By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
GKIDS USA release date:
February 24, 2017
Once in a while, a stop-motion animated film will amaze. My Life as a Zucchini (the English title of the Swiss-French Ma vie de Courgette) has a wonderful artistic design to it, reminiscent of Tim Burton’s wide-eyed look. This movie is based on the book by Gilles Paris and just like it, the story touches on the tough themes of how kids dealing with abandonment. At the same time, audiences get to learn about what establishing of a family, related or not, means. Icare (who prefers the nickname Zucchini – Courgette in French) is the protagonist, and after a quick look at his home life, his next day looks like a complete disaster. He may have or not have accidentally caused the death of his mother. She was drunk and aggressive towards her boy, so it’s tough to say if what happened was her fault or his. We never truly know when the titles roll.
Without any adults in his life, he now faces an uncertain future while living at an orphanage. He finds others like him and in some people’s eyes, they are damaged goods because of why they were placed here. Simon, the bully of this estate reveals all, but after an instance where Courgette shows he’s not afraid, becomes his friend (perhaps maybe too quickly) and as the two come to realize their existence is meaningless, just where this movie goes depends on how quick viewers are to notice the signs.