Have you ever seen an animated film that looks like it's gonna be bad and then just fails to leave an impression on you whatsoever? One you go into with the lowest expectations and leave feeling uninspired or unimpressed. Well, that was the case for "Igor" with me. This is an animated film that just looked like it was gonna be bad. I mean, a big red flag for this film was that it came from the same director who would later go on to make "The Emoji Movie", one of the worst animated films of the last decade. The good news is that this film is much better than the said mentioned film, though the bad news is that it won't do much for you. It's rather uninspired and just plain forgettable.
In the land of Malaria, a kingdom ruled by King Malbert (Jay Leno) who enlists evil scientists to create inventions to battle til one remains in an arena, a hunchback named Igor (John Cusack) dreams of one day building a grand invention although his mater the inventor Doctor Glickenstein (John Cleese) dismisses the notion. He has built two inventions as friends though including an immortal yet suicidal rabbit named Scamper (Steve Buscemi) and an unintelligent robot named Brain (Sean Hayes). One day though, Glickenstein is killed when his latest invention explodes giving Igor the chance to finally enter the contest. He ends up creating a monster with human parts whom he names Eva (Molly Shannon) though it doesn't understand how to do evil. Hoping to make it evil in time for the competition, he attempts to brainwash it but ends making her an aspiring actress instead. Wanting to fix his mistake, Igor trains Eva to do an impromptu performance that's secretly making her evil while unknowingly another scientist named Dr. Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard) plans on stealing the invention so he can win the contest like he has the past several years.
I can't exactly describe my feelings about this film because I don't know if there's really much to say. This is a film that just went in one ear and left the other and didn't have much of a big impact on me. Even looking at what went on behind the scenes for this film, I didn't find anything interesting except at one point The Weinstein Company nearly was gonna distribute it. It ended up not being the case with MGM taking over the distribution rights in the US instead. Honestly, if Weinstein did pick this up, it would be one of the better animated movies they released though that isn't saying a lot. The story is mostly all over the place in terms of tone. I don't know what this film is trying to be. Sometimes it's trying to be a dark macabre comedy and sometimes it's trying to be a happy sunshine family film. It doesn't work here like say "The Nightmare Before Christmas". That film had it's lighter moments, but it definitely had a dark edge to it that still makes it universally loved to this day. This film is just unbalanced as it has both a rabbit who wants to die throughout the film yet the end credits song is the happy and upbeat "Pocketful of Sunshine" by Natasha Bedingfield. It just didn't work for me. Speaking of music, the score by Patrick Doyle was very bad. Normally, I love his work and think he's an excellent composer but he didn't bring his A-game here. As for the rest of the story, it's just amazingly unimpressive. Nothing of surprise comes up in the film with the pacing being very rushed and fast to catch. It fell as if it was going through the motions like an errand wanting to get itself over with. That was until the end where the film pulled a very stupid twist about the world of Malaria that just left my jaw dropped. It came right out of nowhere and it didn't work. As far as the animation goes, I wasn't impressed with it. I feel this film would've been better suited to stop motion as the character designs seemed rather inspired and very interesting. The computer animation in this film, however, seemed like I was watching a student film from an animation school. If that were the case, I would be very impressed but it's not so there wasn't a lot to wow me. Granted, I saw much worse animated films that came out this year that had even worse animation so that's one thing I can say is an improvement. As far as the characters go, I didn't find anything impressive about most of them. Igor doesn't seem like an interesting protagonist since he doesn't have any doubts about what he's about to go through and what he's planning on doing. Eva is also very hollow and comes off acting like a diva at times which did drive me a little crazy. Brain got on my nerves and I found him an exceptionally annoying comic relief. As far as Dr. Schadenfreude goes, well, he's just the standard villain who doesn't want to lose his place and wants to rule the world. Nothing basic. I did like the character of Scamper though. The idea of an immortal character wanting to die did sound funny to me and I think Buscemi's performance was excellent. He got a few chuckles out of me. Though I don't think he was enough to save this film.
Honestly, "Igor" didn't do much for me. The story was bland and unimpressive, the animation was not great, and the characters were simply shallow and not unique. There's really not much about this film that makes it unique. It's just very bland and forgettable. I've definitely seen far worse animated movies, but I've also seen far better. This is just an experiment that was mostly an unimpressive one overall.