A 2008 CGI animated film that spoofs and references various horror movies, most obviously Frankenstein. Set in Malaria, a country that thrives on Mad Science, and where all hunchbacks have no choice but to become Igors. The title character, however, has plans to break free from his station and become a Mad Scientist himself, with the help of his friends Scamper, an immortal and suicidal rabbit, and Brain, a robot brain in a jar. Igor's attempt at creating an evil monster backfires, and he ends up creating an Ugly Cute Monster Girl named Eva, who isn't evil in the slightest and would rather be an actress.
Igor's quest for glory is hampered by Dr. Schadenfreude, who has won the Evil Science Fair every year by stealing the winning invention from an actual Mad Scientist, and who sees Eva as his ticket not just to winning, but to taking control of the kingdom from King Malbert, who has a secret or two of his own. On top of that, Igor starts to develop feelings for Eva and begins to question the way the kingdom is run. Is being evil really their only option? And can a giant actress in a red dress really win the Evil Science Fair with showtunes?
Featuring the voices of John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, Sean Hayes, Eddie Izzard, Molly Shannon, Jay Leno, John Cleese, and Christian Slater, among others.
This movie provides examples of:
- Ambition Is Evil:Eva: So, I have to step on people to get ahead?Igor: Uh, yeah.
- Animal Motifs: A number of characters have this: Jaclyn - snake, Dr. Glickenstein - crocodile, King Malbert - armadillo/cockroach
- Arc Words: Pull! The! Switch!
- Asshole Victim: Both deaths shown in the film (Not counting Scamper's "deaths") come from those who had it coming big time: Dr. Glickenstine who is killed due to a malfunction in the invention and King Malbert who is crushed by the very weather ray he created.
- Attack Reflector: Eva's indestructible skin does this.
- Babies Ever After: During the final moments of the film, Igor presents Eva (whom he is now dating) his latest plans. Eva is deeply touched, asking if it could really work, to which Igor replies that they could simply adopt if not. Cut to the image of his plans which is actually a dog.
- Bad Boss: The evil scientists are this to their Igors.
- Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: The people of Malaria believe this.
- Bastard Understudy: Igor is this for Dr. Glickenstein.
- Beleaguered Assistant: An Igor must serve their assigned Mad Scientist faithfully, even in the face of abuse, or if they are far smarter than them. Or else it's the Igor recycling plant for them.
- Big Electric Switch: Every Mad Scientist in Malaria gets one, to activate their Eldritch Abomination. It's an Igor's primary duty to throw this switch on command.
- Blackmail: Malaria stays afloat by creating various evil inventions and then threatening the rest of the world to pay up, or those inventions will be unleashed.
- Blind Mistake: Used a couple of times with the blind orphans.Scamper: No, no, no, it goes the other way! Are you bl... let me fix that.
- Brain in a Jar: One of the main characters, named Brain. In a twist from most depictions of these sorts of characters, rather than being a genius, this brain is a complete moron.
- Brainwash: An actual business in Malaria, the Brain Wash, where Igor takes Eva to turn her evil, and Brain gets a literal washing.
- Camp Straight: Dr. Schadenfreude can be rather campy, but he is definitely straight.
- Chekhov's Gag: During the scene where Eva is brought to life, Scamper throws the switch before he and Brain were to do it at the count of three, much to Brain's chagrin. Later on, when they're going down the recycling chute to save Igor, Brain says they'd jump on the count of three, then shoves Scamper in before he says '3'.
- Chekhov's Gun: The "wish you weren't there" card.
- Conveyor Belt o' Doom: The Igor Recycling Plant.
- Crapsack World: Malaria was once a prosperous landscape until dark storm clouds came that turned into a wasteland where the only way to make a living is to create evil inventions and have the world pay a ransom to keep Malaria from unleashing them on the world. It's later revealed that King Malbert was the one responsible for the storm clouds.
- Creator Cameo: Chris McKenna, the writer, plays a man in the crowd at the Killiseum, who says, "That's Dr. Schadenfreude's invention?"
- Cue the Sun: As Igor gets through to Eva about the choice to be good, the sun slowly comes out over the arena.
- Cute Monster Girl: Eva turns out to be fairly pretty despite being meant to look monsterous, even after having her evil bone activated.
- Cutting the Knot: Scamper and Brain are trying to disable the king's weather device, but it's taking too long. Brain makes a comment that they'd all die except for Scamper, giving Scamper the idea to just bite into the machine, since he can't die even while being massively electrocuted to disable it.
- Dark Reprise: Eva sings the evil version of "Tomorrow" from Annie.
- Deadpan Snarker: Scamper. Also Jaclyn and Dr. Schadenfreude towards eachother.
- Death Seeker: Scamper again, but he can't die. He eventually comes to believe that living really isn't so bad.
- Defeat Means Menial Labor: At the end, Dr. Schadenfreude becomes a pickle salesman while Jaclyn (In her true form) becomes a pretzel saleswoman as a punishment for their scheme.
- The Ditz: Brain.
- A Dog Named "Dog": Brain is a Brain in a Jar...
- Ironic Name: but you could call him "brainless" and be completely spot-on.
- Dragon Ascendant: Dr. Schadenfreude took King Malbert's throne, though it was very brief.
- Emperor Scientist: King Malbert
- Even Evil Has Standards:
Igor: That's so...evil! I mean, which is great, but—blind orphans?!
- While Igor certainly intended his creation to be evil, he was horrified when he thought his creation was killing the blind orphans at the local home for blind orphans.
- A Played for Laughs example from King Malbert, showing his disgust that the talk show host isn't wearing any pants (said host being invisible) and scrathing his invisible...
- Dr. Schadenfreude is just as shocked as everyone else when he learns of King Malbert being responsible for Malaria being such a Crapsack World.
- Evil Versus Evil: Evil scientists compete at the science fair. Schadenfreude also wants to overthrow Malbert.
- Evil Pays Better: Turns out Malbert turned Malaria into a land of evil scientists so he could reap the profits.
- Evil Tastes Good: Subverted. Dr. Glickenstein made an evil lasagna that tasted good, but it didn't kill anyone, thus making it not truly evil.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Dr. Schadenfreude wins the Evil Science Fair every year, but he does so by stealing an invention from another Mad Scientist.
- Faux Affably Evil
- Dr. Schadenfreude "invites" Igor to his lair, which he turns into a spa to get him to hand over Eva to him in exchange from making Igor Malaria's new evil scientist like he wants. What keeps this from being genuinely affable is how he tried to shrink Igor (even if said method is non-lethal) earlier when he could've just tried to talk him into it from the start.
- King Malbert, even more so. On the surface, he's a firm believer of Necessarily Evil with a charismatic showman-like personality (Hey, he is voiced by Jay Leno after all.). Doesn't change the fact that he is selfish, tyrannical, and a liar to boot.
- Fauxtivational Poster: "Who doesn't like tortured kittens?"
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Igor (Choleric), Eva (Plhegmatic), Scamper (Melancholic) and Brain (Sanguine).
- Frankenstein's Monster: Eva.
- Freudian Excuse: Dr. Glickenstein seems to suffer through mother issues.
- Fur and Loathing: Jaclyn's baby-seal boots.
- Gentle Giant: Eva.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: When Igor is going through a Heroic BSoD in the recycling plant, Brain snaps him out of it, saying he's the only one who can save Eva from Schadenfreude.
- Gladiator Games: The Evil Science Fair, where Mad Scientists' inventions duke it out to be the last one standing.
- Glass-Shattering Sound: Eva hitting a high note cracks Brain's jar.Brain: (dazed) I think I wet myself.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: Scamper regenerates any damage, no matter how extreme. He takes advantage of this in the climax, chewing his legs off to escape from a trap and later shorting out the Weather Ray by biting into random wires to burn them out.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Averted. Scamper gets a cannonball shot through his head on screen. From a Mother's Day Card.
- Played straight with King Malbert. After Brain and Scamper dismantle the Weather Ray, it falls towards the arena. Malbert looks up and sees his invention falling towards him, its reflection in his sunglasses. Cut to Igor and Eva averting their eyes while a crash is heard and dust gathers near them.
- Gratuitous Laboratory Flasks: It shows chemistry glassware in Dr. Glickenstein's castle, though this Mad Scientist tends to use motors, metallurgy and electricity for creating monsters. Given that the nation of Malaria runs on a Mad Scientist-based economy, the chemistry setup is likely a standard-issue feature of their castles, along with a Torture Cellar and Shark Pool. One early unused poster for the movie even had the letters of the title formed out of spiraling chemical glassware.
- Greater-Scope Villain: King Malbert. None of this would have happened if he hadn't caused the cloud cover and restructured Malaria's society.
- Hate Sink: King Malbert destroyed all the crops in Malaria and created a system where those born with hunchbacks would become a Slave Race and the people of Malaria would create doomsday devices to blackmail the world for money. His actions lead to suffering for everyone in Malaria, and he did this all so he could boost his public image. Once everyone finds this out, he quickly becomes the most hated person in Malaria. Likewise, he serves as the person the audience can hate since he is responsible for all the evil in Malaria.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: King Malbert is crushed by a piece of his Weather-Control Machine, while demanding proof of his treachery.
- Homage: The first appearance of Eva is from behind, like in the original Frankenstein movie.
- The blind orphans merge two characters that the monster met.
- The Brain Wash has a reference to the movie The Fly (1986), with the manager (Buzz Offman) and attendant (Jeff).
- In the scene in the sauna, Schadenfreude's igor has a Hawaiian shirt and a mustache, which is the animator's nod to Magnum, P.I.
- Eva standing at the top of the stairs, all dressed up, evokes Sunset Boulevard, complete with "I'm ready for my cloesup."
- Going back to Frankenstein, Mary Shelley referred to the monster being named "Adam". This one is named Eva.
- Human Resources: When Igors outlive their usefulness, they're sent to the recycling plant.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Igor to Glickenstein. Too bad he doesn't listen to him.
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Malaria, Latin for "bad air". Also, you know, a horrible, horrible disease.
- Immortality: Scamper, a source of much frustration for him. Lies somewhere between Good Thing You Can Heal and From a Single Cell.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: Schadenfreude tries to use a shrink ray on Igor, but winds up shrinking himself and Jaclyn.
- Incredibly Lame Fun:Brain: Our work here is done.Scamper: Our work? You spent the entire time playing with a piece of ribbon.(Brain proceeds to play with the ribbon some more, laughing)
- I Would Say If I Could Say
- The Igor: A whole slew of them. And they are basically a slave race, forced to serve Mad Scientists.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Igor gives this kind of speech to Eva after her evil bone is activated and she's Brainwashed and Crazy. He even reminds her of her earlier words "I'd rather be a good nobody than an evil somebody."
- I Shall Taunt You: Schadenfreude does this to Eva to activate her evil bone.
- Invisible Streaker: Carl Cristall, who refuses to wear pants, despite wearing other pieces of clothing."I'm coming to you live, invisible, and totally au naturale."
- Jekyll & Hyde: Jaclyn and Heidi, and all of her other personalities she uses.
- Jerkass: Glickenstein, King Malbert, Malbert's royal guards, Schadenfreude & Jaclyn. There's a lot of jerks.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: As part of the parody, lightning is used for basically everything. It powers rockets and is used by Igor to bring Eva to life.
- Mad Scientist: The ruling class of people in Malaria.
- Mad Science Fair: The Evil Science Fair is where mad scientists from the Kingdom of Malaria create doomsday devices of various shapes and sizes and pit them against one another. The winner wins first place, the invention used to threaten the world with ransom to fuel Malaria's economy.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory: Several, actually.
- Meaningful Name:
- Jaclyn and Heidi are the same person.
- Also, Dr. Schadenfreude, which is German for "Happiness at the misfortune of others."note
- Mister Big: King Malbert.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: All the Mad Scientists.
- Ms. Fanservice: Jaclyn, this is intentionally invoked with her many disguises. She's essentially the most traditionally attractive character in the film. Even her true form isn't hard on the eyes.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: King Malbert, Dr. Schadenfreude.
- The Napoleon: King Malbert.
- Near-Death Experience: Igor, Scamper, and Brain receive one near the climax of the film in the Igor recycling chamber. The former one being the initial victim of the recycle and the lattermost being his attempting saviours (Brain reconciles Igor when Igor begins to deprecate himself, then attempts to extend his arm enough to reach the switch to disable the conveyor; Scamper then immediately does exactly what Brain wanted to do by releasing himself from the conveyor by gnawing his own feet off while Brain convinces Igor to gain the confidence to save Eva from potentially wide danger).
- Nice Girl: Played Straight with Eva. Even before she was brainwashed into pursuing acting, she was a Gentle Giant who had no desire to hurt anyone. And, after learning that the only way to make it big in Malaria was to be evil, she stated that she'd rather be a good nobody, than a bad somebody.
- Nigh-Invulnerable: Igor modifies Eva's skin to be immune to harm. This lets her smash through walls easily and makes a shrink ray blast bounce off.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Dr. Glickenstein & Jaclyn.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Scamper and Brain.
- Not What It Looks Like: Schadenfreude convinces Eva to come with him by showing her Igor and Heidi embracing. It turns out that while Heidi was trying to kiss Igor, he was pushing her away, about to tell her that he's in love with someone else.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Jaclyn as Heidi. Igors must not appear to be smarter than their Mad Scientist.
- Perpetual Storm: The land of Malaria is besieged by ever encompassing storm clouds which force its inhabitants to become Mad Scientists to survive. Said clouds were brought about by King Malbert's weather machine.
- Pet the Dog: While he is not above being a Bad Boss to his Igor like the other mad scientists, Dr. Scadenfreude did once say some good compliments about him while arguing with Jacklyn/Heidi. [He's a good listener, he has soft hands, and unlike you he sometimes shaves his legs.] He also doesn't force his Igor to talk with the typical slur the other Igors have.
- Precision F-Strike: Schadenfreude lets one "dammit" slip when he discovers Igor has invented something that he hasn't stolen yet.
- Ramp Jump: leading to a Slo-Mo Big Air.
- Refuge in Audacity: Scamper's mere existence is this.
- Secret Underground Passage: When the trio are trying to escape security at the Igor recycling plant, Brain starts rapping on the wall to find one of these, declaring there's always one around. Igor declares there is no secret passage while leaning against the wall in defeat...and ends up causing it to open to reveal a flight of stairs.Brain: (Smugly) I'm sorry, you were saying?
Igor: Technically, it's a secret staircase.
- Shadow Discretion Shot: Schadenfreude pulling out the shrink ray, also Jaclyn shifting into her true form.
- Shapeshifter Default Form: When she isn't using the transforming pills, Jaclyn looks like an attractive blonde. Turns out this is also a form she takes on with the pills, her true form being a female hunchback.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: After discovering Schadenfreude's true intentions, Igor rushes back home, intending to tell Eva the truth about the Evil Science Fair. Not seeing her when he comes in, he calls for her...and she appears at the top of the staircase, decked out in a fancy gown and practically sparkling. Igor is understandably floored.
- Shipper on Deck: Scamper (and eventually Brain) for Igor and Eva, going to far as to outright force him to address his feelings for the lady. On several occasions. Brain even remarks that "our work here is done" when they think they've succeeded.
- To Young Frankenstein. Dr Schadenfreude plays a few bars of Putting on the Ritz in the piano medley in his opening scene.
- Scamper and his repeated suicide attempts.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Schadenfreude and Jaclyn. Unfortunately for Schadenfreude's Igor, they take the former out on him.
- Sleazy Politician: King Malbert.
- Soundtrack Dissonance:
- The blind orphans sing "I Can See Clearly Now".
- The credits to the movie has "Pocketful of Sunshine" play. Which does not suit a dark and grim movie like this.
- Speech Impediment: Parodied. All Igors have perfectly normal voices, but are taught how to speak with lisps in Igor school and made to use them when addressing their superiors such as the king or scientists.
- Suicide as Comedy: Scamper.
- Take That!: The filmmakers have admitted that the idea of a leader keeping his people in literal darkness as a means of controlling them, while not a direct accusation of George W. Bush's administration and their lack of transparency, was certainly a reflection on it.
- Talk Show: "Cristall Clear, with Carl Cristall."
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Igor and Eva
- Too Dumb to Live: Glickenstein. He's a case where being stupid does kill him.
- Ugly All Along: Jaclyn is a Femme Fatale who visit various Mad Scientists to seduce them and glean their secrets. She works for Doctor Schadenfreude, who has been outperforming his peers for some time thanks to Jaclyn's spy work. In the end, Jaclyn runs out of transformation pills, and reverts to her true self: an ugly, hunchbacked Igor.
- Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: While Igor is actually one of the more good-looking hunchbacks, Schadenfreude is more conventionally handsome. Especially when compared to the other MadScientists
- The Vamp: Jaclyn.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Despite the dark setting the film takes place in, it's still a family-friendly one, not unlike your average Tim Burton flick. King Malbert is the source of everything dark in this story.
- Villain Song: Eva in Brainwashed and Crazy mode.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Jaclyn, thanks to a set of pills.
- Weakened by the Light: While he's installing it, Igor mentions Eva's evil bone loses its power in the light. When the sun comes out at the end, its light negates the evil bone and reverts Eva to normal.
- Weather-Control Machine: King Malbert's beacon on his castle is really a machine to manipulate storm clouds, which he used to block out Malaria's sun and kill all their crops, giving him an excuse to turn his kingdom into a land of evil.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Glickenstein gets himself offed fairly early in the movie.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The mad scientists, even Dr Schadenfreude who steals inventions to make as his own, sincerely think being evil is the only way to survival for Malaria thanks to the king's lie.
- Who Would Want to Watch Us?: At one point Scamper comments, "Can you imagine a face like that on a 40-foot screen?" Cut to Extreme Close Up of Eva.
- Worth Living For: Previously-suicidal and immortal Scamper gets this. Right before he ends up on the Conveyor Belt of Doom. He is pretty concerned that the raging inferno they are headed towards might actually kill him.
- You Are What You Hate: Jaclyn looks down on hunchbacks and can't stand the sight of them. Guess what she is without the transforming pills.
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: This is Dr. Schadenfreude's reaction when he learns that Igor invented life. Jaclyn finds it amusing that even an Igor is smarter than him.