A Monster in Paris (2011) voices Matthieu Chedid, Vanessa Paradis, Gad Elmaleh, François Cluzet, Ludivine Sagnier, Julie Ferrier directed by Bibo Bergeron Movie Review

A Monster in Paris (2011)   3/53/53/53/53/5

A Monster in Paris (2011)

Not a Monster Hit

Unassuming projectionist Emile is sweet on Maud who works in the ticket booth but he is also friends with Raoul an entrepreneur/ inventor who drags Emile along on his escapades. One such escapade sees them accidentally cause a flea to mutate to human size and gain a singing voice. Now the flea that goes by the name of Francoeur starts delighting audiences as he sings with Lucille in a local club but is also seen as a monster when he leaps across the roof tops. All of which brings Emile, Raoul, Lucille and Francoeur at odds with the Paris commissioner leading to chaos.

"A Monster in Paris" is what I call smoke and mirrors movie making because straight from the start it distracts with you something, something which it has to be said is impressive but not the real focus of the movie. You become so hypnotised by this aspect of it that you don't pay the rest of it full attention. What I am on about is the look as the animators have taken the classic animated look of Paris which would have been at home in a Disney movie and then modernised it with new CGI techniques. It creates a rich visual which draws you in and keeps you entertained and impressed.

Interesting in contrast to the beautifully detailed recreation of a Paris swimming in nostalgic atmosphere we are given animated characters which have an element of simplified about them, that curved facial look which makes it amusing for young audiences as it allows for comical exaggerated mannerisms, the over the top raised eyebrows and so on. It doesn't always work and occasionally the curved nature of the faces is too simplistic but that is only a gripe from a grown up.

But then there is the real gripe I have and that is a storyline which is shallow which we are intentionally meant not to focus on but be distracted by the imagery. As such we have a couple of buffoons, a giant flea who can sing but is a shadowy monster of the night and various chase scenes which end up of course as the Eiffel Tower. I suppose because "A Monster in Paris" looks so good I expected much more from the story and when it didn't come it left me disappointed. I also wonder whether young children will find this entertaining enough to keep watching.

What this all boils down to is that "A Monster in Paris" is visually impressive and has a stunning look but sadly the actual storyline is not good enough for the quality of the imagery making it as a whole an ordinary animation.