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Parents beware

Movies | Igor may be marketed to kids, but it isn't at all for them

Issue: "Four horsemen of the apocalypse," Oct. 4, 2008

Do your toddlers fondly recall the original, uncensored release of A Clockwork Orange? Are you nostalgic for the subtle anti-Bush fables that Hollywood craftsmen used to make in the good old days? Do you find Tim Burton movies fun, but not nearly garish enough?

If so, have I got a movie for you. MGM's Igor is the latest CGI creation to grace the screens of the local multiplex, and, like its namesake and its principal character, it appears to have been cobbled together by grave robbers.

There's the shallow lefty moralizing sewn inside the Beauty-and-the-Beast relationship between Igor (John Cusack) and his creation Eva (Molly Shannon), which is stitched to a bunch of characters from a place that looks suspiciously like Halloweentown from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Then there are the winking references to everyone from Stanley Kubrick to Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, and there are a host of B-list celebrity voice actors who appear to have recorded this little gem in about an hour before heading out to lunch.

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At least the English comedians in the crew have put some effort into the movie-Eddie Izzard and John Cleese provide surprisingly spry characterizations of mad scientists Dr. Schadenfreude and Dr. Glickenstein, respectively.

The film earned a PG rating from the MPAA, probably for various misuses of God's name and the climactic battle scene, which is the only time when the animators appear to be enjoying themselves. I liked it (it reminded me, mostly due to the frightening teddy bear, of a simliar animated brawl from Akira, which is not at all a kids' movie), but the little girl next to me, for whom the movie is marketed, was less than thrilled and had to go sit in her mom's lap.

Igor will scare the kids, it'll irritate you, and it'll make millions of dollars, because it's the only family film in the theaters right now. Just remember: Tickets for three cost between $18 and $36, and all of the Muppet movies are on DVD.

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