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A Cat in Paris (Blu-ray)
Blu-ray/DVD Reviews

A Cat in Paris (Blu-ray)

Beautiful, vivid hand-drawn visuals, solid voice-acting and a heartfelt story help make this French import a modern animated classic.

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Marking the directorial debut of Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol, along with French animation studio Folimage, the troupe hit all the right marks in A Cat in Paris, which is hands-down one of the best traditional animated films I’ve seen in quite some time. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature (but losing to Rango), this beautifully animated film will dazzle you with its simple yet amazing visuals, solid voice acting and a moving story that families will want to claw their way through again and again.

The plot follows the adventurous life of a cat who stays with a young girl named Zoe who has recently lost her police officer father after he was murdered. The cat keeps her company and does its best to make her feel better as her police supervisor mother obsesses over her dead husband’s case so much that she’s hardly there for her daughter. What Zoe doesn’t know about her feline friend is that when she goes to bed, the cat goes to its other owner who happens to be a skilled burglar named Nico, where the two have all kinds of adventures leaping across the rooftops of Paris stealing jewels. Of course the cat can only keep its two worlds separate for so long, as a chance encounter will bring the two smashing together while changing the lives of Zoe and Nico forever.

It’s easy to see why A Cat in Paris was nominated for 2012 Best Animated Film. The movie weaves together a light-hearted tale while keeping things just dark enough in some parts to create a wonderful story. The solid voice acting on both the French and English audio tracks are really well done, especially with veteran actors such as Anjelica Huston in the mix along with veteran voice actor Steve Blum as Nico. I really enjoyed the hand-drawn artwork and animation, and there doesn’t appear to be any computer effects in sight here, giving the feature that special personal touch that doesn’t come too often in the animation field. Speaking of which, the visuals are made even better on Blu-ray, as the high definition picture really comes to life on your screen and makes sure every color, detail and shading looks absolutely perfect. The 5.1 DTS-HD audio is also just as great, serving to bring in every piece of dialogue and wonderful musical score with crystal clarity.

There’s a few extras to enjoy after the film is over, such as “Extinction of the Saber-Toothed Housecat” that’s a fun, four minute short that combines animation with live-action backgrounds that follows the life of an ancient cat. The other feature is “The Many Lives of a Cat Video Flipbook” that shows viewers how the film changed many times in tone over the course of its production. It would’ve been nice to have some cast and crew interviews as well, but these extras should keep most happy.

It’s rare when a beautiful animated feature comes along that can effortlessly weave together a light and dark story as well as A Cat in Paris does. Vivid, colorful hand-drawn artwork and solid voice-acting from both the French and English casts help bring this tale to life, with fantastic production values that truly stand out in high-definition.. If you’re looking for a truly amazing and different feature that everyone in the family can enjoy – often on different levels – you’ll be hard pressed to find something as wonderful and capturing as this movie. Definitely grab this one for your collection, as this is an adventure that will have you leaping across rooftops with joy.

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About the Author: Chris Mitchell