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Mad-scientist comedy is fine for younger kids.
  • Review Date: September 15, 2008
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 93 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie's message is that just because people think you're a monster doesn't mean you to have meet their low expectations -- and that we can all choose to rise above and be good.

Violence & scariness

Monsters wreak havoc, mostly against other monsters. The rest of the world is threatened by a yearly onslaught of monsters. An immortal suicidal rabbit seriously injures himself, knowing he can't die. An evil scientist is crushed, and another one dies in an explosion.

Sexy stuff

A buxom woman flirts with evil scientists; two characters fall in love.


Mild insults: "idiot," "stupid," "failure," etc.


References to Inside the Actors Studio and Annie.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 18, 2008
DVD release date:January 20, 2009
Cast:John Cusack, Molly Shannon, Steve Buscemi
Director:Anthony Leondis
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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Parent of an infant and 3 year old Written byMomOf2Girls February 21, 2009


This movie was absoutly horrible. It IS NOT suitable for children period. We rented this movie last night and turned it off. I am very dissapointed. Some of the violent things in the first part of the movie my 3yr old didnt pick up on, thankfully... but when one of the characters head gets a hole blown in it from opening a mothers day card... I draw the line. The makers of this movie should be ashamed for gearing this toward children.
Kid, 8 years old January 23, 2009

Suprised by Common Sense Review

We turned this movie off about half way through and had a talk about what we'd seen so far with our sever year-old son. After the talk, we decided not to watch the rest. By the half-way point, hunchbacks had been verbally and physically abused, and one had apparently been killed and stuffed for failure to perform. A women was told she could be thrown back to the gutter where she'd been found, and otherwise verbally cut down. And characters were told to make time for a little torture everyday... while being shown a poster of a cat being hung. The "antics of the two sidekicks" (CSM review) includes one of them, who is immortal, repeatedly and violently killing himself, then coming back to life to try again. Appropriate for age 6 and up? Even if there is a good moral at the end, it cannot make up for someone thinking this movie is for children. Or humans. Common Sense Media, we use your reviews faithfully... please re-watch this movie then re-read your review.
Adult Written byluksan January 25, 2009


I was so disgusted with this movie. Luckily I had told my son we would watch half tonight and half tomorrow night. I will find a way to avoid watching the rest. My son is 6 and will be 7 in March. He is very bright though and understood many of the horrible concepts in this film. The main being that evil was good and nice bad. Maybe the idea would change later on but we'd watched half of the movie and that is a long time to be bombarded with ideas of evil being good. Also the character that repeatedly tries to kill himself had my son asking about suicide. And I can't imagine how many impressionable children watching poison being drunk and thought that looked like fun. This character shoots himself in the head only to come back, drinks poison, explodes himself etc. Disgusting! And then there is the talk of murder as being a nice thing to do. The nice invention is put inside a room with eyes held open to watch a woman screamming and terrified as though she is learning to be mean. All these concepts were only in the first 15 minutes! Unbelievable that this was geared toward 6 year old children, as my son watched discovery kids there were tons of commercials for it. If there are any other parents that feel the same way about it please write. I want to warn as many parents as I can to avoid this movie. Go and see Bolt or Hotel for dogs or some other good movie instead!


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