Review: ‘George the Hedgehog’

'George the Hedgehog'

A womanizing, baseball cap-wearing, skateboard-riding critter is the eponymous hero of the raunchy Polish toon "George the Hedgehog.

A womanizing, baseball cap-wearing, skateboard-riding critter is the eponymous hero of the raunchy Polish toon “George the Hedgehog.” Based on cult comics drawn by artist Tomasz Lesniak, the pic incorporates plenty of adult sexual content and vulgar humor while satirizing topical issues, from smarmy politicians to celebrity-crazed masses to vicious skinhead gangs. Item from helmers Wojtek Wawszczyk, Jakub Tarkowski and Lesniak has sold a robust 116,000 ducats since its March release. Niche fest and ancillary mark its best bets offshore.

Toothy, needle-nosed George (aptly voiced by popular thesp Borys Szyc) finds his carefree existence complicated when a mad scientist creates a slobbering, sex-crazed hedgehog clone. Wielding his skateboard like a weapon, George does battle with the scientist’s neo-Nazi minions in between courting his busty human beloved (voiced by Maria Peszek) and indulging his desire for a cold brewski. As the clone crudely entertains the cheering masses in a vast auditorium, a shark-toothed politician tries to boost his own ratings. Pulsating with energy, the crudely drawn character and background designs favor the grotesque; overall look is more akin to “Fritz the Cat” than to classic Polish animation.

George the Hedgehog

Poland

Production

A Paisa Films, Film Produkcja, Warszawska Szkola Filmowa production with support from the Polish Film Institute. (International sales: New Europe Film Sales, Warsaw.) Produced by Jolanta Rojek, Maciej Slesicki, Eliza Oczkowska, Stanislaw Dziedzic. Directed by Wojtek Wawszczyk, Jakub Tarkowski, Tomasz Lesniak. Screenplay, Rafal Skarzycki, based on the comicbook series by Tomasz Lesniak. (Color); editor, Wojtek Wlodarski; music, Jacek Szymkiewicz, Jan Duszynski; animators, Wawszczyk, Tarkowski, Anna Blaszczyk, Wojtek Jakubowski, Tomek Nowik, Piotr Golabek; graphic and storyboard designers, Kamil "Kurt" Kochanski, Olaf Ciszak, Mariusz Arczewski. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (East of the West, competing), July 1, 2011. (Also in SXSW Film Festival.) Running time: 78 MIN.

With

Voices: Borys Szyc, Maria Peszek, Sokol, Michal Koterski, Wojtek Wawszczyk, Marcin Hycnar, Maciej Malenczuk, Grzegorz Pawlak, Jaroslaw Boberek, Leszek Teleszynski.

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