Another animated comedy has hit our cinema screens in the shape of Igor, and the formula isn’t improving with age. You know that you are in trouble when a poster for a PG film has to include the phonetic spelling of the title. Apparently pronouncing Igor (eee-gor) is beyond those of the iPod generation’s capability, and the film makers continue to underestimate their audience’s intelligence throughout the film.
Igor is the latest retelling of Mary Shelly’s classic novel Frankenstein, now set in the kingdom of Malaria. Igor is the stereotypical hunchback-assistant who dreams of one day rising above it all and becoming an evil scientist.
It is not quite the feel good Disney mould that movie goers are used to. Igor follows a warped series of events including the invention of Eva, the monster who accidentally gets brainwashed into being an actress, an evil science fair that could make or break Igor’s dream and the scheming ways of a fraudulent scientist intent on stealing Igor’s creation.
Taking an excellent, once original concept and turning it into mush for the masses seems to have been too easy for the script writers.
Though not your typical rags-to-riches story, Igor fails to bring any form of sincerity that could have made it an instant hit.
This is hardly surprising when all of its supposedly unique attributes have been done before, and to better effect. The Hallowe’en theme has already been executed in The Nightmare Before Christmas, which was not only engaging and fresh in its storytelling, it also transcended the targeted audience and become a cult-classic among students.
The predictable storyline that follows every fairy tale stipulation fails to bring with it any laughter. Obvious gags like characters falling from great heights have been used countless times before and do nothing to increase a viewer’s enjoyment of the film.
It is not a complete failure however, as moments of genuine comedy are to be found in the form of rabbit sidekick Scamper, voiced by FilmSteve Buscemi. This creation of Igor’s crass sarcastic comments such as “like I haven’t gnawed my own ankles off before!” and manages to break up the monotony of predictable events that unfold.
The most humorous highlight of the film is the ending, where several blind orphans sing ‘I Can See Clearly Now’. But even at its best, Igor can only claim a few chuckles from its audience.
All in all, Igor plays it too safe when it could be creating memorable scenes of hilarity, believing that its audience has the mental ability of the Frankenstein monster. Although it is voiced by a great cast, mistakes such as killing off John Cleese’s character after ten minutes show that this film will never rise to the heights of previous animations.