A Cat in Paris
Directors: Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol
Cast: Dominique Blanc (voice), Bruno Salomone (voice)
Runtime: 70 min.
John DeSando, WCBE’s “It’s Movie Time” and “Cinema Classics”
Having most recently been seduced by Paris in The Artist and Midnight in Paris and before that in animation with The Illusionist and Triplets of Belleville, I was fully prepared to enjoy A Cat In Paris, a nominee for Best Animated Feature Oscar, worthy of the award even with competition like Chico & Rita. I was not disappointed.
This cute, un-Pixar thriller depicts a cat accompanying a cat-burglar at night over the rooftops of Paris and into apartments ripe for the plucking with his accomplice, Nico (Bruno Salomone voice). The owner of the crafty cat, Zoe (Oriane Zani), lives with her chief of Police mother Jeanne (Dominique Blanc), both of whom are still mourning the loss of dad/husband at the hands of arch-villain Victor Costa (Jean Benguigui).
The plot does not make this a memorable cartoon; it’s the whimsical slit-eyed, long-nosed eccentrics who inhabit the flat pastel world, slim on speech and graceful even when they’re thugs. It’s a fantasy of our imagination, what we dream Paris would be like in a better world, even with burglars and mobsters.
An interesting touch is to make the cat tough rather than tender and Zoe mute for the shock of her father’s death. The tonal shifts between that darkness and then silly thugs and a sweet cat burglar, who doesn’t seem to be punished for his crime, will make this a problematic choice for kids, who might not get it. Parents may find it difficult to decide if this is a thriller or a comedy as well.
For me, it’s just the exotic world of Paris in my imagination. Nothing beats swinging over the rooftops at anytime with anyone, even a mischievous cat.
John DeSando co-hosts WCBE 90.5’s It's Movie Time and Cinema Classics, which can be heard streaming and on demand at WCBE.org. He also appears on Fox 28’s Man Panel.
Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com