‘The Inventor’ is as imaginative as Leonardo da Vinci

Category: Movies

Leonardo da Vinci is known for more than just being the artist who gave us the famous artwork of The Mona Lisa, The Vitruvian Man, and The Last Supper. His legacy is widespread with his achievements in engineering, science, architecture, art, and as a theorist. 

The Renaissance was a time of discovery and an explosion of art and da Vinci was in the center of it all. 

The Inventor is an animated film focusing on the final years of his life. It is stop-motion animation with intriguing visuals as Leonardo (voiced by Stephen Fry) unleashes his imagination to realms previously uncharted. The story begins with da Vinci’s relationship with the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope. His ideas were beyond the mere ideology of God being the center of life. He wanted to explore more and set his mind free of the conventional ideas and ideals. What are we here for? What are we made of? What leads us in our lives? His curiosity was at odds with the church, so he went to France where his ideas and approaches to life could be untethered. With the help of French Princess Marguerite de Nevarre, da Vinci’s ideas sprouted into many achievements.

In France he continued to muse on the meaning of life. He explored the five senses and their conjunction into the common sense. Is the soul at the center of our beings? And where does it go when the body dies?

Da Vinci studied the human body in his search for more knowledge about life. His curiosity knew no bounds. His inventions in flying and other machines took the public by surprise. This was a man who was truly ahead of his time. Or…perhaps he was meant to be just where he was to force the future on the present. Whatever, Leonardo da Vinci was a man of talent, intelligence, curiosity, and bravery.

Director/Screenwriter Jim Capobianco said, “The Inventor focuses on legacy, how you choose to live your life and how those choices influence others—a theme with wide appeal and resonance for all audiences, especially kids.” He added, “Leonardo da Vinci’s ideals, intellect, craftsmanship, and artistry are the very qualities we want to model for our young people. But really, anyone can appreciate Leonardo. He is a true superhero, and he really existed!” 

Capobianco explained, “The Inventor was created with a combination of stop-motion puppet and hand drawn animation. Why stop-motion and not computer graphics? If any subject matter is right for the handcrafted filmmaking arts, it is a story about Leonardo da Vinci: an artist, craftsman, and inventor who worked with his hands. Stop-motion is the primary medium we used to recreate his warm, hand-hewn world, rather than force the cold precision of a computer to do the same. Leonard’s own story inspired us to take this artisan approach, and my collaborators and I could not resist the charm of building a Renaissance world in miniature and creating this story around it.”

The Inventor is a fun film which highlights the imagination and inventions and art of Leonardo da Vinci. The visuals are interesting to see as the story plays out. No, this is not a highly technical animated film. It is simple, which is the best way to show the amazing mind of da Vinci. It is truly an enjoyable little film.

The Inventor opens in theaters August 25, 2023. It is rated PG for some thematic elements and nude art images.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 30 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Television Critics Association and is accredited by the MPAA. Follow her on Twitter.

Photo credits: Curiosity Studio