The Rundown: Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart is a French animated film that has amazing visuals, a stunning soundtrack, yet is lacking in the story cohesion department. Still, if you love steampunk and French alternative rock, give this movie a chance. Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart is the story of, well, Jack. Jack is born on the coldest day of the year, and as a result is born with a frozen heart. The miracle midwife Madeleine saves him by replacing his frozen organ with a cleverly designed cuckoo clock of her own design. The fix has its drawbacks as it comes with three ever important rules: 1. Never play with the hands of your heart. 2. Keep your anger in check, and 3. Never fall in love. Jack is raised by Madeleine, shut away from the outside world so that he will never have the chance to break the third rule. Jack is aware that something is missing from his life, and eventually gains the freedom to search out love, and perhaps find out if he’s more than just moving parts after all. JatCCH intrigued me when I saw it on Netflix because it reminded me of one of my favorite music videos by the band Dionysos. It features a man with a clockwork heart trying to woo the girl he loves who does not love him back. (“Tais-toi Mon Coeur” in case you’re curious). It’s a gorgeous video, and it always left me wanting more. Turns out that the singer of Dionysos, Mathias Malzeu, wrote a children’s book that the movie is based on, and he also composed the score and songs for the movie. It’s definitely an interesting concept and I was hoping that it would explore the struggles of forbidden love, or perhaps do a ‘love can overcome all obstacles’ kind of arc. Unfortunately, the result is a bit jumbled. There are many nice things to say about Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart. It’s gorgeous for one; the world is crafted very well and exudes a unique visual style that captures the eye and the imagination. If I had to describe it, I’d say it’s steampunk with a dash of magic thrown in, with some surrealism for good measure. Every shot is a treat, and I can say that despite its story problems, JatCCH was never boring to watch. Where the film falls short is in delivering on a core concept. While they have great exposition, and introduce some foils, these either never come to fruition, or come back to the story too late to be of any real impact. Much of their time is spent reinforcing Jack’s rules, and describing the parts of childhood that can be a nightmare on the playground. Then, instead of dealing with the film’s namesake problem, they go into how hard it is for an adolescent boy to ask out the girl he likes. It’s cute, and somewhat endearing, but I really wanted some actual plot that made Jack deal with his heart, as opposed to scenes of him talking about it. Now, I had to see this on Netflix, and there is one thing I should warn you about. Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart is originally a French film. I knew this, but when I looked in the settings it seemed there was no way to watch it in the original French with English subtitles. This made me watch it with English dubbing, and while the voice acting is great, the synchronization is not. This made some of the songs fall flat (translating music is always difficult), and some scenes just became frustrating to watch. I would love to get my hands on an original copy and see if that improves my feelings about the film. Overall, this movie has a lot of heart (hyuck), and is a treat for the eyes. If you like a bit of surrealism to your love story, as well as a steampunky setting, Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart is the film for you this Valentine’s Day. Or maybe you’re just really into French alt rock. Either way. Happy watching! See larger image Jack and The CuckooClock Heart [Blu-ray] New From: $4.80 USD In Stock Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart (2013)Jeffrey's Rating3.0Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.