A young girl gets caught up in a gangster's scheme
thanks to her cat's secret life as a cat burglar's partner.
A Cat in Paris (2010)
Directed by Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol
Written by Alain Gagnol
Starring Dominique Blanc, Bruno Salomone,
Bernadette Lafont, Jean Benguigui, Oriane Zani
Oscar Nominations - Best Animated Film
If anyone has read some of my past reviews or heard me rant on one of our podcasts, then you may know how little I care for French cinema. I oftentimes find it pretentious, hard to follow, and dry. But this little animated adventure was delightful. A cat with a double life, a cop with a vendetta, a crazy gangster, and a thief with a heart of gold. That's enough to break any language barrier. A Cat in Paris is another foreign animated film from the 2011 Oscars that was widely overlooked in favor of Paramount and Dreamworks, in a year that Pixar only had Cars 2 to compete with. But like Chico & Rita, this film is worth a viewing for the gorgeous animation and the cute story.
Zoe (Zani) is a little girl who recently lost her dad, who was murdered by the vicious gangster Victor Costa (Benguigui). Her mother (Blanc) is the detective in charge of catching Costa, but the trail is cold. Zoe's cat Dino, who is her whole world, has a secret. At night, he leaves Zoe's home and accompanies cat burglar Nico (Salomone) on his adventures under the guise of Mr. Cat. These two worlds come crashing down, however, when Zoe's nanny Claudine (Lafont) is revealed to be in cahoots with Costa. For a movie that's a little over an hour long, there's a lot of intriguing twists and turns, plus some hilarious moments and dialogue.
A Cat in Paris is a great intro into French animation. Foreign films aren't often taken seriously in America by casual moviegoers, and foreign animated films aren't even on their radar. It's important to experience films like this to get a bit of culture shock. And you could do worse than a sweet adventure of a mischieveous cat.