Saturday, February 13, 2010

Eye Gore

In my last post, I went off on a bit of a tangent about Igor (Eeee-gor).
An elaboration was inevitable.

I posted one picture in particular that was of interest because it ripped off the "how the hell do I pronounce this" thing from Ratatouille, a move worthy of Ratatoing.

Well, I found out that they had a very good reason for doing it. This movie really is Eye Gore.

Considering how low budget this film is ($25 mil), I'm amazed that it suffers from all the same mistakes as the big budget failures it steals from.
  • An unrelenting assault of totally unfunny gags.
  • A binary of humour too high-brow (or rude) for children and too moronic for adults.
  • A heavy-handed, brazenly moralistic ending.
  • A plot that involves a love interest or friend misunderstanding the situation, being misled by the villain and eventually forgiving their friend (this point shouldn't be common enough in animation to warrant a dot point here, but depressingly, it is).
  • Confusing, unfocused pacing.
  • Cutesy characters (which is fuck-tarded as this is supposed to be a film about monsters, mad scientists and hunchbacks).
  • A star-studded cast, as though that will save this film.

(Guess where all the money went?)

Steve Buscemi happens to be one of my favourite actors, and to hear his voice in this piece of shit was insulting (especially as I wasn't aware he was in the film until I recognised his voice). The worst part is, apparently he was one of the first big names to sign on for the movie and this snowballed others into joining in on the PHUN.
What is John Cusack doing here? No, really? John Cleese, I can understand. Old, established actors are always excused for making cash-grabs in their late career, because their alternative is basically retirement. But GOD.
Even Eddie Izzard. Maybe if they gave him a decent character to play (which they didn't). They were so desperate they even hired Christian Slater to voice one of the Igors. I need to move onto the next point or I'll punch something.


(De burning you feel? Eet ees shame.)

Alright, onto the design.

Igor may have the worst character design I have ever seen in a 3D movie. And that's up against Robots and Shark Tale.

(I assume by 'Monster Hit', he means 'Monster Flop'. It made $30 mil at the box office, just five million more than its budget.)

That big one is called Eva. Yes, Eva.
They actually stole the name from Wall-E (and I'm not just saying that, in the scene where she decides her own name, they actually spoof the Wall-E scene where Eva introduces herself).
She's supposed to be a female Frankenstein monster. But I take serious issue with her design from an aesthetic standpoint.
Her neck is massive, like a lumberjack's. She has a solid, barrel-like body, one solid, barrel-like leg, one moderately sized leg (it doesn't seem as though she could support her own weight), one gigantic arm and one tiny one. This could work for a comedic character, but Eva is a) the love interest and b) unfunny.

Characters like Brain shouldn't even be there. He is supposed to form a comedic duo with the rabbit, but neither of them are funny. Brain in particular is just irritating.

Also, I know I've already gone over this in the previous post, but let's recap: what's with Igor's design? It's an Igor. Why is he cute??
I have a hunchback sidekick-character called Igor. To put a spin on him, I made him a sophisticated Russian scientist with a massive superiority complex who was the second in charge of an empire. I didn't make him cute.

I don't take issue with the rabbit design, it's one of the only decent-looking characters in the whole film. On the other hand, his character (which is scarcely surprising in this paint-by-numbers movie) is completely one-dimensional. "Heh. He's invincible, but he's also suicidal. Geddit?"

It may stun you to know that there are actually uglier designs in this movie.

What the fuck is that thing??? We're led to believe it's human. This is, as usual, some clever cock's attempt to be 'designy' and trying so hard as to actually destroy any simplicity - and beauty - in what they were attempting to create. Igor's cuteness is mismatched, but at least he's cute. Bu this isn't cute, it's just hideous.

As for the animation, well, it's terrible. You only have to look at the trailer to find that out. Funny, really! I always figured there would be plenty of out-of-work 3D wizards floating around America who would kill to work on a big budget movie. What's their excuse?

Well, maybe you ought to take a look at the credits. You will see names like "Li Quang Tãum" and "Mien Mish Phulong" and "Taii Pei Phuç" appear over and over and over again.

Turns out the company that was responsible for realising this travesty, Sparx*, is a French venture (for shame, the country that gave us Gobelins...) with a vast outfit of slave labour situated in Viet Nam.

(I imagine the Viet Nam studio must look something like this, but with Macs)

2D animation companies have been outsourcing their labour to other countries since time immemorial; in the days of Hanna Barbera, it was the only chance Australians got to practice animation at all. Then the Chinese and just about every other Asian country north of us said they'd do it for cheaper, and what do you know. Is it any wonder the Australian animation industry is laughable? It hasn't had time to grow.

In any case, the animation in Igor was done partly by a crew of French key animators, and filled up and polished by an army of Vietnamese animators who I doubt were paid very much. Unfortunately, it shows.

I found this out after watching the whole film, so a warning to all of you with consciences: if you rent Igor, you are funding globalisation and sweatshop labour. It's actually EVIL to make people pay to see this movie.

But then again, I probably would have thought that anyway.


  1. hey,
    I like your blog, I randomly found it trough that terrible Alice in Wonderland movie.

    and what I wanted to say.... this movie is probably terrible, but I just find the designs for this movie totally sweet.

    and I don't understand what is wrong with outsourcing animation. at least those vietnam guys had some money for their work!