Review: ‘A Cat in Paris’

Delightfully old-school on the animation side, but too old-fashioned on the story side.

Delightfully old-school on the animation side, but too old-fashioned on the story side, French 2D toon “A Cat in Paris” is easy enough on the eyes yet never quite justifies feature-length status. Clocking in at 65 minutes, this rather boilerplate tale of a Parisian child and her kitty-cat burglar could have worked as a short or series episode, but stretches itself too thin despite pleasant imagery and a jazzy score. Although “Cat” was neutered by “Megamind” during its mid-December Gallic release, it’s still got eight lives left for Euro tube and homevid play.

For all its softly rendered graphics and children’s book-style decor, pic is not necessarily only for kids, though it’s too redundant for adults. Seven-year-old Zoe (voiced by Oriane Zani), whose detective dad was killed by a sinister mafia kingpin (Jean Benguigui), discovers that her cat spends his nights helping a friendly thief (Bruno Salomone) rob some of Paris’ most wealthy citizens. When Zoe’s cop mom (Dominique Blanc) gets on the case, playtime faces off against organized crime, to rather obvious results. Original title is a play on the French expression “a dog’s life.”

A Cat in Paris

Animated - France-Belgium-Netherlands-Switzerland

Production

A Gebeka Films (in France) release of a Folimage, Lunanime, Lumiere, Digit Anima, France 3 Cinema, Rhone-Alpes Cinema, RTBF (Television Belge) production, in association with Films Distribution, Soficinema 4, with participation of Canal Plus, France Televisions, CineCinema, Le Centre National du Cinema et de L'Image Animee. (International sales: Films Distribution, Paris.) Produced by Jacques-Remy Girerd. Executive producer, Emmanuel Bernard. Co-producers, Annemie Degryse, Arnaud Demuynck, Arlette Zylberberg. Directed by Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol. Screenplay, Gagnol, Jacques-Remy Girerd.

Crew

Camera (color), Izu Troin; editor, Herve Guichard; music, Serge Besset; production designer, Felicioli. Reviewed at UGC Orient Express 3, Paris, Dec 23, 2010. (In Berlin Film Festival -- Generation 14plus.) Running time: 65 MIN.

Cast

Voices: Dominique Blanc, Bernadette Lafont, Jean Benguigui, Bruno Salomone, Oriane Zani.

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