My Life as a Zucchini movie poster
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My Life as a Zucchini
My Life as a Zucchini movie poster

My Life as a Zucchini Movie Review

Make your kids happy for the life they have by showing them the stop-motion My Life as a Zucchini, an uplifting tale that begins with a quirky child named Zucchini killing his abusive, alcoholic mother. Better yet, only show it to your kids if you really don’t like them.

The Oscar-nominated animated film is a reminder that not all non-live action movies are for kids; My Life as a Zucchini is most definitively a drama, albeit one with cute-looking clay characters, most of whom are orphans. IMDB actually lists Zucchini as a family movie, but it’s hard to fathom many kids enjoying it.

Though originally a French film, I watched a dubbed version that features the talented voice cast of Will Forte, Nick Offerman and Ellen Page. Directed by Claude Barras and based on a novel by Gilles Paris, My Life as a Zucchini is a well made, well written movie that likely deserves the honor of being nominated for an Academy Award. The characters are interesting and the challenges are real. The stop-motion design are top notch and refreshingly different than any other animated film of the year.

The thing is: I don’t really like serious animated films. I don’t even get why they exist. Few adults want to watch claymation films, let alone ones that don’t take full advantage of the format by being off-the-wall bonkers. The story clearly resonated with the filmmakers, but who this movie was made for is hard to nail down. Take the same screenplay and make a live-action version of it, you’d probably have a relatively unremarkable drama.

As interesting and unique as My life as a Zucchini is at a technical level, it isn’t a movie most will appreciate on a storytelling level. For that reason, it’s hard to recommend, even if it does have its merits.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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