hayes), a disembodied brain in a machine, named by way of dyslexia. There's also invisible talk show host Carl Cristall (voiced most appropriately by Arsenio Hall) and the villain's girlfriend, a shallow, multi-personality fashion plate called Jaclyn Heidi (well-voiced by Jennifer Coolidge). Even the James Lipton cameo is oddly appropriate.
So, in short, what works really works, and what doesn't really doesn't. It will likely be a welcome dollar peep once Halloween is closer.
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