Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tony Leondis|
|Written by||Chris McKenna|
|Music by||Patrick Doyle|
|Edited by||Hervé Schneid|
Exodus Film Group
|Distributed by||MGM Distribution Co.|
|Box office||$30.7 million|
Igor is a 2008 computer-animated science fantasy comedy film about the stock character Igor dreaming to win first place at the Evil Science Fair by making a monster. It is a French-American venture produced by Exodus Film Group, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Sparx Animation Studios. Directed by Tony Leondis and written by Chris McKenna, the film features the voices of John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Jennifer Coolidge, Arsenio Hall, Sean Hayes, Molly Shannon, Eddie Izzard, Jay Leno and Christian Slater. It is MGM's first fully computer-animated film as well as the studio's first animated film in twelve years following 1996's All Dogs Go to Heaven 2. The film was released on September 19, 2008 in the United States and on December 17, 2008 in France. The film grossed $30.7 million on a $25 million budget.
The Kingdom of Malaria's environment is devastated by a mysterious storm to which its ruler King Malbert (Jay Leno) blackmails the rest of the world to pay the town not to unleash the various doomsday devices invented by its Evil Scientists. In turn, they are assisted by Igors while the kingdom's annual Evil Science Fair showcases the scientists' latest weapons. One Igor (John Cusack), however, who serves the somewhat tedious-minded Doctor Glickenstein (John Cleese), is a talented inventor who aspires to be an Evil Scientist himself. Among his inventions are his friends Scamper (Steve Buscemi), a re-animated, immortal and suicidal rabbit and Brain (Sean Hayes), an unintelligent robot with a human brain transplanted into a life support jar.
When the malfunctioning invention explodes and decimates Glickenstein, Igor seizes his chance. With Brain and Scamper's help he assembles a huge and monstrous being from human remains (Molly Shannon). It first seems his experiment failed but seconds later, the creature disappears. He soon finds her sitting above him. The hulking beast lets out a menacing roar at her creators and stomps away. They find her in a blind orphanage playing with the orphans. There he discovers that the "Evil Bone" he gave her was not activated, making the monster sweet, friendly and gentle despite her hideous appearance. Igor tries to convince his monster that she is evil but fails as she misinterpreted "Eva" thinking that’s the name he give her.
Igor attempts to brainwash Eva into becoming evil by bringing her to a brainwashing salon where people are hooked into a machine and shown monster movies for a few hours. Brain also gets the same thing in order to watch TV but breaks the remote to his TV, so he takes the remote for Eva's room and in an attempt to change the channel he inadvertently changes Eva's TV channel from the horror movie marathon to a talk show whose topic of the day is the history of acting. She ends up watching the talk show for several hours and upon leaving the salon, she can speak English and wants to be an actress. Igor then takes her back to the castle in the car. On the way back to the castle, Igor's nemesis Dr. Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard) and his shapeshifted girlfriend, Jaclyn (Jennifer Coolidge) try to steal Eva by using a shrink ray to shrink them all but are shrunk instead. When Brain rambles on about how he changed the channel for Eva's TV, Igor attempts to murder Brain with an axe in anger. Scamper sarcastically tells Eva they’re practicing for a play and she believes that they're performers. Igor instead decides to exhibit Eva at the science fair by telling her that the fair is an "Annie" audition with a few differences.
Dr. Schadenfreude learns of Eva's existence and attempts to steal her. When this fails, he exposes Igor to King Malbert who sends Igor to an "Igor Recycling Plant." Schadenfreude activates Eva's Evil Bone, turning her into a mindless and terrifying killing machine. He unleashes her on the Science Fair where she destroys all the Evil Inventions whilst singing "Annie" songs. Scamper and Brain help Igor escape and they learn that Malbert had deliberately killed Malaria's crops with a weather ray that made storm clouds so he could implement his "Evil Inventions" plan, thereby keeping himself in power. Rushing into the arena, Igor reasons with the now enraged Eva which deactivates her Evil Bone and allowing her to regain her sweet personality while Scamper and Brain power down the weather ray which falls and crushes Malbert to his death.
Dr. Schadenfreude attempts to take power, but the citizens revolt upon learning of Malbert's deception and Eva humiliates him. The monarchy has been dissolved and Malaria becomes a republic with Igor as the president. Schadenfreude is then relegated to pickle salesman and for Jaclyn (who’s revealed to be a female-like Igor), a bretzel saleswoman (while she begin to have feelings with Schadenfreude’s Igor) while the annual Science Fair becomes an annual musical theater showcase. Igor and Eva live happily together as Malaria becomes a better place.
- John Cusack as Igor
- Molly Shannon as Eva
- Steve Buscemi as Scamper
- Sean Hayes as Brain
- Jennifer Coolidge as Jaclyn / Heidi
- Eddie Izzard as Dr. Schadenfreude
- Jay Leno as King Malbert
- Arsenio Hall as Carl Cristall
- Christian Slater as Schadenfreude's Igor
- John Cleese as Dr. Glickenstein
- Paul Vogt as Buzz Offmann
- James Lipton as Himself
- Jess Harnell as Announcer
It is the first animated feature film produced by Exodus Film Group and the French animation studio Sparx*. The film 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. Chris McKenna made his first film's story and writings. 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". Jeremy Piven was originally cast as Doctor Schadenfreude but Eddie Izzard replaced him and James Lipton appears as himself during a television viewing.
|Film score by Patrick Doyle|
|Released||September 30, 2008|
|Patrick Doyle film scores chronology|
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released Igor theatrically on September 19, 2008. In its opening weekend the film grossed $7,803,347, ranking #4 at the box office alongside Lakeview Terrace, Burn After Reading and My Best Friend's Girl. The film then grossed $19,528,602 domestically and $11,218,902 overseas for a worldwide total of $30,747,504. 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 No. 20 in the box office chart. The mainstream release opened on October 17 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.
The film's DVD/Blu-ray release on January 3, 2009 though 20th Century 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.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 36% based on 89 reviews and an average rating of 4.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "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 aggregator Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 40 out of 100 based on 19 critics, indicating "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".
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- "The Weinstein Company Acquires Igor". MovieWeb. May 23, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
- "Animation World Network article on the film".
- "Box Office Weekend Gross from 9/17 to 9/19". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 19, 2008.
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- "'Kung Fu Panda' leads Annie noms". Variety. December 1, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
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