My Life as a Courgette is a delightful French language stop motion animation adaption of Gilles Paris’ 2002 novel Autobiographie d’une Courgette. Made by Claude Barras, it follows a young boy, Icare, who moves into an orphanage after his mother dies in an accident Icare causes. From there the film depicts his life at the Orphanage, his interactions with the other kids, the arrival of a girl named Camille, and his friendship with a Police Officer who visits him.
The film is an extremely touching look at the life and friendship of these kids who are on the outside of society. You get to understand all of them, even those with minimal screen time, and grow to care about them and their friendship. Some of the best moments in the film are just the time they spend hanging out as friends. It is a film that touches on some dark or more adult themes at times, although fairly delicately, so it’s might not be suitable for very young children, but can offer a brilliant look at friendship for older children.
The actually claymation work is incredibly beautiful. The models all look fantastic, but it’s the striking colours that really stand out. It’s always fantastic to see films made using more traditional animation styles, and My Life As A Courgette delivers it in a way that shows the beauty slightly rough around the edges charm of a clay animation film.
This is one that should absolutely not be missed for lovers of animation. It captures a lot of big ideas about people in a very small-scale situation. It is often moving, especially when tackling some darker issue, but for the most part it’s absolutely delightful.