Thursday, November 3, 2016

My Life as a Zucchini: The Animated Life of a Swiss Boy

By José Alberto Hermosillo
“My Life as a Zucchini” is the most gorgeous film of the year! A heartfelt stop-motion animation, colorful yet sweet and tender. A masterfully crafted coming-of-age Swiss production suitable for children of all ages.

The animated story recounts the early life of an introverted nine-year-old orphan named Icarus. His mother nicknamed him Zucchini, and Icarus proudly keeps the moniker to honor his mother’s memory from then on. 
Zucchini is the wallflower kind of kid who is also an excellent storyteller who communicates his experiences through drawings. 
His big eyes are two transparent windows reflecting his soul’s purity, emotions, and real feelings.
Zucchini, photo by Jose Hermosillo © 2016 Festival in LA
Those big eyes tell us when Zucchini feels lonely, sad, depressed, nostalgic, jealous, happy, or in love with his new friends. Zucchini once said, “Sometimes, we also cry for happiness...”
Zucchini has to assimilate the passing of his mother by using the help of Raymond, the supportive cop who tells him that his mother is already in heaven and she is Okay. There is no need for a guilty feeling.
Claude Barras Director of “My Life as a Zucchini,” photo by Jose Hermosillo © 2016 Festival in LA
Director Claude Barras identifies his childhood with these fantastic characters. He is influenced by classics such as the “400 Blows,” “Nobody’s Boy: Remi,” “Heidi,” and “Bambi.”

Zucchini and his friends have one thing in common: they all lost their parents in particular circumstances. 

Barras comments that no matter how obscure the story is, we always find ways to tackle those critical subjects with children. As the Brothers Grimm did in Germany with their dark stories in their own exciting way.

Zucchini is a dark novel that departs from depicting a kid who kills his mother with a shotgun. 
Those tragic stories happen almost daily in real life; few can tell.

“My Life as a Zucchini” is a faithful adaptation to the screen of Gilles Paris’ Autobiography. Screenwriter Celine Sciamma (“Tomboy”) laid an elegant and subtle screenplay on the page. She knew the story had to be up for kids of all ages. So, she wrote a less ghastly adaptation from the writer’s experience.

Inside the Fountain’s Foster Home, Zucchini and his “diverse” buddies are from different backgrounds and represent the most needed inclusion and diversity in cinema. 

The Zucchini gang teaches us an unforgettable lesson, “No matter how rough life can be, there is always hope for a better future.”
The Magnificent Seven

Simone is the red-headed, sloppy boy who knows everybody’s story. Ahmed is the soul of the party. Jujube is the chubby, gluttonous/hypochondriac. Alice is the shy blonde who hides under her hair. The gentle African girl is Beatrice. And Camille is everybody’s sweetheart, a proactive, confident, lovable girl.

The ten-inch-tall puppets were beautifully handcrafted and came to life in a simplistic but realistic form. The dolls were made of latex, silicone, wires, and fabrics. 
Zucchini and his collection of mouths. Photo by Jose Hermosillo © 2016 Festival in LA

The ten-inch-tall puppets were beautifully handcrafted and came to life in a simplistic but realistic form. The dolls were made of latex, silicone, wires, and fabrics.
Camille and her collection of lips. Photo by Jose Hermosillo © 2016 Festival in LA

When the puppets needed a change of clothes for the next scene, the production stopped for the night.
The minimalist and handcrafted sets were hand-painted by the director and his crew. The art direction and the perfect editing make audiences glide evenly throughout the movie.

Without sugar coating, “My Life as a Zucchini” draws the spectator from the beginning to the end. The story flows smoothly with continuity, a good pace, and gratifying surprises.
Max Karli & Pauline Gygax are the producers of “My Life as a Zucchini.” Photo by Jose Hermosillo © 2016 Festival in LA
Professional and non-professional child actors were cast for the characters' voices. The children were placed in an actual set to let them interact with each other, and only then could the children communicate their emotions realistically. 
The filmmakers taped the dialogues in action, letting the children’s voices overlap occasionally and purposefully making the soundtrack realistic.
Director and producers. Photo by Jose Hermosillo © 2016 Festival in LA

This original animated film is Switzerland’s official entry to the 2017 Academy Awards for best foreign-language film. It also qualifies as a best-animated feature, with a high possibility of getting an Oscar nomination in both types.
The film’s saddest and happiest moment is when the children talk about adoption, helping them mature emotionally. As Simon says, “Adoptions with older kids happen rarely.” Children must be content with a simple goodbye and the sweetest memories of their friendship.
Film critic Jose Hermosillo, Director Claude Barras © 2016 Festival in LA
“Zucchini” masterfully captured plenty of gratifying moments for the little ones and the grown-ups created by the talented puppeteer.

“My Life as a Zucchini” left my heart uneasy, with sweet and sour feelings. Also, it keeps me thinking about how catastrophic and, at the same time, beautiful life can be when we are children.


Copyright © Festival in LA, 2016


  1. I think it's a very good and inspiring movie. I can't wait to watch this movie.

  2. This is highly informatics, crisp and clear. I think that everything has been described in systematic manner so that reader could get maximum information and learn many things. movie box apk

  3. Wow! This seems to be a good movie. I am sure there is a lot to learn from it. I just finished watching shows by Andy Yeatman with my kids and I can see a huge difference in their behaviour. They are more polite and smart than before. I am very happy to have found this post online as well.

  4. I am so glad you liked the review. I am confident than you and your love ones going to enjoy this amazing film. Thanks for reading.

  5. I continuously continue coming website design agency to your website once more simply in case you have posted new contents.

  6. Thank you for your comment. We always have fresh and updated content that many other sites don't have. And we are proud of it.