Unicorn Boy is part of Make Believe Seattle, and it is playing on Saturday, March 25, 2023.
As has come up in many reviews before, my high school mascot was the noble Unicorn. So, did that make me a Unicorn Boy? Am I still a Unicorn Boy now? I will say yes to both.
I was of course very happy to pursue a film with a title like that, as I need more movies that are about unicorns or at least unicorn adjacent. For some reason it is a market overly saturated in TV shows, video games, and books. But not movies. I wonder why is that. Do movie watchers not like Unicorns? I hope that isn’t a stereotype.
Stereotypes make me make these faces.
Matty’s (Matt Kiel) life is currently spiraling downward. He has friends, fineeee. But he broke up with his girlfriend. It was a little awkward the timing too. It was after she said she loved him. And he panicked shortly after, and broke up with her. Okay, sorry, it was a lot of awkward, not a little. Don’t worry, Matty realized he missed her greatly. Life wasn’t as good without her. So he could just like, call her back and apologize and they could reconnect. Surely that would work.
Well, several voice mails later, sure enough, he is not able to get ahold of her. Wild right?
Unfortunately, while in a bathroom at a coffee shop, Matty gets sort of abducted by a unicorn, and brought to a strange colorful, rainbow filled world. This unicorn, Prince Purpleton (Sarah Natochenny) also doesn’t talk much and seems to be…uhhh, broken almost. And messy. Hard to describe. But Matty is brought back to their palace, where he learns that there might be a giant Unicorn running around, threatening things. But no one believes this story but the prince. The king (Patton Oswalt) is extremely passive and the queen (Maria Bamford) is mean. What is going on, how does this effect Matty?
Well it effects him a lot, apparently. Especially when he gets revived in the bathroom, and he is taken from the Unicorn world, and he spends a majority of his time trying to get back, to help his new friends, in a world that seems to be better than his own.
Messy rainbows, a picture.
But the best news about this movie, is that the story totally works and is worth exploring and watching. My own biases on animation aside, I think Unicorn Boy not just tells a relatively unique story, but an important story. It tackles quite a few issues. In general, grief and depression, finding yourself, dealing with different levels of abusive parents, and of course, determining that the body you are in is not the body that matches you. You know what I mean? I think you do.
And to go with the story, the voice acting itself was top notch. Our lead, Matty, is voiced by the director, writer, and main animator of the movie. Sethward is his real life friend in some comedy group, who got famous from America’s Got Talent. But we also got a few celebrities for roles, and of course, the voice of Ash Ketchum. An impressive lineup for an independent animated film.
Unicorn Boy is a movie for a lot of people, and a lot of people can probably interpret it different ways. But regardless of which way you interpret it, you should be able to recognize that it is definitely done with heart and humor in mind.