Toys in the Attic (2009 film)

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Toys in the Attic
In the Attic Czech film poster.jpg
Original Czech theatrical release poster
Directed by Jiří Barta
Produced by Miloslav Šmídmajer
Written by
  • Edgar Dutka
  • Jiří Barta
Music by Michal Pavlíček
Cinematography Ivan Vít
Edited by Lucie Halabová
At Armz
Ceská Televize
Continental Film
Eurocine Films
Krátký Film Praha
Universal Production Partners (UPP)
Bio Illusion[1]
Distributed by CinemArt
Release date
Running time
75 minutes
  • Czech Republic
  • Japan
  • France
  • Slovakia
Language Czech
Budget $14,663
Box office $64,918

Toys in the Attic (Czech: Na půdě aneb Kdo má dneska narozeniny?; festival title: In the Attic: Who Has a Birthday Today?) is a 2009 internationally co-produced stop-motion animated fantasy comedy thriller family film directed by Jiří Barta and written by Edgar Dutka and Barta which depicts a community of toys and other objects in an attic who come to life when no human is around.[1] It is an international co-production between the Czech Republic, France, Japan and Slovakia.[2] The film was released first in the Czech Republic on 5 March 2009 and has been shown subtitled at film festivals internationally. An American dub – adapted, produced and directed by Vivian Schilling and performed by actors including Forest Whitaker, Joan Cusack, Cary Elwes[3] and Schilling herself – has been recorded, which the film was first shown with on 3 March 2012 at the New York International Children's Film Festival and was released nationally on 24 August 2012 by Hannover House.[4]


In an attic full of discarded junk, a pretty doll called Buttercup lives in an old trunk together with her friends, the marionette Sir Handsome, the lovable Teddy Bear, a Mechanical Mouse and the plasticine creature, Laurent. When Buttercup is snatched and taken off to the Land of Evil, her pals set out on a wondrous and daring adventure to rescue her from the all-powerful Head of State. Originally produced in the Czech language, the meticulously crafted animated feature is set in a magical world of toys and knick-knacks stored in the attic of a home in Prague. Following the symbolism of the Cold War era that impacted director Barta and the Czech Republic, the world of the attic is divided into the land of happy toys in the west and the land of evil in the east. The despotic Head of State rules over the evil empire of the east with a band of sinister minions, insects and rotted vegetables. When the lovely "Buttercup" is kidnapped and held prisoner by The Head, it is up to her friends - a teddy bear, a mechanical mouse and marionette puppet - to cross the international boundary and attempt their daring rescue. A teddy bear, a mechanical mouse, and a marionette join forces to save their kidnapped friend, Buttercup the doll, from the denizens of the Land of Evil.



The main part of the film's animation is that of puppets animated by stop motion but there are also examples of clay animation in the character Šubrt and the objects of his room, special effects such as steam in traditional animation and the face of the plaster bust Hlava ("Head") was performed in pixilation and voiced in the original Czech audio by actor Jiří Lábus.[2]


The film was theatrically released on 5 March 2009 by CinemArt and was premiered at the New York International Children's Film Festival. It was also released on DVD, VOD and Blu-ray on November 23, 2009 by Magic Box.


CinemaArt released the film in the Czech Republic on 6 March 2009.[5] Peter Debruge compared the film to Toy Story in a reviews for Variety, and complimented the animation: "despite their inflexible faces, Barta conceives all sorts of inventive ways to bring these inanimate objects to life. […] Should a given shot prove too tricky to accomplish practically, Barta has no qualms about using digital compositing to blend multiple stop-motion plates. Though rudimentary, fire and water effects are especially effective." About the film's commercial prospects, Debruge wrote: "For all its charms, In the Attic feels vaguely sinister and may prove too intense for younger kids – a testament to the film's pacing and score, as well as how deeply auds emotionally connect with these occasionally macabre toy characters."[6] The film has been honored with awards including an Excellence Prize for animation at the 2010 Japan Media Arts Festival,[7] those for best feature at the 2010 New York International Children's Film Festival and the 2011 Tehran International Animation Festival,[8] in both winning over The Secret of Kells,[9][10] and the Kecskemét City Award at the 7th Festival of European Animated Feature Films and TV Specials in 2011.[11]


List of awards and nominations
Award Category Winner Nominee
Czech Lion Best Art Direction (Nejlepsí výtvarný pocin) Jirí Barta Won


  1. ^ a b "Na půdě: O filmu". Bio Illusion. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Na půdě aneb Kdo má dneska narozeniny? (2009)". Filmová databáze. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  3. ^ Fleming, Mike (December 22, 2011). "Hannover House to release English language version of Toys in the Attic". Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Release dates for Na pude (2009)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Na půdě aneb Kdo má dneska narozeniny?". Česko-Slovenská filmová databáze (in Czech). POMO Media Group. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
  6. ^ Debruge, Peter (2009-11-20). "In the Attic: Who Has a Birthday Today?". Variety. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-06-30. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-08. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
  11. ^ 10. Kecskeméti Animációs Filmfesztivál 7. Európai Animációs Játékfilm Fesztivál. Kecskeméti Animáció Film Fesztivál. 2011.

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