George the Hedgehog (film)

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George the Hedgehog
Jez-Jerzy-poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Wojciech Wawszczyk
Jakub Tarkowski
Tomasz Leśniak
Screenplay by Rafał Skarżycki
Based on Jeż Jerzy 
by Rafał Skarżycki and Tomasz Leśniak
Starring Borys Szyc
Maria Peszek
Maciej Maleńczuk
Sokół
Michał Koterski
Music by Jan Duszyński
Jacek Szymkiewicz
Edited by Wojciech Włodarski
Production
company
Paisa Films
Produkcja
Distributed by Monolith Films
Release dates
  • 11 March 2011 (2011-03-11)
Running time
90 minutes
Country Poland
Language Polish
Budget 2.6 million

George the Hedgehog (Polish: Jeż Jerzy) is a 2011 Polish animated comedy film directed by Wojciech Wawszczyk, Jakub Tarkowski and Tomasz Leśniak. It is based on the Jeż Jerzy comic books and tells a story where two neo-Nazis and a mad scientist create a clone of the titular character in an attempt to defeat him.[1]

Plot[edit]

The film's plot is a compilation of various stories from all of the Jeż Jerzy's comic albums except the newest (Jeż Jerzy: Musi umrzeć), which was published after the script was written.

The film begins in the Professor's lab, where he and his Assistant are conducting an experiment. As a result, the computer produces the image of a hedgehog. Professor sends his assistant to find one.

Some time later, Jerzy (George) and his colleagues are seen sitting under the palm on the Charles de Gaulle 's Roundabout in Warsaw. They attract the attention of two policewomen, who rush to arrest them, but instead they cause the road accident. A bus is about to crush a young boy, but Jerzy saves him. His actions are witnessed by a Politician (who tries to steal his glory by saying "It was God's [hand](sic) that I was here!") and the Assistant.

Later, Jerzy tries to buy some food from a Vietnamese street vendor, but is interrupted first by the prostitute Lilka, and then Yola (his lover and a married woman), who invites him for a ride with her "friends". They are followed by the Assistant, who observes their actions. In the meantime, Stefan wakes up in the middle of the night after having a nightmare (in which he, as a child, builds a great sand castle, but before he can show it to Yola, the castle is destroyed by a black child, and Yola goes away with Jerzy).

The next day Stefan and Zenek are seen sitting on the bench in front of the apartment blocks, discussing about the problems of Poland (in Stefan's opinion, foreigners, who drink our blood, loot the lands of our fathers and violate our women). Upon seeing Jerzy and Yola, they attack them, but are defeated. Yola kisses Jerzy, but then her husband - Krzysztof - appears, in the state of shock upon seeing his wife in hands of another man. Yola saves the situation by claiming Jerzy rescued her from the "bandits" and the kiss was in fact mechanical ventilation (CPR). Stefan and Zenek are approached by Assistant, who offers them a job. He takes them to the Professor's lab and tells them to acquire Jerzy's DNA (blood, saliva and spikes), then kill him.

Jerzy is at the market square, buying flowers (and a brew) for Yola, when he's attacked by Stefan and Zenek, who take the DNA samples ordered by the Assistant. Professor then uses them to make a clone of Jerzy (though the outcome is horribly disfigured). The Assistant explains that from their analysis it seems Jerzy has a full potential to become a pop star, but there was a problem: he couldn't be contained. That's why he and Professor decided to clone him. Their plan is to use the clone to make money - but before they can proceed, they have to kill the original Jerzy.

Jerzy meets with Yola in amusement park, but as he walks to the bar to make an order, the clone appears and tries to have sex out in the open with Yola, enraging her and resulting in her leaving the rendezvous. As Jerzy tries to explain everything, he's captured by Assistant, who mistakes him for the clone. He escapes to the House of Terror, but as he rushes outside, he's spotted by Stefan and Zenek, who then collide with the clone and beat him, before being stopped by Yola. She drives the clone home, thinking he's the original Jerzy. However as the clone abuses her again, she throws him out of the taxi and drives home.

The true Jerzy is already waiting there playing chess with her husband, but Yola doesn't listen to his explanations. The heartbroken hedgehog drinks himself into a stupor in front of the liquor store outside Yola's apartment. Suddenly his cell phone rings and "Yola" (in fact Zenek faking Yola's voice) asks him to meet under Poniatowskiego bridge. There, Jerzy is confronted by Stefan, Zenek and Assistant, who manage to knock him unconscious and throw him into the river.

The next phase of their plan starts as they upload a video of the clone to the internet as the first step towards fortune. However, the clone escapes and causes and explosion in the sex shop. The police arrests him. The Assistant decides to ask one of the politicians to pull him out of the prison - in return the clone will support his election campaign. In the meantime, Jerzy is rescued by Lilka, the prostitute he met earlier.

The clone is set free and becomes an international celebrity. In the meantime Yola wants to come to terms with Jerzy, but she's thrown out of the club when she tries to approach him (the Clone). She meets Lilka, who starts to suspect something and shows Jerzy how the Warsaw changed since he was rescued. Jerzy, initially shattered by the fact the clone stole his life and personality, is comforted by Lilka and decides to regain his good name. In the meantime, the clone's popularity grows - and so does the Politician's chances for the election.

Jerzy breaks into the concert organised by the Politician where the clone is performing, finally showing that there are two hedgehogs in the town (and claiming "there can be only one!"). The meeting of the two characters results in a massive fight, during which the stage is set ablaze. Sorrowful Professor finds the clone laying helplessly on the floor, but before he can help him, a beam falls and crushes the clone.

In the meantime, Yola witnesses the whole fight and tries to reach Jerzy, but she's captured by the Assistant. Jerzy pursues them; Assistant's car falls from the bridge and he himself is saved by Yola, only to be punched in the face by her before being arrested. Yola finally comes to terms with Jerzy. As they talk on the bridge, Professor finds out the clone is still alive, but lets him go, believing he'll manage without him. However, the clone is found by the two Vietnamese chiefs and turned into their meal. Lilka, made famous by her part in nursing Jerzy back to health, thanks Jerzy for realising her dreams of being famous.

The next day, Stefan is awakened by his mother. To his horror, his half-brother Michał (an Afroamerican) pays them a visit. Even worse, Zenek arrives, but quickly runs away, seeing a black person in Stefan's house. The two meet outside on the bench and Stefan explains the origins of his brother: his mother went to Africa and after being captured by a local tribe she was "cursed" by the sorcerer (in fact she had an affair with one of the natives) resulting in Michał's birth. To comfort his friend, Zenek tells him his own story: he was captured by aliens who seemed to conduct experiments on him (in reality, he accidentally entered a gay club while returning drunk from the party). Suddenly it turns out Jerzy is standing behind them all the time and has heard their stories. As he escapes on his skateboard, he accidentally runs into camera, crashes to the ground and weakly exclaims "Goddamn operator" offscreen before the ending sequence.

The credits contain several more sequences: Professor buying a dinner from Vietnamese food store (which is made from his clone's remnants), Krzysztof having a walk with Yola, the politician trying to restore his popularity and a drunkard buying vodka from Professor in his lab (suggesting he returned to his experiments). A post-credit scene shows the Assistant trying to communicate with his cellmates.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film project was initiated by Paisa Films in 2007 and co-produced with Produkcja which joined in 2009. The production received 1.6 million złoty from the Polish Film Institute and had a total budget of 2.6 million złoty. The film was digitally animated and combines cutout and 3D techniques.[2] It took two years to make and involved a team of 14 people, although according to co-director Wojciech Wawszczyk, "everyone worked for six". After the script was finished the actors recorded their lines. In August 2010 the animation work was completed and editing began.[3]

Release[edit]

The premiere was on 11 March 2011 in Poland through Monolith Films.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jeż Jerzy: The movie (Jeż Jerzy)". pisf.pl. Polish Film Institute. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  2. ^ Grynienko, Katarzyna (2010-11-19). "Production: Hedgehog Animated Film in Postproduction". Film New Europe. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  3. ^ Staniszewska, Maja (2011-01-17). "Jak podeszli do jeża". wiadomosci.gazeta.pl (in Polish). Agora SA. Retrieved 2011-01-18. każdy pracował za sześciu. 
  4. ^ "Jeż Jerzy". filmweb.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 2011-01-07. 

External links[edit]