Paris, 1910. Panic sweeps the city as floodwaters rise and a monster is on the loose!
Meanwhile a wacky inventor, his camera-crazy best friend, and a madcap monkey are on a mission to protect the beast, Franc, as he holds a rare and special talent. With the help of the beautiful but feisty singer Lucille, the team harbors the monster to keep him from the ghastly wannabe Mayor, Commissioner Maynott, who has a plan to capture Franc and reveal him to be nothing more than a monstrous danger to the people of Paris.
From Bibo Bergeron, the director of Shark Tale, and starring Adam Goldberg, Jay Harrington, Bob Balaban, Sean Lennon, Vanessa Paradis, Danny Huston and Catherine OHara, A Monster In Paris is presented in stunning 3D for a spectacularly fun experience for the whole family.
The CGI/3-D animated film A Monster in Paris is a charming but slight musical comedy-adventure from France enlivened by an offbeat premise, some lovely songs, and an impressive visual style. A critical hit, if not a box-office champion in its native country, the film, directed by veteran animator Bibo Bergeron (Shark Tale), has been redubbed for English-speaking audiences by a capable cast of American actors, though the speaking and singing voice of Vanessa Paradis has been ported over from the original French version. Set in a romanticized Paris circa 1910, Monster follows a pair of hapless heroes (voiced by Jay Harrington and Adam Goldberg) who accidentally transform a common house flea into a 7-foot-tall, anthropoid being with a marvelous singing voice (provided by Sean Lennon in the English dub). With the help of cabaret singer Lucille (Paradis), the creature develops a following as a nightclub performer (!) while avoiding the machinations of the local police commissioner (Danny Huston).
The unusual subject matter, combined with a slower pace and less technically extravagant animation than most stateside animated efforts, might be a stumbling block for younger viewers (though the concluding chase, which culminates at the top of the Eiffel Tower, injects an agreeable amount of thrills). But Monster is also less frantic and in-your-face than its American cousins, which may come as a great relief to some parents; they will likely also appreciate the gentler tone, wistful musical numbers (penned by French singer/songwriter Matthieu Chedid, a.k.a. –M-, who also provided the monster's singing voice in the original Gallic version), and amusing turns by Goldberg and Harrington. The 3-D presentation on the Blu-ray is also decidedly mellow, focusing more on depth of field than things bursting from the screen. Unfortunately, extras are limited to an English-language trailer. --Paul Gaita
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