Little Otik | Chicago Reader

Little Otik

127 minutes

Veteran animator Jan Svankmajer adapts a creepy Czech folktale for this 2000 live-action feature in which a childless couple nurtures a tree stump until it becomes a monstrous baby with a boundless appetite. After the husband locks it in the cellar a neighbor girl with a precocious interest in sex and reproduction becomes its protector, feeding it with other residents of their building when her resources run out. The film parodies horror movies but also considers the irrationality of a mother's love and the unintended consequences of trying to control nature; it's mordantly funny, but the stop-motion animation of Little Otik reminds one that horror movies are generally least interesting when showing the beast. In Czech with subtitles.

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