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This hilarious animated twist on the classic monster movie is must-see family fun! Determined to prove he can create his own diabolical invention, a mad scientist’s (John Cleese) nice-guy assistant, Igor (John Cusack), creates a female Franken-monster. But his creation, Eva (Molly Shannon), is sweet and sings show tunes! That is, until she falls into the clutches of Dr. Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard) and his shape-shifting girlfriend (Jennifer Coolidge). Now it’s up to Igor and his sidekicks (Steve Buscemi and Sean Hayes) to save Eva – and their country – from real evildoers, including sneaky Prince Malpert (Jay Leno)!
For more about Igor and the Igor Blu-ray release, see Igor Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 6, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Eddie Izzard, Arsenio Hall, Sean Hayes
Director: Tony Leondis
» See full cast & crew
Igor Blu-ray Review
Does 'Igor' find new life on Blu-ray?
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, February 6, 2009
What a menagerie of mayhem-loving monstrosities!
If there is an almost-sure-thing in Hollywood, it's computer-generated animated children's fare. If it weren't for the deluge of superhero films, no doubt this first decade of the 21st century would be remembered cinematically primarily for the influx of popular and spectacular animated fare, with films like Wall●E, Ice Age, and Shrek leading the charge. Animated film after animated film from the major players -- Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks, and Fox -- tend to clobber the competition, slowed down, it seems, by only the next superhero to make the transition to the big screen. Such films also enjoy tremendous and sustained success on home video (and tend to sparkle on Blu-ray). Like any good thing and any popular genre, however, there are always the occasional flops, among them 2008's Igor, a dark, jumbled, confused, and too-mature-for-its-audience parody of the classic monster movies. The young ones are unlikely to appreciate the references to the old Universal Horror films of yore, may fail to grasp the nuances of the story, and won't even be able to enjoy what is usually the saving grace of any animated film, namely bright, cheery, animated characters and locales. Igor is one of the darkest and most obscure animated titles in memory, and based on its subpar performance at the Box Office, children and parents alike agreed.
In the Kingdom of Malaria, sunny days are no more, and the forecast always calls for wind, rain, thunder, and a 100% chance of horror! When sun-and-fun forecasts seem unlikely, never to dispel the gloomy conditions that beset the Kingdom of Malaria, King Malbert (Jay Leno) devises a new way for the Kingdom to make money, and that is through the creation of evil inventions. Every year, the Kingdom is host to the Evil Science Fair, where the most dastardly and destructive of all the inventions will be unleashed upon the world, unless huge sums of money are sent in to appease the King and his subjects. As the various mad scientists around the Kingdom prepare to unveil their latest creations, one Igor (John Cusack) -- the name for the population that sports a humped back and a (supposedly) low IQ -- wishes to be more. He's managed two inventions of his own, an indestructible creature named Scamper (Steve Buscemi), and a brain in a jar named, well, Brain (Sean Hayes). When the evil scientist he works for, Dr. Glickenstein (John Cleese), dies while attempting to bring to life his latest invention, Igor decides to take over and create life from death, which would be the biggest invention of all time and certainly top whatever the defending champion, Dr. Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard), is working on. Igor's invention, complete with a green-glowing evil bone, arises, but there is only one problem -- she is anything but evil! This kind monstrosity names herself Eva (Molly Shannon) and fancies herself an actress. She can't harm a fly, and therefore cannot possibly win top prize at the fair. That doesn't stop the dishonest Dr. Schadenfreude from attempting to make her his own, for he has dreams of assuming King Malbert's throne and ruling Malaria forever. Only a lowly Igor and his unlikely invention can stop him, and just maybe, bring Malaria out of its dark times forever.
When it comes right down to it, the premise behind Igor is that the nations of the world succumb to blackmail to prevent this conglomeration of mad scientists from unleashing their most heinous of creations upon mankind. It seems like a problem better solved by dropping a few bunker-busters on the place rather than cowering in fear of the annual Evil Science Fair, but whatever. Igor is completely hit-or-miss in every facet of its existence, the story, the animation, and the dialogue in particular. It clearly wants to be a children's movie, but how will those young ones regard lines about a "dead dog" scented air freshener, or the joys of torturing cats? Will they enjoy characters that are clunky and in some cases literally patched together from various other beings, and will they find anything to like in the dark, dreary, depressing environs found throughout Malaria? Igor is a confused jumble of a movie. It hits all of the old-time Frankenstein and mad scientist clichés, including the throwing of the lever to spark life into a creation, the bolts of electricity that flow around, the dark and dank interiors, the wood-and-iron construction of the secret lab, and the table that descends from above on four raggedy chains. Some of it might be enough to make the little ones cry rather than laugh. Igor is also a drag; its compact runtime doesn't save it from a slow pace and plenty of unnecessary scenes that hinder the flow. Igor isn't a total failure, however. It might just be good enough that classic Horror fans could tolerate a viewing to look for all of the references. The movie is also fairly well directed, features good voice acting, and does contain several good scenes. Ultimately, however, Igor is lost somewhere between being made for children but only understandable by adults, only entertaining to some, and endearing to but a few.
Igor Blu-ray, Video Quality
Igor arrives on Blu-ray featuring a 1080p high definition transfer, presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The animation is mostly dark, but some of the lighter moments, such as a sequence in chapter three, look most impressive. Both the lighter and darker scenes manage to look nice in their own ways. Igor doesn't feature the best looking animation; it's certainly not of Pixar quality, but what the digital artists have created for this film translates into an overall attractive visual experience. What colors the artists offer, beyond the grim details that make up Malaria, appear vibrant on this Blu-ray disc. Green eye makeup adoring one character, red buttons on mad scientist equipment, or Eva's eyes, for example, all offer excellent color which stands out nicely in contrast to the generally dark locales. The animation doesn't offer much in the way of fine detail like Wall●E does, but the disc reproduces what there is to see nicely. There are plenty of scenes that feature thick fog and smoky interiors, and the disc never exhibits any banding or blocking in such scenes. The only thing holding back Igor, visually, is Igor. It looks very nice for what it is, but it just can't compete with material like Cars and Ratatouille.
Igor Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Igor electrifies on Blu-ray with a quality DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. This is a rather hefty soundtrack; it features plenty of bass, especially during the "mad scientists" moments where lighting strikes, thunder booms, and cackling scientists scream out for their latest inventions to rise. There are plenty of other sound effects that rumble and rattle and roll; a guest beating on a heavy wooden door and the resultant echoing throughout a cavernous mad scientist's lair, for example, sounds terrific, as do some scenes of mayhem (accompanied by a most unlikely tune) during the film's climax. There are some fine directional effects, too. Sound pans across the soundstage as characters move across the screen, and voices and effects are often heard distinctly from numerous corners of the soundstage. Dialogue reproduction is particularly strong; Eva's musical rehearsal at the end of chapter 10 is impressive, room filling, and offering pitch-perfect fidelity. Surround speakers enjoy plenty of action, too. Igor sports impressive sound design that translates very well to Blu-ray.
Igor Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Igor won't spark much interest with its dull supplemental section. Headlining the package is a commentary track with Director Tony Leondis, Writer Chris McKenna, and Producer Max Howard. The track 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).
Igor Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Igor is a rare animated project that completely fails to win over audiences. While some animated films are more successful than others, this one's dark themes and characters, references to decades-old material that its target audience won't understand or appreciate, and bleak, lifeless animation all add up to a paltry Box Office take, and indeed, Igor managed to net less than $20 million in theaters, nothing short of a disaster for an animated film (for comparison's sake, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, released only weeks after Igor, took home almost 9x the revenue). Nevertheless, Igor isn't a terrible experience, it's just misplaced as a children's movie. It may have made a good and dark animated tale for adults with some changes here and there, but as it stands, the film just doesn't hit the right notes as-is. MGM's Blu-ray release of Igor is about as expected. The disc offers quality picture and sound, and only a few minor supplements. Igor is worth a rental for anyone with a desire to see it.
Igor: Other Editions
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Igor Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Igor Announced for Blu-ray Release - November 21, 2008
MGM Home Entertainment in conjunction with Fox Home Entertainment have announced that they will bring the animated film 'Igor' to Blu-ray on January 20th, day-and-date with the DVD release. Featuring the voices of John Cusack, John Cleese, and Steve Buscemi, no ...
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