A Cat In Paris

A Cat In Paris


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Animators Jean-Loup Felicioni and Alain Gagnol draw inspiration from Expressionist painters to give their short but not-too-sweet animation its distinctive fluid style, with its light and shade perfectly matching the night-time skyline where much of the action is set. Movement is everywhere, from the shadows playing on the characters' faces to the grace with which they move through the city of Paris.

Dino is the cat of the title, making a nightly pilgrimage from the home he shares with little Zoe and her police inspector mum, to join cat burglar Nico on his light-fingered excursions across the roof-tops. Traumatised by the loss of her dad - killed by criminals her mum is still hunting - Zoe has lost the ability to speak. And when she decides to follow Dino on his travels one night, she finds herself threatened by the evil gang boss who murdered her father. Nico, meanwhile, finds his thievery also putting him on a collision course with the kingpin. As Zoe and Nico's paths cross, it seems they might be able to escape together.

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The story is undoubtedly rather slight, but features plenty of reference to noir films of the past and even some modern nods to movies such as Reservoir Dogs that will no doubt appeal to eagle-eyed parents. Younger children, meanwhile, will be more interested in the film's sense of adventure, with its exciting rooftop chases, decent level of peril (possibly a little too scary for very young kids) and exhilirating climax at Notre Dame. Emotions are as important to the film as plot, as we see Zoe and her mum trying to come to terms with grief in their own way and reconnect with one another. This is a grace note, rather than the main thrust of the story, however, with the emphasis firmly on excitement.

Yet another film in the recent flurry of strong, individually distinctive animation from French animators - including Persepolis and The Illusionist - that proves 2D can still hold its own against the 3D muscle of Hollywood.

Reviewed on: 14 Nov 2011
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A Cat In Paris packshot
A cat with a double life becomes embroiled in a tale of animated adventure on the rooftops of Paris.
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Director: Alain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli

Writer: Jacques-Rmy Girerd

Starring: Dominique Blanc, Bruno Salomone, Jean Benguigui

Year: 2011

Runtime: 65 minutes

Country: France

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