A glossy kidpic in which the prank-loving title creature (a Speckled Little Unidentified Redheaded Being) teaches a stodgy umbrella designer to loosen up, “The Slurb” has enough German backdrop to be distinctive but is universal enough to entertain moppets worldwide. Stateside theatrical play of the English-subtitled print caught is unlikely, but dubbing would open pic up to healthy ancillary action.
The Slurb (Christine Urspruch) is a sexless, effervescent, carrot-topped bundle of energy with a pig’s snout that suddenly appears in the life of timid inventor Bruno Tasslespeare (Ulrich Noethen). The creature antagonizes Bruno’s landlady (Eva Mattes), confounds his buddy Mr. Moon (Armin Rohde) and helps the milquetoast win his attractive new boss Margaret (Aglaia Szyszkowitz) away from reptilian factory owner Mr. Lurcher (August Zirner). Vet Dutch helmer Ben Verbong (“The Girl With the Red Hair”) proves adept at comedy, while former Herzog/Fassbinder mainstay Mattes is a hoot as the flustered frau. Tech credits are aces all around, with the charming Bavarian town of Bamberg shown to great effect and the SFX, save for the animatronic first-reel Slurb baby, top-notch. Pic’s domestic success has fast-tracked the inevitable sequel.