OK for kids 9+
Foreign stop-action film blends the beautiful and grotesque.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Toys in the Attic is the English-dubbed version of a 2009 Czech film. A combination of stop-action and live-action characters, the movie is too menacing -- and some of the creatures too frightening -- for younger moviegoers. While the "secret life of toys" set-up might sound like Toy Story, the characters can be downright creepy, and the evil Head (who smokes cigars) incredibly disturbing (he's obsessed with kidnapping an antique doll and forcing her to do his bidding). Tweens with a sophisticated film palate or an interest in stop-action animation will be intrigued, but it's not for younger kids.
- Families can talk about how the filmmakers employed the use of real humans/objects mixed with the stop-motion figures. Was the result different than films that include computer-generated characters? Which do you prefer?
- Some of the characters were frightening. Do you think Toys in the Attic is more an art-house film or a family film?
- Can you tell that this movie wasn't made by an American studio? How? Are there other foreign animated movies that you enjoy?
The good stuff
Messages: The movie's message can be perceived as a tribute to unconditional friendship and the lengths that true friends will go to in order to rescue someone they love.
Role models: Buttercup's friends all valiantly attempt to save her from the grips of the Head and his minions. Buttercup stands up for herself even though she's also a very maternal character who takes care of her friends.
What to watch for
Violence: There's a menacing tone to much of the film, particularly the parts concerning the Head, the black cat, and the rest of their allies. Buttercup is kidnapped by the Head's minions, including a rogue cat and a swarm of creepy crawlies. A toy made out of clay is squashed but can reform himself.
Sex: Some sinister sexual undertones to the way the Head treats Buttercup; he asks her to give him a kiss (on the forehead) and forces her to spoon-feed him.
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: The Head smokes a cigar.
Fan Reviews provided by
A very interesting, visually amazing movie by baghdaddi
This is a movie that will likely appeal to all ages, as it combines an arresting combination of wonderful stop-action animation, with a story line that tells a cold-war story of the evil head of state, who is eventually overwhelmed by the united efforts of the little people-- in this case, all the toys who inhabit the attic.
There are some odd moments, and some scenes that look like they were conceived during a hallucination, but overall, the movie is visually enjoyable- a wonderful escape movie, that transports you to the magical world of the attic where the toys, the evil head and a black cat all inhabit, and come to life when no humans are present.
Totally trippy by HannoverPR
This should be a midnight movie, as the whole good vs. evil thing is presented with pretty bizarre creatures. Love the little earwig doctor (with the human head), and the snake-eye spy. Gets a little freaky when the rotten potatoes start dancing around with what looks like attached Barbie doll legs. The bust figure that rules over the evil land will trip you out. Very different, very cool.
Childless critics by luvthehorns
Is the only explanation for giving this a favorable review. This movie is un-imaginative, poorly done(saw better stop-motion done by classmates in college RTF classes) and downright boring! My 7 year old who is a big movie buff(has watched full length movies from the age of two), turned to me at the 20 minute mark and said, "Dad, are you enjoying this movie?!" later, she just simply proclaimed it terrible and boring. Seriously one of the most boring movies I have seen in a very long time.
There has never been a movie like this before! Words cannot describe these visuals! by EricParkinson1
Czech animation master JIRI BARTA proves why he has been called "The European Tim Burton" with this amazing visual adventure. The premise (toys coming to life when no one is looking) is not new ground... but the magnificence of the stop-motion animation -- seamlessly mixed with hand-drawn imagery, CGI and multi-plane (with a little live-action thrown in!), makes this the most amazing animated film ever made. Sounds like a big claim? Go check it out for yourself... and do it while it's on the big-screen at theatres -- you'll want to see the full effect (and experience the amazing Dolby surround).
Completely trippy movie. by AniManFan944
I kept thinking that maybe this film is going to become a cult favorite, like Rocky Horror or other Midnight movies. The visuals are outrageous, and the creatures are way out there. Loved the little earwig doctor with the human head (and how he crawls into the leader's head to whisper evil thoughts). The snake eye is pretty cool, but I loved the rotten potatoes with the attached Barbie doll legs the most.