Fun for all the family is a phrase used far too often when describing animated films. Shrek, The Incredibles, Kung Fu Panda; these are films which blend the colourful characters and simple plots with the more intelligent jokes and references which appease both children and adults. With Igor, however, ‘fun for all the family’ is not a gross exaggeration; it’s a bare-faced lie.
The film, set in the magical world of Malaria (a place named after a disease? Hilarious. How about Gonorrhea?) is the classic ‘unleash your true potential’ tale about Igor, the assistant of a mad scientist, who decides that he’d like to do the inventing for once.
Accompanied by his re-animated buddies, he creates Eva, a female Frankenstein’s monster, but is surprised to discover that she lacks the evil gene. There’s bonding, singing and defiance against convention, and yet there’s something severely lacking in this mediocre film.
Firstly, the visuals. There’s more than a hint of The Corpse Bride about this, but it lacks those little touches which made Burton’s vision so unique. The actual quality of animation, meanwhile, is simply average.
Even the voices behind the characters seem to lack the passion vital to a children’s film, with John Cusack’s Igor awkward beyond words and a catalogue of stars such as John Cleese and Steve Buscemi failing to impress. Ironically, it is Molly Shannon’s role as the reanimated corpse which brings life to what is otherwise a dreary and dull, if well-meaning, way to spend ninety minutes.
I would rather subject children to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre than this feeble attempt at family friendly.