Australian Council on Children and the Media

Igor

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Not recommended under 8, PG to 13 due to violence and disturbing scenes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Igor
  • a review of Igor completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 8 January 2010.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Igor
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and violence
Length 86 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The unfortunate kingdom of Malaria has been afflicted with perpetual storms and rain for years. King Malbert (voice of Jay Leno) has combated with this adversity by making Malaria the centre for Evil Scientists and their evil inventions. Their evil creations are used to blackmail the rest of world, who pay large amounts of money to stop their release.

Dr Glickenstein (John Cleese), one of Malaria’s most famous but inept evil scientists, is working on his latest entry for the Evil Science Fair, when he is accidentally killed. His oppressed but clever assistant, Igor the hunchback (John Cusack) decides to use this opportunity to live out his dream of being an evil scientist. With his friends, Scamper the immortal rabbit (Steve Buscemi) and less than brainy Brain (Sean Hayes), Igor creates a living evil monster, Eva (Molly Shannon). Unfortunately, Eva’s ‘evil bone’ doesn’t work, and after a series of mishaps, she in fact thinks she’s an actress.

Further troubles arise when Dr Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard), a rival evil scientist, and his shape-shifting girlfriend Jacqueline (Jennifer Coolidge) also plot to steal Igor’s invention to win the competition and overthrow King Malbert. Igor, with the help of his friends, must try to convince Eva to be ‘evil’ for the competition to realise his dreams, survive threats to his life from the king and Dr Schadenfreude, and expose the biggest cover up the kingdom has known.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Evil scientists

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • After his invention fails, Dr Glickenstein throws Igor across the room and yells ‘strike” when Igor hits some barrels. Igor does not appear hurt.
  • Schadenfreude and Jacqueline have two fights in the film, during which they use his “Igor” as a slapping board. The hunchback is hit several times in the face and falls down, The scene is depicted as humorous.
  • During a fight, Schadenfreude throws his girlfriend across the table.
  • Glickenstein throws a transducer at Igor’s head, causing him to fall down.
  • Glickenstein’s second invention is a rocket ship. During its launch, the rocket explodes and Dr Glickenstein is killed. While shocked, Igor and friends, don’t appear distressed.
  • When King Malbert visits Dr Glickenstein’s castle, he picks Igor up by the feet, and bounces his head along the ground, then drops him and steps on him.
  • King Malbert throws Igor down the ‘Igor recycling’ shute. Scamper and Brain later jump in to help their friend. They all end up winched up along a conveyer belt heading towards giant slicing blades. They appear scared. Scamper rescues them, and he reveals he escaped by chewing off his own hands. (No blood). The trio are then chased along darkened tunnels by henchmen.
  • Suicidal Scamper keeps trying to kill himself – he is shown to drop a heavy rock on himself, drink poison and blow himself up. As he is immortal, he survives all efforts and does not appear injured.
  • Jacqueline kicks the King into the Arena. He looks up to see his weather tower falling down on him. He is crushed under it and Schadenfreude proclaims him dead.
  • As Eva is created by Igor, Scamper is struck by lightning and Brain has a large hand dropped on top of him. Both recover quickly.
  • Scamper reads an exploding greeting card, resulting in the centre of his head being blown out. He recovers and appears undistressed.
  • Igor gets angry with Brain for messing up Eva’s brainwashing and chases him with an axe. Brain looks scared.
  • While singing a song, Eva spins about the room, knocking down and destroying things. Igor, Scamper and Brain are all knocked about as well. In another scene, Eva’s heavy footed dancing results in Igor being launched off the floor and landing heavily in a box.
  • While making a costume for Eva, Brain accidentally cuts off Scamper’s arm. Scamper does not even notice and continues sewing with his other hand.
  • Eva falls down the stairs and accidentally squashes Igor beneath her. He recovers quickly.
  • Eva destroys all the other monster inventions at the Science Fair and then turns her attention toward the arena itself. She throws Schadenfreude against a wall.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under five, including the following:

  • When Dr Glickenstein launches his latest invention, he yells at Igor and laughs in an evil way. There is scary music playing in the background and lots of flashing lights and noise. The invention goes wrong, with alarms going off.
  • Malaria and the evil scientists’ homes are depicted as dark, depressing places. Scary music is played in the background.
  • King Malbert threatens Igor with dismemberment, saying he will throw Igor down the manhole and then use his hunch as a speedbump. He then leaves, with a plan to ‘kick some old people’.
  • When Igor reveals his ‘evil monster’ invention, Scamper and Brain appear horrifed. Scary music is played in the background. Igor uses lots of spare body parts to build Eva. When Eva comes to life, Igor repeatedly yells “Rise”. Again, there is a lot of noise, alarms, flashing lights and smoke. When Eva then disappears, Igor, Brain and Scamper appear scared. It appears that Eva enters a home for blind orphans and their screams suggest she is killing them. When Igor enters the home, he sees she is entertaining them instead.
  • Eva is taken to a brain-washing facility to make her more evil. She placed in a room with her eyes held open by prongs and she is made to watch black and white footage of people screaming.
  • Schadenfreude chases Igor and friends in carriage, in attempt to steal Eva. He shoots their carriage with a ‘shrink’ gun, but misses each time. While concerned, Igor and friends are not shown to be particularly scared. As the chase moves up onto a mountain, there are several near cliff falls, skids and leaps between mountains. Igor’s carriage goes over the edge, but with the help of Eva, he and his friends are pulled to safety.
  • Schadenfreude accidentally shrinks himself and Jacqueline.
  • Heidi/Jacqueline gives Igor a card, which when opened transports him directly into Schadenfreude’s castle. Schadenfreude then tries to lure Igor into his plans to overthrow King Malbert. When Igor refuses, he is then attacked. Igor escapes and Schadenfreude and his ‘igor’ assistant are trapped in the closing spa.
  • During his attempt to make over Eva, Scamper yells out “Bring me the severed head of a supermodel!”
  • After being taunted by Schadenfreude, Eva’s ‘evil bone’ activates and she is transformed into the evil monster version of herself. Her eyes become darkened and green and she looks angry. She then enters the Science Fair arena and fights all the other inventions (dragons, monster robot pandas etc), destroying them.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Some children in this age group may also find some of the above mentioned scenes disturbing

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Some children in this age group may also find some of the above mentioned scenes disturbing

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Schadenfreude and Jacqueline have a brief romantic tango scene, and in another scene they kiss
  • Jacqueline’s alter-ego Heidi is depicted as a voluptuous woman, but no direct comments are made about her generous cleavage.
  • Heidi kisses Igor

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

“Imbecile”, “I’m going to shove a pickle where the sun don’t shine’, ‘shut your cakehole’, “oh my God”.

In a nutshell

Igor is a light-hearted animated comedy about good and evil. Young children may find some scenes scary and the themes and aspects of the dialogue complex. Older children will enjoy the amusing ‘big’ characters and slapstick humour, and there is much for adults to enjoy in the clever dialogue.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • not being limited by other people’s expectation of you.
  • striving and working hard towards your dreams
  • friendship and loyalty
  • we all have potential to be evil, but can choose not to be

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as

  • name-calling, belittling and demeaning others
  • being prejudiced
  • using violence as a means to an end
  • lying, being deceitful, cheating, stealing

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