This adult-orientated, computer-generated animation isn’t an especially successful outing but still serves as an impressive antidote to the Disney-Pixar norm. It was written and directed in 2006 by Norway’s Christopher Nielsen, and Simon Pegg has since turned his hand to writing an English screenplay for it while a host of named actors – including Woody Harrelson, Jim Broadbent and Pegg – have added their vocal weight. The result is a gritty Scandinavia-set stoner comedy replete with a raft of unkempt cockney-esque characters, some hit-and-miss comic moments, dank locations, rampant copulation, much spliff-smoking and more effing and blinding than you’ll find on any football terrace. Yet part of the story here is undeniably touching, poignant, even childlike in its depiction of animal exploitation.
Jimmy is an endearing but malnourished Russian circus elephant with ripped earlobes and broken tusks. Not only is he kept in check with a cocktail of uppers and downers, but some Russian smuggler has sewn seven kilos of heroin into his arse. When the film’s main characters – a group of hired dope fiends – screws up his medication, Jimmy dashes off into the wild and the film switches to road-trip mode as he’s pursued by Lappish mafia, Scottish hunters and incompetent animal activists. The film sports an enjoyable ‘Shaft’-inspired soundtrack, some pretty deft animation and a most un-Disneyfied ending. It’s just not as funny as it could have been.