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Dino is a cat that leads a double life. By day, he lives with Zoe, a little girl whose mother, Jeanne, is a police officer. By night, he works with Nico, a burglar with a big heart. Zoe has plunged herself into silence following her father's murder at the hands of gangster Costa. One day, Dino the cat brings Zoe a very valuable bracelet. Lucas, Jeanne's second-in-command, notices this bracelet is part of a jewelery collection that has been stolen. One night, Zoe decides to follow Dino. On the way, she overhears some gangsters and discovers that her nanny is part of the gangsters' team. Written by
Having most recently been seduced by Paris in The Artist and Midnight in Paris and before that in animation with The Illusionist and Triplets of Belleville, I was fully prepared to enjoy A Cat In Paris, a nominee for Best Animated Feature Oscar, worthy of the award even with competition like Chico & Rita. I was not disappointed.
This cute, un-Pixar thriller depicts a cat accompanying a cat-burglar at night over the rooftops of Paris and into apartments ripe for the plucking with his accomplice, Nico (Bruno Salomone voice). The owner of the crafty cat, Zoe (Oriane Zani), lives with her chief of Police mother Jeanne (Dominique Blanc), both of whom are still mourning the loss of dad/husband at the hands of arch-villain Victor Costa (Jean Benguigui). The plot does not make this a memorable cartoon; it's the whimsical slit-eyed, long-nosed eccentrics who inhabit the flat pastel world, slim on speech and graceful even when they're thugs. It's a fantasy of our imagination, what we dream Paris would be like in a better world, even with burglars and mobsters.
An interesting touch is to make the cat tough rather than tender and Zoe mute for the shock of her father's death. The tonal shifts between that darkness and then silly thugs and a sweet cat burglar, who doesn't seem to be punished for his crime, will make this a problematic choice for kids, who might not get it. Parents may find it difficult to decide if this is a thriller or a comedy as well.
For me, it's just the exotic world of Paris in my imagination. Nothing beats swinging over the rooftops at anytime with anyone, even a mischievous cat.
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