Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes

Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart2014

Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (2014)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest day in the history of the world, little Jack is born with his heart frozen solid. Wasting no time, midwife Madeleine takes action and saves his life by inserting a cuckoo-clock in place of his icy heart. And now Jack will live...as long as he observes three golden rules: 1 - He must never touch the hands of the clock. 2 - He must master his anger. 3 - He must never, ever fall in love. But fall in love he does, to a bespectacled young street performer, Miss Acacia, with a soul-stirring voice. Now begins a journey of escape and pursuit, from Edinburgh to Paris to Miss Acacia's home in Andalusia. Based on the novel by Mathias Malzieu, Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart is a fantastical, wildly inventive tale of love and heartbreak - by turns poignant and funny - in which Jack finally learns the great joys, and ultimately the greater costs, of owning a fully formed heart. (C) DADA Films

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Mathias Malzieu
as Jack (French voice cast)
Olivia Ruiz
as Miss Acacia (French voice cast)
Marie-Pierre Vincent
as Madeleine #1 (French voice cast)
Emily Loizeau
as Madeleine #2 (French voice cast)
Grand Corps Malade
as Joe (French voice cast)
Jean Rochefort
as Méliès (French voice cast)
Arthur H.
as Arthur (French voice cast)
Alain Bashung
as Jack the Ripper (French voice cast)
as Anna (French voice cast)
as Brigitte Heim (French voice cast)
Rossy de Palma
as Luna (French voice cast)
as Crying Man (French voice cast)
Moon Dailly
as Blonde Girl (French voice cast)
Chloe Renaud
as Young Mother (French voice cast)
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Critic Reviews for Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3)

"Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart" stubbornly remains less than the sum of its parts. But its rich visual imagery suggests the talented artists involved could create something exciting and truly original if they had a better script.

September 23, 2014 | Full Review…

The film is at once enabled and hindered by its utter strangeness, an intrinsic quality surely exacerbated in its English-language release.

September 21, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Malzieu has created a fully-realized, wildly imaginative storybook world and populated it with eccentric characters.

March 17, 2014 | Full Review…

In spite of problems I still enjoyed watching it.

May 2, 2019 | Rating: C | Full Review…

The story is scratchy, and Malzieu's songs don't always translate well, but the visual aesthetic is tactile and sublime.

January 6, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Learned all the right lessons from early Tim Burton, concocting a whole world full of distorted, horrific visions and treating them with unadulterated, unapologetic joy.

November 28, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart

Conflicted about whether or not I should give this film 3 or 3.5 stars. I just think that if I gave it 3.5, in my mind, it would be mostly because of how pleasantly surprised I actually was by the film instead of it actually being a really good movie. I think the story is well-written and developed, the animation is wildly imaginative, and the characters are amusingly eccentric. Yet, in spite of all of these positives, the movie never really comes together as well as it sounds when I described it. Don't get me wrong though, this is still a very good 'good' movie, a description I've used several times that I think makes perfect sense, even if it doesn't to anyone else. One of the things I very much liked about this movie, outside of everything I mentioned, was how dark the movie really was. Particularly for what is promoted as a kids' movie. There's some pretty adult stuff here, sexually suggestive scenes and musical numbers as well. And, you know what, it works for me. I say that because I've always, always, ALWAYS complained about this in animated movies. They just try to pander to the kids without forgetting that the parents, in cases where the film is released in theaters, has to TAKE this child to see this movie. So the experience has to be enjoyed by the child and the adult. That's something that's completely lacking in a lot of animated movies. Not in here though. Hell, I wouldn't even really recommend this for the kids. I think there's enough silliness for them to enjoy but, on the whole, it's not a kids' movie by any stretch of the imagination. And i love that about the film. I really liked the animated style, it's very uniquely French. But it's also very imaginative and strange. Some may find that strangeness overbearing, but I think it worked just well for this movie. The musical numbers themselves are pretty good and there's a good variety of genre in there. There's even a punk rock song. But, and this is THE biggest negative in the film, there's two raps done by the boy who bullies Jack, who looks like if Edward from Twilight had an eye patch. The problem is that this voice actor is probably the worst possible rapper you've ever seen. I realize some rappers just speak, but some of them have a certain rhythm and creativity with the way they spout out their lines that it can be fun. This guy, however, had no real rhythm or life behind any of his "performances". He sometimes struggles to make the lyrics fit, so he'd just say the last part of the sentence quickly so it ends up "flowing" with the music. It was just absolutely fucking terrible and an embarrassment. But, other than that truly terrible display of rapping skills, the music in this film is actually pretty damn good. I realize it may not have the big, catchy song like Frozen did, but I found, with the exception of the aforementioned raps, that this film had more enjoyable songs than Frozen. Because there's actual variety in musical styles, instead of it feeling like the same song with just some minor tweaks applied. Not like it really matters since Frozen made more money for Disney than this movie ever will for Europacorp, but I liked the songs here much better. The ending is also very symbolic and, anyone who's above the age of 10, will figure out what it's supposed to mean. It's not like they were being secretive about, it's fairly obvious. But it's still symbolic and a good ending, even if it is a bit of a downer. But I applaud this as not many "kids'" films have the balls to end their films in the same way, so it's certainly courageous. But it's genuinely a good ending. Like I said, I may not have given it a higher rating, but I really liked this movie and it's really one of the sleeper animated films of the year. Nobody really watched it unfortunately, hopefully it will change. Cause while it's not perfect, it does offer a uniquely entertaining experience. This is worth watching.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

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