The Inventor: Review

The Inventor: Review

Leonardo da Vinci (Stephen Fry) was one of the greatest minds the world has ever known. He was a painter, a philosopher and most importantly – an inventor. However, living in renaissance Italy had its issues as da Vinci’s radical ideas and thoughts on humanity were deemed to be very controversial.

This didn’t stop him though, and despite his country only being interested in him when he was needed, da Vinci kept giving more to the world than any other human had before.

The Inventor is a stop motion animation written by Jim Capobianco and co-directed by Pierre-Luc Granjon. Looking at da Vinci’s life through the eyes of a child, his story is told in a rather simplistic way. The animation as well may harken back to another time and could even remind parents of their own childhood.



The issue is that despite the charming nature of the animation and the recognisable voice cast, there may be very little to connect old and young alike. This is because The Inventor comes across as an educational movie, wheeled out by a lazy teacher who didn’t understand the man himself.

Adults old enough to remember this kind of thing may perhaps think back to a last day of school treat. Something that turned out to be the dullest thing a teacher could find and they’d be along the right lines.

The Inventor is also a musical, a choice which perhaps isn’t best suited to its cast who aren’t really that well versed in song. Matt Berry handles himself well in his short cameo as the pope, but this is where Stephen Fry’s many talents were not as well used.

It also feels very dry, where on the one hand the script drops facts about da Vinci which its young audience may already know or go over their heads. On the other hand, perhaps going into his musings about life, the universe and everything may be too much for some children. Especially as they’re so watered down and hardly dealt with. Charming to watch, it feels like The Inventor has its fingers in too many pies and can’t quite handle them as well as its protagonist.


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Joel found out that he had a talent for absorbing film trivia at a young age. Ever since then he has probably watched more films than the average human being, not because he has no filter but because it’s one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching experiences that a person can have. He also has a weak spot for bad sci-fi/horror movies because he is a huge geek and doesn’t care who knows it.

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