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Film / Little Otik

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Nothing ominous or foreboding about this at all.

Little Otik (Otesánek) is a 2000 Czech movie by acclaimed film director and animator Jan Švankmajer. The film is a combination of live-action with animation and is based on the Czech "Little Otik" Fairy Tale by Karel Jaromír Erben about a childless couple who adopt a tree stump who later becomes alive.

Things take a dark turn when after a while, this humanoid tree transforms into a hungry giant monster who eats everything in sight. Švankmajer modernizes the story to an infertile couple in the late 20th century The Czech Republic who treat a tree stump as their own child. They keep this a secret from the rest of the people who live in their apartment block. One little girl, Alžbětka becomes suspicious and actually makes the link between the fairy tale and what is happening in real life...

Relevant tropes:

  • Cool Old Lady: Paní správcová, who finally decides to fight the man-eating giant Otik with a hoe after it devours her entire cabbage patch. Her name even means 'porter's wife' or 'old woman'.
  • Creepy Child: Despite being more akin to a tree/humanish hybrid, Otik definitely qualifies. Also Alžbětka, the neighbor's daughter, who looks after a gigantic man-eating Otik after Otik is locked away by his father.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The film focuses on Otik and his parents, until the former ate the latter. The true (Villain) Protagonist is Alžbětka
  • Dirty Old Man: Mr. Žlábek, the pedophile who likes to stare underneath the skirt of the neighbor's daughter. He gets eaten by Otik.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Alžbětka allows Otik to eat Mr. Žlábek and Otik's adoptive parents.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Little Otik. As he gains size, the not-so-little Otik begins to desire more than just milk...
  • Mouth Cam: The unlucky people eaten by Otik.
  • Oh, Crap!: When the husband sees the wife treating the tree stump he gave her as if its an actual baby his expression changes from hahahaha isn't he cute honey, I thought this would cheer you up a bit and make you laugh to ''Oh shit! What have I done!? My wife.... is a nutter.
  • Only Sane Man: The woodcutter, who is immediately aware that Otik (whom he made from a tree stump to appease his child-desperate wife) is not the little bundle of joy his wife thinks it to be. This still doesn't help him though because, when he finally decides to confront and destroy the gigantic, chained Otik in the basement with a chainsaw, upon gazing at the monstrosity, he stops what he's doing and longingly calls it 'son' before he, too, is devoured.
  • Piggy Bank: Alžbětka destroys hers to get the money inside.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Alžbětka seems way too obsessed with sex for someone her age.
  • Uncanny Valley: Other than his general shape (and little root penis), Little Otik looks nothing like a human baby other than his mouth whenever he decides he wants to eat and make baby-ish noises. This, juxtaposed with his eyeless head and jerky stop-motion, makes one wonder just how desperate (or insane) the wife had to be to 'adopt' him.
  • Weirdness Censor: The wife. Not only does she find it not strange that a human-shaped tree trunk came to life for no explicable reason, but she appears to see nothing wrong when it begins to crave more food, eats her ponytail (which she covers up as giving herself a new facial improvement), and feeding it raw meat. Her desperate desire for a child, however, may be covering up her common sense and putting her in denial.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: As monstrous as Little Otik was, he still had the mentality of an infant, which could make it Obliviously Evil. It was created on accident, locked up in a chest, and possibly killed in the end.