IGOR is thankfully not another fractured fairy tale or a movie about talking animals (although there is an immortal talking rabbit who constantly tries to kill himself), but it does try to put a new spin on a familiar character and story. The reason the movie works in this capacity is its willingness to revel in black humor and darker content, taking place in the world where mad scientists rule and evil is glorified. Even though its main character has a heart and the whole thing predictably ends on a sappy note, it’s a nice change of pace from the typical kids movie. I mean, one of the supporting characters is a suicidal rabbit voiced by Steve Buscemi. That’s gotta count for something.
There are some clever twists and jokes, and the filmmakers avoid a lot of pop culture references and easy gags, but the plot itself was generic and formulaic. The cast includes John Cusack, Eddie Izzard, John Cleese, Molly Shannon and Arsenio Hall (?) but everyone’s obviously just reading lines for a paycheck. By the end of the movie the whole thing felt tired and cliché. That stops the movie from being completely recommended, but its good qualities still surprisingly help set it apart from its counterparts.
Alternate Opening (3:17): A 1930s newsreel explains the situation in Malaria. A little more fun than John Cusack’s opening narration.
Concept Art Galleries: Early designs for characters, set and production, storyboards and posters.
A nice 65 page Storybook of the film is also included.
Extra Tidbit: Writer Chris McKenna also writes for the show “American Dad!”