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Toys in the Attic
Directed by Jiri Barta
An Emily Blunt Review





Toys in the Attic is an amazing stop-motion animated mind trip filled with creativity and smile-inducing bits that continually top each other in their imagination. The film stars the voices of Forest Whitaker, Joan Cusack and Cary Elwesin in a limited theater release in this English-speaking adaptation.

Story goes…It’s just another day for the toys and brick-a-brack that have been left in the attic to fend for themselves. Long forgotten by their children and people owners they’ve happily created a workforce and transportation system to move around their living space.

We meet a cute quartet of friends who share an old suitcase together. They awake and get ready for their daily routine in what you sense in a daily working for each. The head of this house hold is a cheap-looking, but kind doll, named Buttercup (Vivian Schilling).

And the attic's small metropolis doesn't know it yet but they're all about to run wildly off the rails today!

See, over on the dark side of the attic, known as The Land of Evil, where the bad toys are stored, there’s a plan a foot to kidnap the beautiful dolly Buttercup. The plan is nab the cutey and force her to be the dark side’s queen to The Head of State (a very chilling golden bust of a dictator-like megalomaniac with Elvis-style sunglasses placed upon the junk long ago - played by Jiri Labus, English-version voice by Douglas Urbanski).

And, today’s the day their big blue meany styled plans are orchestrated into play today!

Even the old cat (a real cat) is involved in the abduction plans. Naughty pussy.

Discovering that Buttercup’s been snagged, the remaining trio Teddy bear (Forest Whitaker), Sir Handsome, the marionette puppet (Cary Elwes), Laurent, the ball of play-doh with stuff stuck all over "him" (who just makes noise), and information expert, the mechanical mouse Madame Currie (Joan Cusack) set out to cross the international boundary and rescue Buttercup. They also enlist the whole community they live among; very cute.

The trip will send them to parts unknown, and sights unseen. But, toys can be brave little things as we all remember.

The characters in the Prague-based film are very original. There’s a few that will creep you out to your core…so smaller children may be spooked (just be aware). While a few parts are a tad confusing (when they convert the cat to puppet, and climbing a door for example), the whole crew get an A grade for serious originality. One critic said it’s like Toy Story meets Tim Burton. Okay, but then it would be stripped of its A grading as the comparisons are masterpieces. It may sell tickets but, folks wont be happy they've been semi-duped...

Toys in the Attic is really original; not story-wise but in the use of objects and mixing of animation and live acting and stop motion. The audience that will embrace its 80 minutes is probably neither of the fore-mentioned lot. The Head's cockroach henchman alone could make the wee-ones need therapy it's so mean and icky - I shivered every time it had screen time (so PG-13? 'cause cutesy Toy Story this aint). But, film-lovers and celluloid art seekers will rejoice (finding a new voice in director Barta), while others, thinking Burton/Toy Story time, may get bored.

Snack Recommendation: Big old hot-air popped corn snuck in ...with REAL butter; treats to accent this treat


Toys in the Attic Trailer:

Look for it in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Memphis and N.W. Arkansas, expanding to additional cities in the following weeks.


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