Every day at school it's trick or cheat for the eponymous protag of "Ducoboo," the 11-year-old French rascal who dedicates all his brainpower to improving his cheating techniques.

Every day at school it’s trick or cheat for the eponymous protag of “Ducoboo,” the 11-year-old French rascal who dedicates all his brainpower to improving his cheating techniques. Scribe-turned-helmer Philippe de Chauveron (“La Beuze”) adapts Zidrou and Godi’s popular gag-based comicbook into a brightly colored, naturally flowing story involving Ducoboo’s arrival at a new school. Solid family entertainment is Gaul’s fifth biggest local title of 2011, and a sequel is already in the works. Euro theatrical sales should follow in the footsteps of the similarly themed “Le petit Nicolas.”

Ducoboo (Vincent Claude, who co-starred in “Nicolas”) is a rotund boy in a striped sweater who moves in next door to the brightest girl (Juliette Chappey) at his new school. Because he copies her work in inventive, unnoticeable ways, she sees Ducoboo as both rival and potential love interest. Their teacher, the high-strung Mr. Letouche (Elie Semoun, doing his usual shtick), is the first to doubt the kid’s genius. Acting is generally broad, though Denis Podalydes, as Ducoboo’s dad, injects a welcome note of human warmth. Bright tech package gets the balance between realism and comicbook stylization just right.

Ducoboo

France

Production

An UGC Distribution release of a UGC presentation of a Les Films du 24, UGC Images, TF1 Films Prod., TF1 Droits Audiovisuels production, in association with Canal Plus, Cinecinema. (International sales: TF1 Intl., Paris.) Produced by Romain Rojtman. Directed by Philippe de Chauveron. Screenplay, Marc de Chauveron, Philippe de Chauveron, based on the comicbooks by Zidrou, Godi.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W), Christophe Paturange; editor, Sandro Lavezzi; music, Marc Chouarain; production designer, Denis Mercier; costume designer, Christel Birot. Reviewed at Cine Utopia, Luxembourg, Aug. 2, 2011. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Elie Semoun, Vincent Claude, Josephine de Meaux, Denis Podalydes, Juliette Chappey, Helena Noguerra.

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