There is something about animated movies that connects with me, a connection that I rarely if ever experience with live action movies. It’s been my experience that when it comes to animated movies, Studio Ghibli is the best, no other studio compares, but when it comes to stop-motion, they are gems scattered across the world, gems you either have to look for, or find. This Swiss and French movie, My Life as a Zucchini, is one of those gems.
We sat on our couch on a rainy and wet Saturday afternoon and popped in My Life as a Zucchini which we had rented a few days prior but had forgotten about, we knew nothing of the movie other than the fact that it was stopmotion, our emotions were scrambled like morning eggs mere seconds into the movie.
My Life as a Zucchini offers a type of story that both adults and kids can enjoy or relate to, although it is quite dark, even with it’s lighter moments here and there. It follows the story of Icare aka Courgette (or Zucchini if you watch it in English?) whose home life environment is abusive and who eventually after an event takes place, gets placed into an orphanage. The story follows Courgette, the emotions he experiences, his relationship with the other kids in the orphanage, and their daily life, until a new kid arrives, Camille. My Life as a Zucchini does a beautiful job of introducing us to a variety of children with a variety of issues, dark pasts, realistic and touching personalities. From hints of sexual abuse, to drug abuse, deportation, the movies offers a cast of children who, although adorable, are profoundly real and relatable.
Throughout the movie, the story and the music allows us to stick with it’s very melancholic and calming tone, the children’s voices, the glimmer in the puppet’s eyes, all of the moments of silence, you spend the entirety of the movie forgetting that these are puppets and not real life children attempting to heal each other’s wounds as well as their own.
10/10I cried so many times, sometimes from sadness, sometimes from happiness, and sometimes simply because I was so profoundly touched. I related too much, and when it came to things I could not relate to, I empathized in ways I only seem to do with these gems of animation.