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French animation has a certain stylish aesthetic. From the Gallic influenced 'Pink Panther' and 'Inspector Clouseau' cartoons to the films of Sylvain Chomet such as Belleville Rendezvous and The Illusionist, French animation has a definite look and feel. A Cat in Paris very much fits into this category. Its appeal lies almost exclusively in its French aesthetic.
Its story has three plot strands: a single mum and her daughter, their cat and a burglar and a gang of crooks. All the stories ultimately converge. In all honesty the story and characters aren't especially interesting. This is the weakness of the film. However, its strength lies in its animation and look. It's an old-style cartoon done in the traditional way. It isn't CGI and this is to its benefit. It has lots more heart and soul than the slick computer generated stuff we mainly see nowadays. The characters are simply drawn, resembling some forms of primitive art. The Paris they inhabit is beautifully presented. This city is such a knockout that it always looks terrific when animated, it really seems ideal for the treatment. Here is no exception, with the buildings lovingly depicted and the night-time rooftops romantically illustrated. The atmosphere created by the animation is very appealing.
This is a good feature. It's not up to the standard of Sylvain Chomet's work but it is certainly operating from a similar place. If you appreciate traditional animation or more specifically French animation, then this is a feature well worth catching.
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