1 March 2009 | dfranzen70
Worthwhile comedy-horror fun
In this animated comedy adventure, John Cusack plays the titular character, a sweet, intelligent lab assistant to an evil mad scientist who creates life, much to the chagrin of the mad-scientist community, in the, uh, person of a giantess named Eve. Although it's completely computer animated, the movie recalls such stop-motion-animation fare as The Nightmare before Christmas and the recent Coraline, not to mention the old Universal monster classics, whose old clichés get tweaked a few times.
Igor (it's both his name and his profession) works for Dr. Glickenstein (John Cleese), who's desperately trying to make an evil invention to enter into the Evil Scientists Fair. See, King Malbert (Jay Leno) believes that the town can prosper only through these evil inventions, what with the farming community destroyed by climate change. Meanwhile, Igor - our Igor - is much smarter than he lets on, as Igors are stereotypically supposed to be dumb, slurring oafs good only for fetching things and pulling switches. Igor, in fact, has already made two inventions - a snide, suicidal-yet-immortal rabbit (Steve Buscemi), and a dumb robot with a brain (Sean Hayes).
Circumstances lead Igor to try to make his own evil entry - the creation of life itself, something the real evil scientists have never been able to accomplish. The result: Eva, a giant, giant, giantess who's... well, not evil. This is because her Evil Bone must be activated, see; to do so, Igor even takes her to get brainwashed, but instead of horror images Eva somehow watches an episode of Inside the Actor's Studio with James Lipton, so when she emerges she's a struggling actress who's on her way to a big audition.
Personally, I found this movie a whole lot of fun, probably because a) I love the old monster movies that are just skewered here and b) I love animated movies, too. John Cusack, one of my all-time favorites (I've seen more than thirty of his films) is great as the not-quite-evil lab assistant, and the animation is top notch, with wonderfully realized backgrounds that recall those old monster movies quite well. Steve Buscemi is an absolute hoot as Scamper, easily stealing every scene he's in - he gets all the great lines, but it's Buscemi's comic timing that make them come alive. So to speak. There's also a contextually perfect soundtrack, including a bouncy tune by Louis Prima called "The Bigger the Figure." Molly Shannon, who voices Eva, also delivers a fun, appealing performance.