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DVD Review: Igor

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In 2008 John Cusack voiced the lead role in the animated film Igor. The film takes a new look at the classic sidekick and puts a unique spin on the character.

Igor isn’t just one person, Igor is the designation given to a lowly scientist’s assistant, of which there are many in this film. Cusack’s Igor longs to rise above his station and win the Evil Science Fair. However it’s illegal for sidekicks to do any experiments; they’re only allowed to assist their master. That’s hasn’t stopped Igor from doing experiments in secret and in fact he has created two sidekicks of his own.

Scamper is a rabbit who has suicidal tendencies and attempts suicide repeatedly; however Igor made Scamper immortal so his attempts are all for naught. Scamper is perfectly voiced by Steve Buscemi, who knows a bit about playing off-beat characters. Then there’s Brain, voiced by Sean Hayes, who is a brain in a jar. However he’s not that bright. To illustrate that point, Brain wrote "Brian" on his jar in permanent ink that he can’t get off.

After Igor’s boss is killed in an accident, he listens to his creations, hides the scientist’s demise, and begins to create in his place. Eva is his latest creation; however she’s not evil enough for the evil scientists fair, so she’s brought to the “Brain-wash” to become more evil. This is accomplished by having Eva watch violent acts on television. In the next room Brain is getting his brain cleaned; he’s getting impatient with what’s on his TV screen, and he changes Eva’s screen instead through a very funny sequence of events. Her screen changes to Inside The Actor’s Studio with James Lipton and instead of being an evil monster she is now a kind-hearted wannabe actress (although there are some who would argue that’s the same thing).

Eva is entered in the fair and is told to act evil. She eventually runs amok and causes major trouble. Then Igor is revealed to be the creator, and that’s when the trouble really starts. He must not only rein in Eva, but fight for his very life. Igor is a fun movie that the entire family can enjoy. I would enjoy seeing a sequel to Igor as there are many stories that could be used following the film's end.

There isn’t much in the way of extras here. There’s an alternate opening scene that uses newsreel footage to bring the viewer up to speed. It’s not as good as the theatrical version, which is why it’s an alternate opening; however I’m glad that it’s been included. There are also some production galleries including characters, set, and production designs.

The biggest extra is commentary by director Tony Leondis, writer Chris McKenna, and producer Max Howard. The trio discusses what it took to make the film, what homages to other movies they included, and they share some behind the scenes stories. They also discuss a number of deleted scenes that were filmed and what scenes were trimmed for the release. It’s disappointing that these scenes aren’t included as an extra since they sound fun and there’s not a valid reason for them not to be a part of the DVD.

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