Eerie, touching, animated, and French

French concept album and book yields unique approach in animated musical “Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart.”

By Jazmine Sanchez, Staff Writer

“Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart” is a captivating animated musical of a young boy’s journey from Edinburgh to Andalusia for just one kiss, originating from a book and concept album by Mathias Malzieu and his French rock band, Dionysos.

It all begins on the coldest day ever to take place in Edinburgh in the late 19th century, where a pregnant woman gives birth to a child with a frozen heart. A woman named Madeline replaces his frozen heart with a cuckoo clock, establishing three rules: he must never touch the hands of his heart, he must control his anger, and must never fall in love. After setting his eyes on a young girl whom he falls in love with and seconds later loses, he is determined to find her, even if it means endangering his life with one last kiss.

A boy with a frozen heart grows into a man with a cuckoo clock for a ticker in this surreal, romantic, animated musical from a French concept album.Shout! Factory

A boy with a frozen heart grows into a man with a cuckoo clock for a ticker in this surreal, romantic, animated musical from a French concept album.

Malzieu’s album and novel “La Mécanique du Coeur” were both released in 2007. This story captures love through animation, which is driven by some very powerful lyrics and music by Malzieu and Dionysos. Malzieu is the lead singer, and together they deliver some very poetic music that fits the film perfectly. The soundtrack gives the audience a taste of rock and roll, punk, and poetic flavors that are also sung in different languages.

Although some of the lyrics may be odd, they make you wonder what the foundation of the songs were. The most memorable line in one of there songs is when Jack sings to Miss Acacia, “I won’t let you stray, I’ll be your only guy. Let me be your pair of eyes, you will be my special flame.” Although she can’t see, he lets her know that with him everything will be alright because of his love for her.

The film involves a lot of dramatic and emotional events, yet it bursts with passion for the thing that matters most throughout the film: love. The actors deliver to a point where they capture your attention, but towards the end the momentum dies down because of some events that just don’t make sense or belong.

The animated figures give a porcelain, China-doll feel; yet there eyes look so human they make you feel as they’re looking right at you. The scenery gives off a sense of a Tim Burton style with its creepy darkness and oddly shaped buildings.

“Jack” doesn’t really fall under a rating category because it can be seen by anyone, but may not be appreciated by everyone. It takes a person who is open to something new and odd to really like this film.

If you enjoy an animated love story filled with its ups and downs and poetic lyrics, then it may be for you. Its unique story line could have lasted longer but definitely captured my attention in all the right ways. It makes you believe that love does exist, even in the oddest ways.

“Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart” opens Sept. 24 in theatres and on VOD.

Rated PG for scary images, suggestive material, some language and smoking. The film is French, but the language is English.

3.5 stars (out of 5)

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