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I mean really, I stand in awe.

I didn't know, at first, that this was by Jiri (pronounced kind of like "Year-zhee") Barta. That would have sold me right then, since Czech animators and Barta in particular display senses of the macabre, joyous, heroic, delicate, and mysterious all at once. (Since so many of them worked, or tried to, during the Soviet oppression, that seems rather natural.)

This, like any brilliant work of art, works at many levels. Physically the puppets and objects combine Svankamjer's sensibilities with Joseph Cornell's supply closet. In image creation, Barta melds live action with flip-books (or something close), stop animation, overdrawing, and I don't know what-all in computer animation and postproduction. The stop-animated puppets, however, embody unique personalities in their materials, structure, and articulation, even before you hear them speak,

Skipping ahead, I have to applaud the English language rendering. Taken in itself, it expresses the characters and helps bring them to life, even though English was never considered when the movie's original Czech version came out. But, the English is dubbed so it syncs to Czech mouth movements (mostly). This involved heroics on the parts of the scriptwriters, voice actors, and sound masters to create some cadence that a lip-reader might believe.

Backing up to the original, though, this represents a rather daring fable of personal freedom against the militarists, something Barta lived through before the Velvet Revolution. The plaster talking head had some reality in the Stalin era, and the spies and operatives remained real until the Stasi got their pink slips.

Behind and in front of everything else, though, this stands out as a major artwork, masterfully crafted and carrying more meaning than any one reading can disclose. I've admired Barta's art before. This, however, impresses me in more different ways than I can hope to name.

-- wiredweird
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on October 31, 2012
This film is actually a recycling of a 2009 Czech Republic film. I saw it when abroad and while it is a distinctive and visually appealing stop-motion film, some of the characters are quite scary/disturbing, especially the cigar toting vile bust/statue known as "Head." Head leads the evil "side" of the attic against the peace loving "side" of the attic. A rag-tag group from the peace loving side must overcome the evil Head and rescue a kidnaped antique doll. The voice casting is great, lots of big names and the stop-motion filming is artistic, however, the dark edge of the film may steer this towards the tweens and up (maybe 8-10 and up?). If you're not sure, you might want to preview it before the kids get a chance to see it. Other than the caution for the scary factor, definitely worth viewing artsy imaginative work.
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on August 17, 2013
This was a little like watching Gumby. Yes, it was Claymation and the toys looked a little creepy to me, but my 6 year old daughter somehow enjoyed it so I have to give it at least a 4-star. She's actually watched it at least 3 x now since I've bought it for Christmas. The story does at least have a good moral value to it so that makes up for the creepy appearance of some of the characters. It has a very old European feel to it, lol. The main character is an old porcelain doll which creeps me out to begin with, but don't judge me on that. I've probably seen Chucky too many times.
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on July 2, 2014
Wow, What can I say. This was a very cool movie. I liked it because it's off the beaten bath and very entertaining. the effort was well played and the quality shows in the end product. I will watch this many times over. Give it a try and you will not be disappointed. It sneaks up on you...
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on February 28, 2013
The English version is very unique and well crafted. Jiri has done great work in the past and this movie is nothing short of magical. The movie kept my attention from beginning to end and the voice-overs fit the characters perfectly. My girlfriends two daughters really enjoyed it. Two thumbs up.
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on July 1, 2015
Fabulous movie, using weird old crap in an attic. Victorian doll, overfed bear, weird knight puppet, and animate turd-with-bottlecap defeat perverted plaster bust (With animate gloves, eye on cable, and various minions). Then they all eat cake. In between grandma and kid do laundry, several floods and furniture climbing happen, various train and airline wrecks occur, and Marie Curie reincarnates as a mechanistic mouse.
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on March 29, 2013
This movie takes you to a strange and dark world of forgotten toys living in the attic of a house using the classic, rough form of stop-motion animation. The story in itself starts out slow and whimsical as you enter the lives of the toys, but things get more and more strange as the story goes on. These toys carry on with their lives until a dark character, looming in a dank and dreary part of the attic, begins to meddle in their lives. With this bizarre, imaginative world and mixture of wonderful, old-school art, I definitely recommend this to anyone who can appreciate the work that went into this movie. This movie, however, has very dark undertones and can be scary to some young viewers. But, my two-year-old daughter seemed to enjoy the movie. This is definitely one of those to gather the family together and grab some sweets for movie night.
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on January 13, 2014
This never really clicked for me.

I think I kept expecting something better, and it never arrived.

Or may I was comparing it with /A Town Called Panic/. It is, trust me, no /A Town Called Panic/. Not even close.

Then again, since it is rated PG, I may be a lot older than the target audience, and the target audience may love it.
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on April 26, 2013
these toys looked after each other with great care! thats what made me enjoy all the adventures of each toy! great show!
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on November 11, 2015
Great film! My son and I are fans of offbeat stop motion animation and found this film to be a real gem. We discovered it at our library and was happy to buy it. I think $5 is a bargain for this movie. My five year old loves this movie, but I could however imagine some little kids finding some of the characters spooky. I recommend guardians viewing it first and deciding from there. If you are interested in something out of the norm this film is it.
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