Nico (Steve Blume) is an ambitious cat burglar who has been striking many locations around Paris. He is followed by a cat named Dino. After each night, the cat returns to the house of a mute little girl named Zoe. Zoe's mother (Marcia Gay Harden) is a police officer whose husband (and Zoe's father) was killed by a villainous fellow known as Victor Costa (J.D. Blanc). She is hot on his trail but also is investigating the recent break-ins.
Thanks to this mischievous cat, Nico and Zoe both find themselves the target of Costa and a high-stakes art robbery.
As great as most of those computer animated Pixar movies are, there is no substitute for hand-drawn animation. Perhaps one has to be a certain age to properly and fondly recall a time when they were the norm but this is beautiful all the same. There are some very creative choices made with the approach, especially for a sequence where there are no lights on in a house.
This is a very simple story that, might not break any new ground with the story or message, but it sure is attractive. The filmmakers also had the good sense not to make the animals talk. Our cat might be a bit more intuitive than would be realistic, but it's not overboard. The same goes for the violence, which there actually is a little bit.
Does everyone in France know Parkour? It makes the leaping rooftop to rooftop possible but geez. Zoe's being mute is an unlikely detail that really helps the plot be interesting, but if this wasn't the case, the movie would have been done after about a half hour. Also, there is a moment in the climax where things seem to take a turn for the supernatural, but this is fleeting, don't worry.
Special features include: a video flipbook, a bonus short film, a trailer and the original French-language version of the film.
'A Cat In Paris' is a nice import from across the pond. The especially short runtime means that it is especially easy to digest. Ultimately, it might not be substantial enough to be a classic, but this is a cute little story with style to spare. The Academy Award nomination was deserved.
Rated PG 62 minutes 2012