This is the most beautiful movie of the year. And it’s one of my favorites.
“The Inventor” isn’t quite like anything else I’ve ever seen. First, this isn’t a children’s movie, but kids certainly can enjoy it. I think children who know something about Leonardo Da Vinci will especially appreciate it, but they don’t need to be experts to engage with this tale about the last years of Da Vinci’s life.
Although this is fancifully told, it is based on fact.
For older viewers, and probably for many kids as well, the look of the characters will bring to mind the beloved Rankin-Bass characters from the likes of the stop-motion classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” from 1964.
The Ireland Curiosity Studio partnered with Cartoon Saloon, which created the 2D animation sequences. Add to that beautiful songs by Alex Mandel (although this is a story with music, as opposed to a musical) and a top-notch voice ensemble and you have a clever, unique sort of biopic.
Actor Stephen Fry (“Missing Link”) provides the vocal cords for Da Vinci, who, in 1516, is sort of trapped by Medici Pope Leo X (Matt Berry, “The IT Crowd.”)
Leo isn’t keen on Da Vinci’s research into the human body because the great thinker uses cadavers as he searches for knowledge. He advises Da Vinci to “be a good little painter.” He’d also like Da Vinci to come up with some weapons that will terrify the French.
Da Vinci finds the King of France to be more open-minded, so Da Vinci heads there, only to discover his next task is to impress the Great Kings of Europe.
The King of France has a sister (voice by Daisy Ridley) who, like Da Vinci, is smart and filled with a sense of wonder, so it’s fun to see a natural friendship develop.
The songs, which never overwhelm the story, are lovely, and add to the tale.
Take your older kids and tap into their sense of wonder. Who knows? You all might learn something along the way from this incredible film.
Running time: One hour and 32 minutes.
Rated: PG for discussion of death and cadavers.
Only in theaters.
Watch the trailer here.