Yikes. I’m glad my mom didn’t take me to see a movie like Igor when I was a kid. Bambi was traumatic enough, and the star of that one was a sweet little deer. Imagine if I’d laid my innocent young eyes on a movie like Igor, which features hunchbacks and monsters whose sole purpose is to inflict evil upon the world. No thanks. Parents should heed the PG rating of this one. It’s not meant for younger kids and with good reason. This is a pretty dark movie, its title referring to a legion of hunchbacks reminiscent of the character immortalized by Lon Chaney. The movie is set in the (obviously) fictional country of Malaria, a desolate and depressing place where the sun never shines and clouds perpetually fill the sky. In Malaria the hunchbacks A.K.A. igors serve the evil scientists. Think of it as a slave/master relationship. Each year there is a contest to see who can come up with the most evil invention. You see, Malaria’s king sustains the country’s economy by terrorizing the rest of the world by accepting money for NOT unleashing these evil inventions on them. The main character, named Igor (of course), dreams of being an evil scientist but his station in life will not allow him to aspire to greater heights. When his master is killed in a laboratory mishap, he seizes the opportunity to show his stuff. He creates Eva, a giant monster who is supposed to unleash unparalleled evil, winning the contest and liberating Igor. The only problem is that Eva’s “evil bone” doesn’t work, rendering her quite harmless and very kind. This is disastrous for Igor, because in Malaria evil reigns supreme. With Eva’s help Igor realizes that he is good, and they fight to overthrow Malaria’s king, along with their friends Scamper and Brain. Igor had its sweet moments and it definitely tried to teach a few lessons, but I think it’s too dark for the average little kid. First of all, Eva looks scary as hell, period. She’s one of the good guys, but if I were 5 years old I’d probably have nightmares. There was also a scene that I think was blatantly racist, but I won’t get into that because if you blink you’ll miss it. It was almost like subliminal messaging, it happened so fast – but I saw it! There were a few other moments that left me shaking my head, like at the end when a group of blind orphans sang “I can see clearly now the rain is gone.” That’s just wrong.
All in all, I think Igor was wonderfully voiced by a very good cast featuring the likes of John Cusack (1408) and Steve Buscemi (I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry), but the movie was too morbid and offensive for me to recommend. Who thought this would be a good idea for a kid’s movie?