Watch Kids' Reviews of
JACK AND THE CUCKOO CLOCK HEART

What to know: A wonderful film.
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
Recommended age 5-8
89 minutes
DVD
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This is a phenomenal romantic animation! It is tricky to do an animated romance, but they did a pretty good job at it!

Interestingly enough, this film is not just about romance - it has that tiny little grain of comedy with adventure and thrills wrapped up in a great story!

The story starts when a newborn, named Jack, has a frozen heart. An expert with mechanics puts a clock in his chest to keep him alive. Sadly his 'heart" is very fragile so he can't fall in love, but when he meets a girl of his dreams, he can't stop it.

This is a fantastic film! I love how they veered off from comedy in animation to a romance film in animation! However, after about 60 minutes I knew the ending and it became a bit boring. Otherwise the film was fantastic!

I think my favorite scene is in the beginning when Jack is born. The lady who helps the mom give birth is very smooth and looks very warm. And how about pancakes - of course, they are the best and no one should give birth on a empty stomach! That was pretty funny!

This film has some dark discussions so I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. I also give it 3.5 out of 5 stars for a good film but a bit boring at times and the story feels a bit stretched. Also there were so many plots it got confusing at times.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I didn't think I could love French cinema any more than I have. I've watched some of the best of live-action French cinema, but I've never seen an animated French feature (produced by Luc Besson produced, no less). Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart kindled an interest in me to watch more French cinema.

The beautiful thing about this movie, other than the way it looks, is its style. It is based on a rock concept album by the rock band Dionysus, so it is a musical - a feature animated musical. Simply put, Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart is the best animated feature since Toy Story 3 (not counting The Wind Rises for the sake of our mostly American readers) and it is the best musical since Sweeney Todd and Hairspray.

The movie has a very unique animated look. It is not quite as clay animated as Mary and Max but not as "normal looking," per se, as Finding Nemo. It comes off as a cross between the two. I'll admit, I am no expert in the creation of animated films but I do know what works in a film. Another aspect of the film's look, its art direction, is quite beautiful. It is dark, mysterious and effective in its tone. Speaking of which - the tone is quite dark with an underlying feeling of loss and rejection.

Even the score, in its happiest moments, have a heavy feeling under the surface. Although love does find its way into the story and the objectives of the characters, loss and judgment resurface. The themes are quite adult and not appropriate for young children.

As to the finest aspect of the movie - the score and songs, I would love this to be turned into a Broadway musical. The style of the musical and the editing combined is reminiscent of Moulin Rouge, filled with vivacity and rapid pacing. The songs each carry their own beat and enhance the personalities of each character and its intentions. There is a mixture of ballads, rap, rock and even Latin. I would buy the soundtrack to this movie.

The story itself is about a boy born with a heart so weak that falling in love would be too much for him. The movie follows his early life where he inevitably falls in love (screenwriting 101) and the strength of his heart is put to the test.

I have learned over the years that just because a film is animated, it's not necessarily designed for children. Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart isn't exactly The Grave of the Fireflies but it is not for young children either. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18. And my rating is 5 out of 5 stars. It is a wonderful film. It is one of the top five animated features of this decade.

Reviewed by Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15.

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Edinburgh, late 19th century. Little Jack is born on a day so cold that his heart remains frozen. Madeleine the midwife replaces his heart with a cuckoo-clock. It will work, as long as Jack follows the rules, mainly not falling in love. But his encounter with a fiery-eyed girl singing on a street corner and his decision to chase after her will test the resistance of his makeshift heart to the breaking point... Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart is a magnificent love story set in an exciting period full of fabulous inventions, eccentric characters and fantastic adventures. Adapted by Mathias Malzieu from his best-selling novel and the gold-selling album by his band Dionysos, this superbly animated movie is about passion and acceptance of others. Produced by Luc Besson. Music by Mathias Malzieu. Starring Michelle Fairley (Lady Stark, Game of Thrones), Samantha Banks. Directed by Stephane Berla.
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GERRY ORZ

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