Though it sounds like a cooking-themed romp a la Ratatouille, My Life As A Zucchini is more interested in somber coming-of-age drama than food. The stop-motion animation film centers on a little boy nicknamed Zucchini who winds up in an orphanage when his deadbeat mom unexpectedly dies. He befriends a police officer named Raymond and falls for a girl named Camille, all while grappling with his new parentless reality. The American voice cast bringing that melancholy story to life include Will Forte, Ellen Page, Amy Sedaris, and Nick Offerman.
My Life As A Zucchini (originally Ma Vie De Courgette) is the first full-length feature for Swiss director Claude Barras, and it’s become a bit of a critical darling in a packed year for animation. In addition to being nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film, My Life As A Zucchini is also on the shortlist of Best Foreign Language Films at the Oscars as the official Swiss entry. The trailer hints that the film is a little grittier than most American animated features; dead parents may be a familiar trope for animated films, but alcoholism isn’t. Yet there’s also something hopeful in the trailer’s depiction of friendship. You can see more of that unique tone when My Life As A Zucchini premieres in the U.S. on February 24.