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Monster in Paris, A/Un monstre a Paris


Stars: Voices: Adam Goldberg, Jay Harrington, Danny Huston, Bob Balaban, Sean Lenon, Vanessa Paradis, Madeline Zima, Catherine O'Hara, Matthew Geczy

Director: Bibo Bergeron

Here’s yet another 3D movie which, while the process is well enough done, isn’t vital to its enjoyment since this oddball animated family comedy would work just as well ‘flat’ and be just as enjoyable.

The setting is a charmingly realised Paris in 1910 where wacky inventor Raoul (Adam Goldberg has a ball speaking for him) messes around with chemicals in a strange laboratory, first creating giant sunflowers but then causing the ‘birth of a giant flea' which proceeds to terrorise the city like an insect King Kong. (The monster’s genesis will obviously be a real blessing for trendy contemporary cineastes seeking more than simply pleasure from a film and who will be able to draw significant references to current experiments in genetically created creatures and foodstuffs. And why not? The film is French and therefore there must be more to it than meets the eye).

So what? What meets the eye is fast and funny as the monster hunt triggers off the exposure of corrupt mayor Maynott, well voiced by Huston, while love blossoms between Raoul and nightclub singer Lucille, spoken and sung by Paradis.

The animation is attractive, the dubbed American voices work well. (Harrington is good as an early cinema exhibitor whose opening screenings of silent films effectively adds to the period atmosphere). The result is a witty, exciting kidflick which should also entertain accompanying adults - not always the case with contemporary children’s pictures.

Alan Frank

France 2011. UK Distributor: Entertainment One. Colour.
89 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 26 Jan 2012