This past Sunday I attended NYICFF's special DVD release screening of Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart. Ticketweb summarizes the movie by saying
Jack is born on a day so cold that his heart freezes. In its place he is given a mechanical wind-up heart, which comes with some very peculiar rules - the gravest of which is that he is forbidden from falling in love. Yet when a chance encounter with an equally unusual girl sends him on a journey from his native Edinburgh to Andalusia, Jack decides to challenge the rules that govern his very existence.
I want to start my review by saying that when Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart was apart of NYICFF earlier this year I was a little weary of it. Obviously it does not resemble the mainstream US features we are accustomed to seeing. I didn't have a chance to see it then but overall it was a definite unexpected experience. I appreciated the wide attention to detail within each environment. You really got a sense of the spaces each character operated within. I think style wise it can instantly seem comparable to a Tim Burton or Laika film but it really holds its own once you are passed that.
The love theme is heavy handily reinforced throughout the whole movie and I do feel that some parts of the story were too rushed. However, the visual execution and transitions were extremely admirable. I really enjoyed the many moments of surrealism and it felt very much as if I was experiencing a 3D version of paintings at times. Without giving too much away I think one of my favorite scenes include a stop motion scene where the animation was handled very beautifully. Actually, the animation style and the handling of Jack's ticking was very satisfying.
I was unaware that this was a musical, and maybe more often than not I could have done without the songs but they did help to move the story along which is always ideal. I think if you know anything about movies and story plots you will be able to predict the movie but that does not take away from the experience in any way.
I definitely feel that if you are like myself and have a great appreciation for international animations/ animated features/ animated shorts this is one to look out for. Check out the trailer below! Also you can learn more about the movie by going to Jackandthecuckooclockheart.com