A CAT IN PARIS – The Review
A CAT IN PARIS was part of last November’s St. Louis International Film Festival. The following expands on the original 2011 SLIFF review post.
This year’s Academy Awards are quickly becoming a distant memory, but we’re finally getting a chance to see one of the five nominees for Best Animated Feature. Like CHICO AND RITA, A CAT IN PARIS was not a wide release from the major US animation houses like the other three. And they’re closer to the classic hand-drawn animation than the other nominees. I believe the these are well worth seeking out.
I was more than a little surprised by the animated film A CAT IN PARIS. From the stills I expected a sweet little cartoon cat zipping up the Eiffel Tower after dashing through a sidewalk bistro. It turns out that this films owes more to THAT DARN CAT than THE ARISTOCATS. We get a sweet little story about a cute young girl and her kitty with elements of a sleek crime thriller. The film starts with a figure leaping from rooftop to rooftop under moonlit skies. Nico the cat burglar strikes again accompanied by his feline pal, Dino. After they’ve returned to his home with a bagful of stolen jewels, the two part ways. Dino returns to Zoe who lives with her widowed police superintendent Mom and housekeeper. Mother is busy with these night-time robberies and pursuing Victor the crime kingpin who murdered her policeman hubby ( which caused Zoe to stop speaking ). Soon their worlds will collide in a wild chase through the streets of Paris ( including a zoo and cathedral ).
The film resembles a children’s storybook come to life with the rounded characters rendered in the style of pastel and colored pencil drawings. No CGI stuff on display here. Their faces are basic, simple shapes with long, sharp noses and tiny eyes. Backgrounds are blocky box shapes for the cityscapes and loosely detailed shrubbery. Some of the violent gunplay, mild cursing, suspenseful pursuits, and stories of ” dead daddies ” may upset the very youngest film goers. And the English dubbing is a bit clumsy at times. But there’s some great gags and terrific hand drawn animation work on display here, so a trip to the city of lights with Dino the cat is a pleasant, diverting little cartoon getaway
Overall Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars
A CAT IN PARIS screens exclusively in St. Louis at Landmark Theatres’ Plaza Frontenac Cinema