Review: A Monster in Paris

Initially this French computer animation appears to be heading down the Hugo route of child unfriendly entertainment. We are in 1910 Paris where mild-mannered cinema projectionist Emile is thrilled at the arrival of the latest Melies' film and tongue-tied in his pursuit of the quiet girl in the ticket booth.

Having set up the premise in the opening scenes the movie forgets all about it, shifting to Emile's friend, arrogant Raoul who, while making a delivery at a scientist's lab, ends up creating a seven foot flea that terrorises Paris.

The first half hour is fairly dreadful. Raoul (voiced by Adam Goldberg) is annoying and unfunny. Indeed, almost all the humour falls flat.

When the giant flea, Francoeur, voiced by Sean Lennon, turns out to be musical and duets with a nightclub singer (Vanessa Paradis) a reasonably minded soul might feel like looking to the skies in despair and wondering what fresh horrors this film might unleash on us.

But it is at this point that the film starts to click.

Director Bergeron spent years slogging away in DreamWorks co-directing The Road to El Dorado and A Shark's

Tale, but a return to homeground sees him express his vision.

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The characters are sharp caricatures set against pop-up picture book scenery.

At its best the film suggests Sylvain Cholet (Belleville Rendezvous, The Illusionist) being let loose at Pixar.


Director: Bibo Bergeron

Featuring voices: Vanessa Paradis, Jay Harrington, Adam Goldberg, Danny Huston and Sean Huston.

Length: 90 mins