Little Otik

2001

Little Otik

Critics Consensus

Though rather overlong, Little Otik is a whimsical, bizarre treat.

84%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 44

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,905
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Movie Info

Acclaimed animator Jan Svankmajer combines cartoon and live-action imagery to bring to life a bizarre story based on an old Czech folk tale. Karel (Jan Hartl) and Bozena (Veronika Zilkova) are a married couple who desperately want a child, but have been unable to conceive; Alzbetka (Kristina Adamcova), an only child who lives next door, has long wanted a friend to play with and feels for the couple's sad dilemma. One day, Karel is digging up an old tree stump when it occurs to him that the roots look a bit like a baby; Karel brings the stump home and carves it into the image of a child, and Bozena expresses so much love for the wooden infant that it comes to life. Karel and Bozena name their new child Otik, but their joy is short-lived when they discover the infant has a bottomless appetite -- so much so that Otik begins eating stray animals and even people in an effort to satisfy its hunger. Karel and Bozena hide Otik in their basement to keep it from harming others, but Alzbetka feels sorry for the strange child and begins bringing Otik scraps of food. It soon becomes obvious that this isn't enough to keep Otik satisfied, so Alzbetka starts luring people from the neighborhood into the basement -- letting Otik do the rest. Otesanek was screened in competition at the 2000 Venice Film Festival.

Cast

Veronika Zilková
as Bozena Horakova
Jan Hartl
as Karel Horak
Jaroslava Kretschmerova
as Mrs. Stadlerova
Pavel Nový
as Franisek Stadler
Dagmar Stribrna
as Mrs. Spravcova, the Caretaker
Zdenek Kozak
as Mr. Zlabek
Gustav Vondracek
as Mladek, the Postman
Arnost Goldflam
as Gynaecologist
Jitka Smutna
as Bulankova, the Social Worker
Jirí Lábus
as Policeman at Station
Radek Holub
as Young Postman
Jan Jiran
as Karluv, Office Co-Worker
Zdenek Palusga
as Uniformed Policeman
Frantisek Polata
as Plainclothes Policeman
Vaclav Jezek
as Plainclothes Policeman
View All

Critic Reviews for Little Otik

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for Little Otik

  • Sep 18, 2012
    An infertile couple pretend a tree stump is a baby, but trouble arises when it comes to life and needs to be fed. The laughs are as twisted as the gnarled roots little Otik uses to grab his dinner in this black comedy adaptation of a European folktale with hints of horror and flecks of surrealism.
    Greg S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 20, 2011
    Could have been a fantastic, innovative film if not for a "protagonist" so despicable and revolting that I spent half the film wishing for the nosy, disrespectful, spoiled little brat's demise (the little girl.)
    Edward S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 13, 2010
    <i>"Show me your Otik. That's his name, isn't it? Don't worry, i won't eat him."</i><br/><br/> <b>Director:</b> Jan Svankmajer <b>Starring:</b> Veronika Zilková, Jan Hartl, Jaroslava Kretschmerová, Pavel Novy <b>Running time:</b> 132 minutes <b>Country:</b> Czech Republic, UK, Japan<br/><br/> I had no knowledge at all of this film, the director or the actosr within this film so I had no idea of what to expect. The reason why I watched this was because my tutor at my college wanted us to watch it. It is a mixture of live action and stop-motion animation. It is definitely one of the most psychologically disturbing films I have ever seen. It was deeply interesting to start with but when things started changing, it started going silly, cheesy and, to be honest, predictable.<br/><br/> Jan Hartl's performance as Karel was awesome! Him and his wife Bozena are going through a very difficult time because they cannot have a child. To ease his wife's pain, Karel digs up a massive root from their garden and carvs it into the shape of a human baby. When the root baby was presented to Bozena, she starts treating it like a real baby like feeding it, changing it and everything! Veronika Zilková's performance was for me incredibly disturbing yet psychologically awesome! Her type of character has been used in some films and especially used in TV shows in the past.<br/><br/> This film had great direction with lots of fast moving shots. There was stop-motion involved like Otik as it was crying or screaming. That was obviously cheesy but I don't think they actually wanted actual 3D animation within the film. The film was produced by a studio in Prague where I was going to visit.<br/><br/> Overall, Little Otik is an extremely disturbing fantasy horror film that is very hard to watch. Only flaw is that story goes cheesy at it goes on towards the end. Despite that, it was an enjoyable film to watch.
    Samuel J Super Reviewer
  • May 14, 2009
    Like merging Lynch's The Grandmother & Eraserhead and making it more straightforward but also more twisted at the same time
    Arash X Super Reviewer

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