Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tony Leondis|
|Produced by||John D. Eraklis
Matthew J. Parker
Darius A. Kamali
|Screenplay by||John Hoffman
|Story by||Chris McKenna|
|Music by||Patrick Doyle|
|Editing by||Hervé Schneid|
|Studio||Exodus Film Group|
|Running time||86 minutes|
Igor (Pronounced E-gour) is a 2008 computer animated family comedy film about the stock character Igor. The plot revolves around the grotesque title figure Igor and his dreams of winning first place at the Evil Science Fair. The film was released on September 19, 2008 by MGM. The film features the voices of John Cusack as the title character, along with John Cleese, Jennifer Coolidge, Arsenio Hall, Sean Hayes, Eddie Izzard, Jay Leno, Molly Shannon, Christian Slater, and Steve Buscemi.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (June 2012)|
In the kingdom of Malaria, the economy was once based on agriculture until a mysterious climate change killed their crops. The evil King, Malbert, restructured the economy based on "Evil Inventions" - to wit, blackmailing the rest of the world to pay Malaria not to unleash the various bizarre doomsday devices invented by a ruling class of Evil Scientists.
One Igor, servant to the somewhat dull-minded Doctor Glickenstein (Cleese), is actually a talented inventor who aspires to be an Evil Scientist himself. His inventions include "Scamper", a re-animated, immortal rabbit with a death wish, and "Brain" (Hayes), a dim-witted human brain transplanted into a life support jar. Igor gets his chance to shine when Glickenstein's entry into the annual Evil Science Fair malfunctions and explodes, taking Glickenstein with it. When King Malbert visits Glickenstein's castle, Igor pretends to be helping him with "creating life". The King is wary of the growing popularity of the reigning victor, Dr. Schadenfreude, which is beginning to rival his own. For his own part, Schadenfreude (who is in fact a complete fraud who steals work of other scientists) is sick of having to bow and scrape to the King, and decides to use his next winning "invention" to seize power. His main accomplice is his girlfriend, Jaclyn, a shapeshifter who masquerades as the girlfriends of Malaria's other Evil Scientists in order to steal their inventions for Schadenfreude.
With Brain and Scamper's help, Igor assembles a huge, monstrous being from human remains, endowed with super-strength, invulnerability, and an "evil bone". But when he brings her to life, Igor is dismayed to discover that the bone has not been activated, and the giant is gentle, affectionate, and feminine. Trying to convince it of its "evil" nature, Igor inadvertently dubs it "Eva". Igor takes Eva to a "Brain-Wash", a service which uses television to alter the personalities of those who use it, which attempts to turn Eva violent by exposing her to violent images. However, Brain, who is watching television in the next room, mistakenly changes the channel while trying to fix his own television. Eva ends up watching an episode of Inside the Actor's Studio, and adopts, permanently, the personality of a kind-hearted aspiring actress. Igor can only get her to cooperate by convincing her that the upcoming Evil Science Fair is in fact an audition for the role of Little Orphan Annie.
Learning of Eva's existence, Dr. Schadenfreude attempts to steal her, first through outright theft which fails due to his incompetence, then by inviting Igor into his castle. When Igor refuses to help him, Schadenfreude exposes him to the King, who throws him into an "Igor Recycling Chute", which leads to the "Igor Recycling Plant", while Schadenfreude takes control of Eva. Just before the Science Fair, Schadenfreude manages to activate her "Evil Bone" by goading her into attacking him, which transforms her into a violent monster. Unleashed into the Evil Science Fair, she destroys all the other Evil Inventions while singing "Tomorrow" from Annie. Igor escapes from the Recycling Plant with Scamper and Brain's help, and rushes to the Fair to save Eva. Ascending into the King's castle which overlooks the arena, Igor discovers a machine at the top (called the "Evil Beacon") that acts as a magnet for the storm clouds that have plagued Malaria for years. Shocked, Igor realizes that King Malbert deliberately killed Malaria's crops, to keep them enslaved to his "Evil Inventions" plan and ensure his vast power over Malaria.
Igor rushes into the arena and reasons with Eva, telling her that all beings have the potential for evil, but it is their choice to ignore it. Eva regains her normal personality. Scamper and Brain, meanwhile, deactivate the weather-manipulation machine, allowing the climate to return to its temperate character. The enormous device accidentally falls on King Malbert, killing him. Schadenfreude takes the throne after Malbert's death for a brief few minutes, but he is shouted down when the people realize that Malbert had deceived them all and revolt against the monarchy. At the same time, Jaclyn, who is dependent on special pills to retain her shapeshifting abilities, runs out of pills and reverts to her normal form: a female Igor.
Some time later, Malaria regains its former pastoral character. The monarchy has been dissolved and Malaria is now a republic. Igor has been elected President of Malaria, and has ended the sub-status of Igors, who now enjoy equal status with all citizens. The prestige of "Evil Scientist" has been abrogated, as a defrocked Schadenfreude is seen working at the only job he is skilled at: pickle salesman, and Jaclyn starts dating Schadenfreude's former Igor. The annual Science Fair is changed into an annual musical theater showcase, with Eva as the star, and Scamper and Brain as costume designer and properties manager. Igor and Eva stand together while the Blind Orphans sing "I Can See Clearly Now".
- John Cusack as Igor
- Molly Shannon as Eva
- Eddie Izzard as Dr. Schadenfreude
- Jennifer Coolidge as Jaclyn / Heidi
- John Cleese as Dr. Glickenstein
- Steve Buscemi as Scamper
- Sean Hayes as Brain
- Jay Leno as King Malbert
- Arsenio Hall as Carl Cristall
- Christian Slater as Schadenfreude's Igor
- Paul C. Vogt as Buzz Offmann
- Sam Gold as Ham the Egg
- James Lipton as himself
This is the first animated feature film produced by Exodus Film Group; the CG animation was created by French studio Sparx*. Work on Sparx’s CG feature Igor was split between the studio’s Paris and Vietnam facilities. The Damas proprietary software was used to manage the digital assets and the production workflows of both sites, in an interconnected manner. Distribution has always been held by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures — The Weinstein Company originally developed this film but later sold their share of the rights to MGM, thus becoming an MGM presentation.
Producer Max Howard explained how they came to attract so many A-list actors into the cast of this relatively obscure studio: "We sent them the script... Steve Buscemi signed on very early, and he's an 'actor's actor.' Then others signed on... it just took off that way".
James Lipton appears as himself during a television viewing.
Igor has received generally mixed to negative reviews by critics; it currently holds a 36% rating with the consensus "With an animation style that apes Tim Burton, and a slew of cultural references that aren't clear enough to reach the crowds, Igor's patched together antics make it hard to see who the film is trying to please." The review aggretator, Metacritic classified the film has having received "mixed or average reviews".
John Anderson of Newsday stated that "Not all the jokes work, but most do, and the overall tenor of Igor is goofily funny -- probably a bit sophisticated for kids but certainly good-natured". Claudia Puig of USA Today awarded the film with two-and-a-half stars, writing: "This story of a world of mad scientists and their Igor lab assistants has some inspired lunacy as it spoofs classic horror films, though sometimes the jokes grow belabored". Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune took his child to a screening and asked him to criticize the film, reporting that he "had a fairly good time".
Box office 
The film opened #4 with $7,803,347, behind Lakeview Terrace, Burn After Reading, and My Best Friend's Girl. As of December 23, 2008, the film has grossed $19,429,791 in the United States and Canada and $8,172,638 in foreign countries totaling $27,602,429 worldwide.
In the UK, the film opened on 32 screens with a gross of £56,177, for a screen average of £1,756, and placing it at 20 in the box office chart. The mainstream release opened on 17 October, at 418 screens, and made £981,750 with a screen average of £2,348. This placed it at No. 3 for that weekend. The UK total gross is £1,110,859.
Home media 
The film's DVD/Blu-ray release on January 3, 2009 though Fox Home Entertainment ranked 4th in its opening weekend at the DVD sales chart, making $3,509,704 off 175,000 DVD units. As per the latest figures, 596,146 DVD units have been sold, translating to $11,739,919 in revenue.
See also 
- Igor at Box Office Mojo
- "Exodus Prods. Enlists French Sparx on Igor". Animation World Magazine. Animation World Network. 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
- "The Weinstein Company Acquires Igor". MovieWeb. 2007-05-23. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
- "Animation World Network article on the film".
- Igor at Rotten Tomatoes
- "Igor (2008):Reviews". Metacritic.
- "Box Office Weekend Gross from 9/17 to 9/19". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-19.
- "Igor (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-12-25.