This is quite an interesting, but confusing film at the same time. In a time where so many tricks are being made with animation, this one really sticks out. It’s a grownup film, mind, with scenes that reminded me of films like Being John Malkovich, The Shining, Lost in Translation, Thunderbirds and even Little Britain. The latter mostly because no matter how many different types of characters pop up, there’s only 3 different voices used in the entire film.
The storyline is sort of dull. A man who is highly confused with himself, goes on a business trip to actually promote his book (about improving business by customer services).
The thing is: it’s puppets (hence the Thunderbirds). The cute little animals (hares, mice, raccoons, etc) you can dress and that have a velvet feeling because their plastic skin has that on the outside? Yes, well, those creatures, but now in human shape.
All the faces look pretty much the same though (this has a reason, I’ve understood). The dialogues are extremely slow, like the intention of the film is to put the record straight as to where the attention is supposed to go: that it’s ace that this film was done with these puppets. And all the voices sound alike. Nearly all of them. Even de women’s voices. Because all of those characters are done by the same person.
In all fairness it indeed is quite impressive. With little face expressions, you do kind of feel the same annoyance that Michael feels on several occasions during his trip.
The funny thing is: because it’s puppets, it’s a lot easier to show a whole lot more without truly getting into trouble. I mean a puppet won’t ask for extra money if he is filmed naked, coming out of the shower. They would ask ‘is there any use for that?’ in this case, it’s done because it can.
After a lovely evening, the storyline takes an even weirder twist. The John Malkovich-factor, if you will.
In the end it is a great film with a lot of ‘what??’ moments, and despite being a bit slow, especially in dialogue at times, it’s worth a watch.