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MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI gets 8/10 Adult animation

Directed by Claude Barras
Starring Erick Abbate, Ellen Page, Nick Offerman, Amy Sedaris, Will Forte


This claymation PG film focusing on mostly kid characters is certainly something of an adult film disguised as a kids’ film. As it states in the Revelation programme, My Life as a Zucchini is “not suitable for younger children’, which may refer to the age of the kids in this film (9 and 10) and under. Although it sometimes brings up some lofty themes, it does so in a child-like manner that seems vague, yet understanding. It’s the strength of this film that it takes so much worry, joy, darkness, and beauty of the world and observes it through the eyes of children.

After an incident with his mother, Icare (who prefers to be called Zucchini) is taken to a foster home by police officer Raymond. It takes Zucchini some time to adjust to his new home and the other children that inhabit it, particularly the “boss” of the kids, Simon. It is here that Zucchini discovers some disturbing reasons as to why some of the other children are there, including newcomer Camille. Although there is darkness lurking behind the lives of most of these children, what’s great about this film is that it shows the curiosity and yearning for knowledge that kids like Zucchini have, even for the more adult aspects of life.

This is a delightful and tender film – even though it rightfully touches upon some dark subject matters, its lasting effect is one of hope and one that will sit with the audience in a thoroughly life-affirming way. This is also helped by its wonderful claymation design, with these cartoonish characters given the most expressive faces, further proving what an incredible form of animation it is, particularly for storytelling that is as attuned to the heightened emotions of disturbed children.

This is an English dub of the film (its original language was in French, titled My Life as a Courgette), with new voices from the likes of Will Forte, Nick Offerman, Ellen Page, and Amy Sedaris, who all do a great job disappearing into their roles (I didn’t recognise any of them). Although this short animation ends with not quite enough closure, and wraps up a little too kindly after all the preceding nastiness, My Life as a Zucchini is an honest film about troubled children, whether it’s portraying the darkness or the carefreeness of their kid lives.


Catch My Life as a Zucchini as part of the Revelation Perth International Film Festival, playing on Friday 14th July 2:45pm at Luna.

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