Jan 11, 2009

The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb

Most special effects in movies bore me. It is amazing how someone like Steven Spielberg or George Lucas, despite their virtually unlimited funds, cannot manage deriving any real quality purpose with their special effects. Honestly, I doubt that either of those two “directors,” both sporting very unflattering facial hair and facial features, are capable of expressing any real emotion through their movies. The special effects based films I have grown to appreciate are the innovative works of Jean Cocteau and other early surrealist filmmakers. I also have a soft spot for stop-motion animation.

Whether it be The Evil Dead trilogy or the works of Czech surreal Jan Švankmajer, stop-motion animation special effects always bring me to another unnatural world. The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb was the last stop-motion animation I had the pleasure of viewing and now I must say that it is one of my favorites. The film also features pixilation (not CGI) which makes the wonderful world of Tom Thumb seem even more like a fantastic dream. The BBC made that right decision when they agreed to fund The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb.

Tom Thumb is such a cute little guy in The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb. He is a claymation figure that looks like legendary actor Peter Lorre in fetus form. Almost immediately after being born, poor Tom Thumb is stolen from his already impoverished parents. Tom is brought to a room full of miniature mutants that are being tested by some guys that look like they could be members of the Gestapo. The newly born Tom Thumb is quite frightened by the experience, but manages to escape unscathed. Once out of the experimental hell, he meets fellow little people who are a bit barbaric.

The sounds, sights, creatures, and atmosphere of The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb is one of wonder where anything can happen at any moment. One second a mobile snail gets stomped in powerful motion and the next a man’s head is bashed against concrete until his death. The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb has comedy, drama, adventure, horror and every other genre ingredient. The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb defies both genre restraints and the art of filmmaking itself. This is a film that you can truly tell that the director tweaked every second of every scene to perfection.

The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb is mandatory viewing for all those cinema fans looking to see a brilliant and successful experiment. The film is full of unlimited replay value and certainly guaranteed never to bore. Thumb is the “little guy” that you actually find yourself rooting for in a weird sort of way. Not many films feature a newborn child wearing a halo of flies.

-Ty E

1 comment:

thebonebreaker said...


I will definitely have to check this one out!

Thanks for the review TyE