Little Otik, AKA Greedy Guts, is a haunting story about an infertile couple who decide to raise a tree stump as their child. And as the synopsis would suggest, you’ve probably never seen anything quite like this movie. It’s a surreal dark comedy by Czechian director Jan Švankmajer. Let’s consider the pros and cons of Little Otik…
Pros: I appreciate this film’s structure as well as the themes it tackles. Maternal instinct is heavily represented, with Božena experiencing everything a normal woman would during pregnancy and early parenthood. Secondly, Jan Švankmajer does a great job showing the vastly different perspectives on this conception. We get Božena’s warped view, Karel’s reluctance and disdain for the situation, and their neighbor’s joy and concern. Most fascinating of all however, is the neighbor’s suspicious daughter, who eventually uncovers Otik’s real identity. Lastly, the animation is used purposefully and the practical effects are disturbingly realistic!
Cons: Firstly, I had a difficult time finding this movie. It’s not streaming on any platforms that I’m aware of, and the best version on YouTube with subtitles is a measly 240p. Besides availability, this movie runs about two hours long, which feels a bit excessive for the story. I can think of at least one character I’d take out all together, which leads me to my last con. Although the characters in this film are thoroughly developed, some of their decisions made no sense to me. For instance, the neighbor’s daughter knows how dangerous Otik is, but she still releases it from it’s cage.
I give Little Otik a B. It’s thought provoking and unforgettably unique with it’s delivery. I wasn’t being hyperbolic when I said you’ve never seen anything like it, but I hope you do like it! Happy Watching!
- Animation/ Effects
Where to Watch
- Not currently streaming on any major platforms.
- I found this movie on YouTube, but recommend finding a better version.
“I should have cut him up right away.”