A child’s love for chases can be felt through this French export as we are swept through a gorgeously animated rooftop chase of a film that is not strictly for the children, but adults as well. Dino, a house cat living a double life at night as a cat burglar’s sidekick is the vocal point of this crime/adventure animated film. With Dino’s mute child owner Zoe being the center of his world and he of hers, we are treated to a mature rendition of childhood innocence through animation and a slightly Hitchcockian style of animated film making.
Zoe is mute due to the tragic death of her father while her mother, a her law enforcement agent, spends most of her time trying to catch the man who murdered her husband. The stories of Jeanne (Zoe’s mother) and Dino’s night partner Nico (the cat burglar) intertwine with a crime noir style that will take us adults by surprise. With twists and turns as often as the rooftop jumps and acrobatics, it is a high-flying thrill ride that will give a boost in your child like spirit with a still reminder that adulthood can be nostalgic and colorful.
I was taken back the adult themes of this film with it highlighting criminal activity through polarized lenses, but also not being afraid of showing the haunting effects of losing a loved one through murder. It’s stylized imagery from the acrobatics to the night vision we get a chance to see in the third act of the film is breathtaking and fun. It is colorful and expertly imagined for this animated vision of the City of Lights while producing a remarkably intricate story for the film only spanning one hour in time.
For children likely to watch this movie, be warned they may be taken back by somewhat frightening images of villains personified as a red octopus and the sounds of actual gunfire can be startling. Costa, the murderous villain tends to be somewhat humorous through mischief and mayhem, but the proportions of the characters bodies serve as a reminder of this being a fun and Hunchback of Notre Dame esc story with the cathedral making a cameo near the end showcasing that love will always be present through Paris.
If you want a change from the classic and wonderful Disney films for an hour you are going to appreciate this French film made with adults in mind. Though oxymoronic, A Cat in Paris is smooth animation through chaotic line movements, but is like a cat, light on it’s feet and subtle through it’s storytelling.