Directed by Anthony Leondis (Lilo & Stitch 2), Igor is a somewhat fun but ultimately disappointing exercise in animation. Had it not been for the voice talents of Steve Buscemi, John Cusack, John Cleese, Molly Shannon, Jay Leno, Christian Slater and Arsenio Hall Igor would have been written off as a formulaic romantic comedy. However, the voice talent is so strong, I actually found myself curiously amused for half of the the film.
Igor (John Cusack), a hunched-back assistant, longs to run his own laboratory and create his own evil experiments. As the story begins, Igor is working as an assistant to Dr. Glickenstein (Cleese) and in secrecy Igor has invented the immortal rabbit Scamper (Buscemi) and re-animated a human brain with a robotic life support system who misspelled ´Brain´ with ´Brian´ on his glass enclosure. It’s obvious that Igor is much more intelligent than Dr. Glickenstein but the doctor refuses to listen to his Igor. (All lab assistants are hunchbacks named Igor.) The doctor’s refusal to listen to his assistant’s advice, ultimately leads to Glickenstein’s death. With the doctor gone, Igor is free to build his ultimate creation, a Frankenstein-like creation named Eva (Molly Shannon).


IgorIgor created Eva with the intention of entering her in Malaria’s annual Evil Scientists Fair, with hopes of winning first prize during the main event battle to determine the winner. Eva is created to be particularly evil but she turns out to be a kind hearted monster-looking creature who would rather act in an updated version of Annie than kill a anything. This seems appropriate, since Igor is a kind hearted monster himself, despite his desire to be evil. Trouble starts when a fellow competitor named Dr. Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard) witnesses the size and potentialof Eva and works with his form shaping girlfriend Jaclyn (Jennifer Coolidge) to steal Eva from Igor and finally dethrone King Malbert (Jay Leno) by taking claim for creating the ultimate evil creation and having Eva´s evil bone activated.
It’s hard to deny that the story told in Igor is on the weak side. Scribed by Chris McKenna, one of the writers of television´s American Dad!, the romantic overtones felt a bit strong for a monster movie and the supposed evil land of Malaria was seemingly inhabited by buffoons rather than truly evil people. The first half was rather humorous but after forty-five minutes or so, the jokes became stale and the plot, stagnated.
Overall, Igor isn’t terrible, it’s just pleasantly mediocre; likely to be remembered as one of those films that just came and went, without any significant impact. Maybe it was me but I thought the animation was pretty awful. If Igor was released in the mid-nineties before Pixar and Toy Story changed the animation game, I suppose the films odd texture choices and lack of fluidity would have been acceptable; unfortunately, Igor hit theaters in 2008.
Igor is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD50 dual-layer disc. The feature utilizes 25 gigs of the disc. The encode itself, is remarkably sharp with great detail, bold colors and no digital compression errors. This isn’t a flawless direct-to-digital transfer but it serves its purpose.
The film is released with the standard English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that is commonplace for Fox releases. This mix provides a full very nice sounding moments and begins early on with the failure of Dr. Glickenstein´s invention. The musical score by Patrick Doyle sounds warm and carried through all channels and all of the voice acting is crystal clear. A Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is provided as well as English SDH subtitles and Spanish subtitles.
Igor contains a few fairly boring special features. A commentary track with Director Tony Leondis, Writer Chris McKenna, and Producer Max Howard is lively and full of energy; the participants are excited to be sharing their thoughts on the film, from the struggle to find the right opening to the film to the design of the characters. The track is fine, though only the most ardent of animation fans will want to devote the entire 86 minutes to it. Concluding the supplements is a series of Conceptual Art galleries — Characters, Set & Production Design, Storyboards, and Posters — as well as an alternate opening scene (1080p, 3:18).



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