Taking a little break from the world of horror and thrillers at the Fantasia Festival, I didn’t plan it but it just happened that animated films were predominant in my choices. The next up is Jack et la Mecanique du Coeur also called Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart. I’ve been increasingly impressed with French animation. I like the whole dark/gothic approach. It can sometimes gets a bit heavy but its also what makes the movies different and unique in its own way.
Lets check this one out 🙂
Director: Mathias Malzieu & Stephane Berla
Cast: Mathias Malzieu, Olivia Ruiz, Grand Corps Malade, Jean Rochefort, Rossy de Palma
On the coldest day of the year, a woman walks up to a woman in the top of the hill who will be the midwife to her child. Miss Madeleine takes her in and delivers Jack. Except Jack is not well, the winter was so cold that he was born with a heart made of ice. Miss Madeleine also has a way of fixing broken things and he replaces Jack’s heart with a cuckoo clock. That night, his mother leaves him with Miss Madeleine where she keeps him for the next 10 years to protect him from what could happen. On his 10th birthday, she reminds him of the last rule of the first 2 she’s always talked about. He cannot touch the hands of the clock, he has to control his temper and lastly and most importantly, he can never ever fall in love because these things will cause his heart to be damaged. Except on that first trip to town, he meets a girl who has a lovely voice and doesn’t like to wear her glasses. The girl disappears and despite what falling in love could do to him, he pursues his dreams and searches for the girl against all odds. This takes him on a imaginative adventures of meeting all of sorts of people.
Its hard for me to describe Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart. I had a really good time watching it because the whole idea is so fresh. To replace someone’s heart with the magical and mechanical heart which makes it even more fragile. Feelings are something that us as humans can’t push away easily and sometimes it has to hurt and we have to take that leap of faith, especially in falling in love. That is why this movie is so great. I do have to admit that I wasn’t exactly impressed with the one thing was that there was some pretty slow moments and some of the story was a bit weird bu then the imagination and the impossible that is used during the movie makes everything seem possible again. I don’t even know if that makes any sense.
The best part of this animation is the beauty of the atmosphere in the drawings. The location and the setting and how they use the color to portray the cities. It contrasts so well to what they are trying to say. And then there’s the lovely characters that are here. Jack is great on his own but everyone has some great dialogue to add a bit of dark humor. At the same time, the songs used are perfect and the music carries the story forward.
On a side note, Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart is based on an illustrated novel by the director who also is the voice of the main character Jack, which is also the lead singer of the band, Dionysos who had an album for the music in this movie. With all that connection, it makes this movie very passionate. You can almost feel the love and how much heart is into the making of this one. Sure, there are some parts which take maybe another viewing to truly understand with the little details and I’m going to say that children probably won’t enjoy this that much and there might even be a chance its a bit too funky for adults also but I really thought that it was unique and entertaining.
Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart is a dark, passionate, and musical love story. Its imaginative and way out there. Although its set in an historical version of our world, floating about in Edinburgh and Paris, and with injections of characters like Jack the Ripper and Georges Melies. It never stops to remind us that this world is way more magical and there’s a whole lot more playing out here. For that, its worth a viewing 🙂