Every child grows up leaving their toys stored away someplace – usually in the attic. This is a tale of toys living their peaceful life in the attic away from the human world. Jiří Barta, Czech animator and director of the film, uses stop motion to tell the story of Buttercup (voiced by Vivian Schilling) being captured by the evil toys, bugs and random junk left in the attic and her friends coming to her rescue.
The toys live their lives together in their suitcase home – antique doll and homemaker Buttercup, conductor bear Teddy (Forest Whitaker), the wooden marionette Sir Handsome (Cary Elwes) and a blob of clay namedLaurent (Marcelo Tubert). Their lives are interrupted when Buttercup is kidnapped by the Land of Evil lead by a bust of The Head (some kind of dictator leader) voiced by Douglas Urbanski. Now Buttercup friends – including an inventive mouse MadamCurie (Joan Cusack) – must go and save her.
This was meant to be a children’s tale, but this was really not meant for children. The characters from the Land of Evil are terrifying for a child to truly enjoy. This animation was really for adults. The film had a lot of reference to the Eastern European politics. The setting in the attic looked like Prague (the train station) and the whole situation in the Land of Evil seemed very political. This movie was making a statement.
Some points of the film were confusing. The film had to explain some references – such as the black hole clock and the multiple clones of Buttercup. It left me wondering what was going on.
Visually, the stop-motion animation was very creative and has so much imagination – to the pillow clouds and the sheets of blankets as water. The villains from the Land of Evil were frightening – especially the bugs. As an adult, I had some shivers running down my spine.
Overall, the film is visually stunning. The adventure the characters go through was fun to watch – especially the clay figure. It will leave you amazed and at times, horrified by the Land of Evil and creepy head busts.