A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, like most animated films, ads for this movie have been targeting the 5-and-up set on television. You don't have to worry about any age-inappropriate language, sexuality, or commercialism, but there are a few episodes of mild peril and cartoonish violence: Evil scientists' monstrous creations fight each other and at one point lose control and threaten the inhabitants of Malaria (the kingdom where the movie takes place). The musical Annie is featured prominently, so don't be surprised if kids want to see it afterward.
What's the story?
In the dark, gloomy kingdom of Malaria, evil scientists have free rein to create monstrous inventions with the help of hunchbacked servants who are all called Igor. The central Igor (voiced by John Cusack) secretly wants to be a scientist, so when his misguided master (John Cleese) dies in a lab explosion, Igor brings to life a towering female monster, Eva (Molly Shannon). But instead of being vicious, she's convinced -- thanks to a brain-washing mix up -- that she's an aspiring actress.
Is it any good?
IGOR borrows its animation style from Tim Burton and its story from Young Frankenstein, but even with such classic inspiration, it's only OK. At least the voice actors are top-notch -- the supporting cast includes Steve Buscemi as the voice of Igor's suicidal-but-invincible rabbit creation Scamper; Sean Hayes as Brain, a dim-witted brain in a jar; and Eddie Izzard as the hilariously named celebrity scientist Dr. Schadenfreude.
Kids will certainly be entertained, especially by the antics of the two sidekicks responsible for most of the laughs. The story is so simple that even very young kids will be able to follow along, and Eva is surprisingly touching as she practices "Tomorrow" and dresses up like Gloria Swanson. Igor -- like many other recent animated movies -- may fall short of the Pixar standard for greatness, but it's good enough for most little monsters.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's messages. Why is it so out of the ordinary for Igor to want to be a scientist? How do others' expectations affect the way we behave and the way we see ourselves? Families can also discuss how this film fits into the monster-movie genre. What does it have in common with movies about Frankenstein and the hunchback of Notre Dame? How is it different? Kids: If you could create a "monster," what would it be like?
- In theaters: September 18, 2008
- On DVD or streaming: January 20, 2009
- Cast: John Cusack, Molly Shannon, Steve Buscemi
- Director: Anthony Leondis
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some thematic elements, scary images, action and mild language.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.