Them’s the breaks.
Free Jimmy (Slipp Jimmy Fri) (2006) (NSFW) is a Norwegian animated film from director Christopher Nielsen that is not for children. It is a very mature animation that features a heroin and speed-addled and emaciated circus elephant named Jimmy. In between all the midst of animal cruelty are groups of misfits–quarreling stoners; clumsy vegetarian animal rights activists; and the Russian Mafia–who are all centered around trying to find this poor elephant. The film, initially released in Norwegian language, was re-scripted into English translation by none other than Simon Pegg who lends voice to “Odd.” Additional voice talents; and re-voiced by actors Woody Harrelson, Phil Daniels, and Kyle MacLachlan.
The film centers around circus stable hand Roy Arnie (Harrelson) who dreams of one day owning a circus of his own. But not this circus and not so soon. He is busying himself with keeping the useless and visibly overworked animals at the Circus Stromowski happy for his alcoholic boss Igor Stromowski (Jim Broadbent). But Roy needs help to care for the circus most prized animal, a heroin and speed addicted Indian elephant named Jimmy. Not because Jimmy lacked the necessary feeding and cared crucial for any animal to be happy, but because surgically sewn under the skin of Jimmy’s buttock, was a cache of heroin.
Poor Jimmy. Imagine that the majority of his better years was spent in the Stromowski circus– and now about to be kidnapped by a team of hapless opportunists. Roy employs Gaz (Daniels), Odd (Pegg), and their itchy friend Flea (Simpson) to help steal Jimmy to an undisclosed location to kill him and retrieve the drugs. However, there are a few things that stand in their way: the mafia who are after the smack hidden in Jimmy’s arse; four hunters searching for the ultimate trophy; and a gang of animal-rights activists led by Marcus (MacLachlan) who wants to set Jimmy free.
Eventually, Jimmy does find himself out of harm’s way long enough to enjoy a life free of drugs thanks to a moose who helps him quit cold-turkey. Within lies the foundation for a hilarious Norwegian-Brit comedy. Add a bit of grotesque violence and sex, what you have is an outright shocking animated film that doesn’t skimp on the shock value–the animated graphic sex scene early in the film is part of it and understandably, Free Jimmy is not for kids. The heartless characters and the terrible situations Jimmy experiences aside from being an addict makes for a truly troubled tale.
The film doesn’t keep you in a constant depressive state of mind the script is just too funny for that. The animation is bold but don’t expect Pixar‘s impeccable animated style. Free Jimmy has fixed simplified backgrounds, and the character movement is crude. The faces of the human nature are a bit rough and fits their sketchy disposition. Overall, like it or hate it, you will agree that Free Jimmy is indeed different.