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The Film Catalogue
This is not quite Pixar, but not quite awful either. It goes for a polished look similar to what we've seen in mainstream American animation, with the soft-lit cartoonish CG similar to that of Dreamworks and Pixar, and comes very close to matching their visual flair despite a more modest budget. It's pretty clear that they're hoping for commercial appeal rather than art-house obscurity here, but the film wants to have it both ways, mixing clichéd humor and characters with artistic flourishes and occasional moments of brilliance. There should be more than enough here to appeal to kids.
It's a pleasant enough experience overall and ultimately it wins you over ... but at the same time in a lot of ways it doesn't quite make it. For starters the whole story concept is painfully contrived. But this much is clear even from the shortest synopsis, so I was prepared going in.
Among the highlights of the film are the many appealing visuals drawn from the period Parisian setting. Another highlight is the rich musical score. These almost make the film a cut above, were it not weighed down by some of the more mundane elements.
On the whole it's flawed, but it does have its moments, and is worth a look.
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