More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look100%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 0 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Brain Freeze by Jay Seaver

Satoshi Kon, l'illusionniste by Jay Seaver

Paul Dood's Deadly Lunch Break by Jay Seaver

Every Single Someone by Erik Childress

Not Quite Dead Yet by Jay Seaver

Kratt by Jay Seaver

Annette by Peter Sobczynski

Suicide Squad, The by Peter Sobczynski

Werewolves Within by Rob Gonsalves

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain by Rob Gonsalves

subscribe to this feed

Cat in Paris, A
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Jay Seaver

"Un chat noir - but still fine for the kids."
4 stars

(AN ENGLISH-DUBBED VERSION WAS SCREENED) One of two "underdog" nominees for Best Animated Feature in last year's Academy Awards, "A Cat in Paris" is at the very least as deserving than the other cat-themed feature nominated, although that undersells its charm quite a bit. It's an awfully nice little movie, quick and rather lively.

The cat of the title is Dino, who spends his days with mute little girl Zoe and her nanny Claudine (voice of Angelica Huston), and his nights following cat burglar Nico (voice of Steve Blum). Zoe's mother Jeanne (voice of Marcia Gay Harden), a superintendent in the Paris police force, has one of her detectives investigating this series of heists, but her main concern is Victor Costa (voice of JB Blanc), the gangster who is planning a much larger score and who killed Zoe's father.

A Cat in Paris is a compact movie - even with a short playing before it, the audience was in and out in about an hour and a quarter. Even with that small size, things don't often feel particularly rushed outside of a few moments meant to make it very clear how personal Jeanne's pursuit of Costa is. The filmmakers do a good job of keeping things moving forward and throwing in surprises without making things too complicated for the children in the audience. Directors Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli also do an impressive job of making Costa and his gang both comedic and legitimate threats, often within the same scene.

Style is where the movie makes its biggest impression; Felicioli (who seems to have a credit in every area relating to the movie's visuals) and the other filmmakers give us a city and set of characters that are whimsical and hand-drawn without ever really going for cute, which suits the movie's combination of fancy and noir quite well indeed. Though computers are used for compositing and some backgrounds, the filmmakers make great use of the nature of drawings to make the story larger than life: Gaps which from one perspective seem like chasms can suddenly be leapt across, Nico's limbs become rubber and fluid, details become apparent in close-ups. It's animation used not just to create things that would be difficult or impossible in live action, but to use their style and motion to communicate the story in different ways.

Being animated means GKids can dub it into English without it being tremendously obvious, and they do a pretty good job. When some lines clank, it's tough to tell whether it's the English translation or the original dialogue by Gagnol and co-writer Jacques-Rémy Girerd - much of what we see characters saying seems pretty locked in by the visuals, with some of the best lines coming from off-screen. Interestingly, professional voice actors like Blanc and Blum get many of the larger, flashier parts while the likes of Harden and Matthew Modine do well by playing things fairly straight (though Modine gets some of the best line readings to match visuals as Detective Lucas). One thing that is kind of odd is that, for as much as the movie is visually French, the voices are all over the map - Harden and Modine sound mostly American, Blanc sounds like an English gangster, and Huston is voicing Claudine as being Welsh or something.

It might be nice to see how the original French version is different once the movie is out on video. It will still look nifty, of course, and likely have the same jazzy score which helps give a movie meant in large part for kids a noir atmosphere that adults will find cool as well.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 07/01/12 03:12:56
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2011 Berlin International Film Festival For more in the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 14th Annual Sarasota Film Festival For more in the 14th Annual Sarasota Film Festival series, click here.

Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  01-Jun-2012 (PG)



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast