Animated films--A Cat in Paris

Pulp-less Fiction: Digital Downloads

This blog is about new paperless reading materials like downloadable audio books, ebooks, and online magazines, made available to you through the Appleton Public Library. I plan to provide helpful tips on using these new products, along with reviews of audio books, music on cd, and movies on DVD and Blu-ray.  The library is changing as rapidly as your access to media and the Internet. We want to keep on top of the trends and bring you information and entertainment in a way that fits your life today.   -Beth

While the trend for animated films is toward full CGI and 3D creation, there are still 2D films being created digitally or by hand.  In the last year or so I have begun to view and enjoy some of these “old-style” films, and would like to share some of them with you.

Nominated for Best Animated Feature of the 2012 Academy Awards, the hand-drawn film A Cat in Paris is set in the narrow alleyways and on the steep rooftops of Paris.  Black cat Dino lives with lonely Zoe, whose single mother’s important job keeps her from spending time with her daughter.  Dino spends his days with her, and comforts her when she is sad.

Zoe's bedroom

As the shadows fall every evening, Dino slips out Zoe’s window and walks along the walls for his nightly adventure assisting Nico, a successful and agile cat burglar with a warm heart, to sneak into buildings.  All is well until Zoe decides to follow the feline on his nightly rounds and falls into the hands of dangerous gangsters.

This charming film was directed by Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol and features the voices of Marcia Gay Harden, Anjelica Huston and Mathew Modine.  The French directors met when they both opted for civil rather than military service and served their conscientious objector service at the animation studio Folimage.  This is their first full length feature film, which has been dubbed in English.

The images are rich, styled almost like cubist paintings by Jean-Loup Felicioli.  By avoiding the “realistic” perspectives caused by model sheets where characters are drawn from every angle, there is freedom to create a flow of movement that is very refreshing.  Nico and Dino stretch, lean and make incredible leaps that highlight this freedom.  The 1930s music of Django Rheinhart and Billie Holliday give a touch of film noir which goes well with the graphics.  There are also a few sly references to other films in some of the dialogue.

If you would like to view a trailer, check out the official website.  The Appleton Public Library has dvd copies to check out.  To check on availability, click here.

I hope you enjoy the film as much as I did.

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