IGOR - an Alliance Films Release
On DVD: January 20th, 2009
Rated PG for some thematic elements, scary images, action and mild language
Running time: 87 minutes
Anthony Leondis (dir.)
John Cusack as Igor
Molly Shannon as Eva
Sean Hayes as Brain
Steve Buscemi as Scamper
John Cleese as Dr. Glickenstein
Jennifer Coolidge as Jaclyn/Heidi
Eddie Izzard as Dr. Schadenfreude
Jay Leno as King Malbert
John Cusack stars as the voice of Igor in IGOR, an Alliance Films' release. All images courtesy Alliance Films.
Our reviews below:
Igor Review By John C.
***1/2 (out of 4)
Within minutes of watching Igor, I had already laughed out loud, and my original expectations for the film were blown out of the water. Having a distinct and stylized look, very funny voice acting and hilarious references to old monster movie stereotypes, Igor will likely be enjoyed mostly by adults and older kids. The soundtrack, from the very nice score by Patrick Doyle and old standards such as "Pennies from Heaven", make up another very interesting and enjoyable aspect of the film. Igor’s style bares resemblance to Nightmare Before Christmas, which likely served as an inspiration to the filmmakers.
The DVD doesn’t have that many bonus features except for a commentary track by the director, writer and producer, an alternate opening scene, which I would recommend watching after you see the movie, and some nice concept art and poster galleries, which give you a sense of the animation process.
Igor Review By Erin V.
***1/2 (out of 4)
Igor is the story of Igor, (John Cusack), an Igor who is tired of just “Pulling the Switch”. You see, in the land of Malaria, if you have a hunch on your back, you become an Igor, and are destined to serve the mad scientists, and pull the powering-up switch on their inventions. They build inventions in the land of Malaria to try to win King Malbert’s, (Jay Leno), Evil Science Fair. The prize? The honour of having the King use your invention to blackmail the rest of the world. When this Igor’s master, Dr. Glickenstein, (John Cleese), accidentally blows himself up with his invention right before the competition, Igor sees his chance to be who he really wants to be, and really is. An inventor and scientist himself.
Yes, the premise does sound quite dark, and I had no idea what to expect from the trailers, although I was pleasantly surprised. This movie is really funny, and is the kind of movie that you will want to see more than once. It has very stylized animation, and an interesting score. The voice acting is completely solid, and that is part of what makes the comedic delivery work so well.
The Igor disc includes an alternate opening scene, which is cool to see after the movie, commentary, and a gallery of production art. Although the DVD doesn’t have that many special features, (and it would have been neat to have more), it is still worth getting. Some copies also include a bonus book of the film, which is really nice to have. Overall, this is a very enjoyable, fun movie. It’s worth getting - especially with the book.
Igor Review By Nicole
***1/2 (out of 4)
In the kingdom of Malaria, everything is dark. Once a farming community, Malaria has become a country where evil is the only known way to live. Every year, for King Malbert’s, (Jay Leno), Evil Science Fair, evil scientists would create a new evil invention, and their servants, the Igors’, would always have the boring job of pulling the switch. But one Igor, (the one who belongs to Dr. Glickenstein, [John Cleese]), has a mind of his own. This Igor, the title character, is voiced by John Cusack. He, with his friend Brain, (a brain in a jar, who is not bright, voiced by Sean Hayes), and Scamper, and immortal, but suicidal rabbit, (voiced by Steve Buscemi), create a Franken-woman. The only problem is she is not evil, but Eva, (Molly Shannon), a happy actress who sings show tunes! Dr. Schadenfreude, (Eddie Izzard), and his shape-shifting girlfriend, Jaclyn, (Jennifer Coolidge), want to kidnap Eva, and claim her as their own! Now it is up to Igor and his friends to save Eva.
When I first saw the trailer for Igor, I had no idea how funny it would be. the casting is perfect, and the lines are absolutely hilarious. The animation is very artistic and stylized, reminiscent of Henry Selleck’s stop-motion animation in The Nightmare before Christmas. The song choices and score really move the movie along, and keep the mood of the film light and funny. However, this is not a children’s film, as the animation, and some of the humour, might frighten or confuse some children under 10. Igor, over all, is a funny comedy that reminds us that love conquers all evil, and that love is the most powerful of all.
About the DVD
There are only a few bonus features on this DVD, namely an alternate opening scene, a commentary track, and a photo gallery of posters and concept art. The Canadian DVD is bilingual, having both English and French. I would recommend buying this DVD, as you will want to watch this movie again and again.
Igor Review By Maureen
***1/2 (out of 4)
Igor is an incredibly funny, smartly written, quirky animated film. When I first saw a trailer of Igor in theatres it didn’t appeal to me. Now that I’ve seen it on DVD I’m glad I’ll get a chance to watch it more than once. The dialogue is so smartly written and delivered, it deserves more than one viewing.
There is so much about this film that I just loved. Opening the movie with the song “Pennies From Heaven” set the tone in a good way for me. The soundtrack throughout the movie was great. With evil scientists and their evil inventions and their Igors as the main characters you would expect a dark movie. What Igor delivers is the opposite. This is a fun, witty, and ultimately, a happy story. The voice actors are great. My favorite is ‘Heidi’ voiced by Jennifer Coolidge. If you are a fan of Christopher Guest’s movies, (Best In Show, A Mighty Wind, etc.), you’ll know exactly who this is. The animation itself is fine, not too dark and not too childish either.
If you are a fan of witty, quirky animation you’ll want to add Igor to your DVD collection. Suitable for all ages except the pre-school set. I loved this movie.
Igor Review By Tony
*** (out of 4)
In the kingdom of Malaria, hunchbacks belong to the caste of Igors who after earning their yes master degrees become the servants of mad scientists, always ready to “pull the switch” on new inventions. In the King’s (Jay Leno) annual monster competition, Dr. Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard) has always won with the aid of his girlfriend (Jennifer Coolidge) who shape-changes into the girlfriends of all the other inventors and steals their plans. Our Igor (John Cusack) has done some inventing of his own, producing an indestructible rabbit (Steve Buscemi) with a futile existentialist death wish and an idiotic, dyslexic creature (Sean Hayes) called Br!an (sic). Once his master (John Cleese) is gone, Igor produces his own monster (Molly Shannon) who rather than being evil, can do no harm and calls herself Eva.
Though I found the story a bit dark, the film has a lot going for it. It is full of clever gags and dialogue. With production mainly outsourced to places like France and Viet Nam, it looks good, with an opening sequence that seems to be an homage to Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas and the monster Eva reminiscent of Monster House Constance. The voice acting is excellent. Even Molly Shannon, who I usually find irritating, is charming as Eva and Jennifer Coolidge is hilarious as the various femmes fatales, especially Heidi where she uses her Mighty Wind voice.
The DVD doesn’t have a lot of extras. Aside from a commentary track, there is an alternate opening sequence and a gallery of character and storyboard sketches.
Consensus: Igor is a surprisingly funny film, that was underrated when it came out in theatres. It is definitely worth watching, and is one that’s worth buying eventually, as you will want to watch it more than once. ***1/2 (Out of 4)