“A Monster in Paris” is a critically acclaimed French animated movie directed by animation veteran Eric Bibo Bergeron (who directed “Road to El Dorado” and “A Shark’s Tale” and worked on countless others). It’s French so it’s no surprise that Luc Besson produced the film, as he has a thing for getting not just his own work out in the world, but other French filmmakers’ works as well.
Taking place in 1910s Paris, the city has been flooded by the Seine River. The Eiffel tower is ankle deep in water and there are more boats in some parts of the city than there are cars. Raoul is childhood friends with Emile, a quiet film lover who works at a local cinema and longs to gain the confidence to speak to his crush Maud. Raoul on the other hand is all confidence and charm, even if it’s a bit misguided. The two remain friends and one night while Emile travels with Raoul to deliver some feed to a scientist friend of his, an accident occurs and a “Monster” is created.
I won’t go into details because that would ruin this very fun, and sweet film. I watched it with my 7 year old daughter and both of us really enjoyed it. It’s a story of friendship, and trust, love, and not basing judgments off appearances. This movie has a few lessons that are taught throughout it’s running time, but you never feel preached to. The music is also rather catchy. Some of it is lost in translation (maybe that was just me) but the tunes will have you tapping your feet.
Thanks in no small part to the singing by French actress/singer and former Depp girl, Vanessa Paradis and Sean Lennon, son of legendary Beatle John Lennon, the almost bluesy, songs evoke a lot of emotion, especially when Francouer the monster sings his first song. And there is the big deal with this movie, they make you truly care for not just Francouer but all the characters.
The voice cast is rounded out by Adam Goldberg (“Numb3rs”) as Raoul, and Danny Huston as the megalomaniacal Inspector Maynott. The characters are all very fun, even the villainous Maynot and his assistant, and you’ll be glad when he finally gets what’s coming to him. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and would suggest it to anyone with kids or a love of animated films.
Bibo Bergeron (director) / Bibo Bergeron, Stéphane Kazandjian (screenplay)
CAST: Mathieu Chedid … Francoeur (voice) (as M)
Vanessa Paradis … Lucille (voice)
Gad Elmaleh … Raoul (voice)
François Cluzet … Le préfet Maynott (voice)
Ludivine Sagnier … Maud (voice)
Julie Ferrier … Madame Carlotta (voice)
Bruno Salomone … Albert (voice)
Sébastien Desjours … Emile (voice)