Igor : 3 of 5
It's always interesting to see an animated feature by a studio I've never heard of, so my pal Melinda and I had fun watching Igor, animated by Sparx Animation Studios (based in Paris, although there were tons of Vietnamese animators listed in the credits!). While this movie won't win any awards, it has three great things going for it - a quirky, original story, off-the-chart character design, and fantastic voice work! The plot is really clever, set in the Kingdom of Malaria where the economy is based on evil scientists getting the world to pay them not to unleash hideous inventions. Igor is treated as an "Igor", but when his scientist boss is out of the picture he gets the chance to create life, which ends up being a hulkish drama queen (in the literal sense!). Igor's friends Scamper (who is immortal but keeps trying to kill himself) and Brain (who is a brain in a glass jar with less than stellar intelligence) are hilarious, and the interaction between everyone has some great comedic timing! (I should also say I really enjoyed the invisible man who never wears pants - so funny!) The character designs are truly imagination run amok - everything is stretched to the extreme, from outlandish noses to pointy boobs. The only unfortunate design is the king, who is an obvious rip-off of the mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas (Melinda and I both recognized it immediately!). The voice work is really funny, too, with Eddie Izzard delivering the best performance as the villain Dr. Schadenfreude. He definitely gets all the best lines, and delivers them with awesome dynamics and skill! Even with all these good points, Igor is still missing something, and it's difficult to say if a studio like Pixar could create something better with the same material. But if you're looking for a good laugh and some "out there" animation, give Igor a try!