Igor (review)

Has there ever been so amiably demented a flick as this one, about an igor — that is, a mad scientist’s minion; the term is a generic here as well as a name — who aspires to be evil but can’t seem to manage, no matter how hard he tries, to be less than adorable and gentle? Perhaps if Igor weren’t voiced by the inimitably sweet-and-sour John Cusack (Martian Child)… The land of Malaria, which thrives on blackmailing the world not to release the deadly products of its mad-scientist class, is getting ready for its annual mad-science fair, and this year, an igor is going to enter. Unless the more-evil-than-usual Dr. Schadenfreude (the voice of Eddie Izzard: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) can stop him — Schadenfreude cheats to win every year, and doesn’t intend for this year to be any exception. Redolent with the pop-culture riffing of a Shrek — the references to everything from Frankenstein to Toy Story to A Clockwork Orange fly furiously by — and the lovely gothic silliness of a Nightmare Before Christmas, this cheekily animated film, full of exquisite stylistic curlicues and charming gloom, is all dark giggles: It is stolen by Steve Buscemi (I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry) as the voice of Scamper, an immortal (but suicidal) bunny who Greek-choruses on the action with chipper outrage.

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