The Inventor tells the story of Leonardo da Vinci in a way you’ve never seen before: Stop motion animation combined with 2D animation.
Leonardo da Vinci was one of the greatest men of the Renaissance. The Inventor tells his story, and perhaps a side of it you have never know, through stunning and detailed stop motion animation, mixed with some 2D animation as well. The movie is a great way for families to dive into history together, and have a good time while learning.
Note: This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. The Inventor would not exist without the labor of the writers and actors in both unions.
Synopsis: Inventing flying contraptions, war machines and studying cadavers, Leonardo da Vinci tackles the meaning of life itself with the help of French princess Marguerite de Nevarre.
What works so well about this film is that it takes viewers on a journey where they are likely to learn, at least a little bit, about Leonardo’s life that they did not know. And they do it in a fun way that is entertaining and filled with catchy musical numbers, while also offering a lot of laugh out loud moments. There is nothing quite like seeing Leonardo da Vinci’s assistant carrying a dead body and trying to convince the King that it is just a drunk man — in stop motion animation.
The 2D animation doesn’t come into play all that often, but every time that it does, it makes sense in the story. It is used to enhance the storytelling and set apart these specific plot points with different visuals. The two styles weaves together to make The Inventor special and unique.
When it comes to the voice cast, they are all incredible. Stephen Fry is wonderful as Leonardo da Vinci, but it is Matt Berry and his ridiculous sense of humor that steals the show every time Pope Leo X is on screen. He has a comedic energy that surrounds him, and his voice, that just makes you giggle. Which is perfect considering the role he plays in this story.
The Inventor details the life of Leonardo da Vinci, and in particular the struggles he had to go through in order to conduct his studies, which ultimately truly helped to shape and advance society and medicines. There is no doubt that he is a brilliant man, and this stop motion animated adaptation of his life is sure to teach and inspire, just as the man himself did.
While it is a bit slow at times, it ultimately clocks in at a decent runtime of just under one hundred minutes. This film is not just fun, it is educational too. The songs are catchy, the jokes are timed perfectly, and the voice cast delivers incredible performances. See for yourself when The Inventor comes to theaters on September 15th.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
About The Inventor
Directed and written by Jim Capobianco (the Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter of “Ratatouille”) and co-directed by Pierre-Luc Granjon, THE INVENTOR is a stop-motion adventure film about the life of Leonardo da Vinci featuring the voices of Stephen Fry, Daisy Ridley, Marion Cotillard, Gauthier Battoue, and Matt Berry.
The insatiably curious and headstrong inventor/artist Leonardo da Vinci (Fry) leaves Italy to join the French court where he can freely experiment, invent flying contraptions and incredible machines, and study the human body. Joined in his adventure by the audacious Princess Marguerite (Ridley), Leonardo attempts to uncover the answer to the ultimate question: “What is the meaning of life?”
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.