Bloated fantasy, set in a dark dank Nowheresville, further removed from the World As We Know It through the overuse of wide-angle lenses. A mad inventor -- isolated on a man-made floating island in the company of identical sextuplets, a matronly midget, and a disembodied brain inside a tank of lime Kool-Aid -- has been kidnapping children from the harbor town in order to harness their dreams. (He has none of his own: neither dreams, that is, nor children.) A carnival strongman embarks on a mission of rescue. A trained flea plays an important role, along with a deep-sea diver (identical to the sextuplets except for a beard), bitchy Siamese twins, and sightless, hearing-sensitive storm troopers. The whimsy needs leavening. With Ron Perlman, Judith Vittet, Daniel Emilfork, Dominique Pinon, and the voice of Jean-Louis Trintignant; co-directed by Marc Caro ("direction artistique") and Jean-Pierre Jeunet ("mise-en-scène"). (1995) — Duncan Shepherd
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