Dir: Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
Voice Cast: Dominique Blanc, Bruno Salomone, Jean Benguigui and Oriane Zani.
What a wonderful little French animated film this turned out to be. I started this beautifully drawn tale with absolutely no idea what I was in for and I must say that I loved it immensely. This small animated French film takes place in modern day Paris where a cat named Dino lives a double-life. By day he is the loving pet of a young girl named Zoe who is suffering emotionally (not able to speak) as she recently lost her father when he was shot and killed by a heinous criminal. By night Dino is the side-kick to a rooftop burglar named Nico who has a heart of gold but an appetite for thrills. Those two lives intertwine however when little Zoe decides to follow Dino one night to see where he goes but is then caught in the middle of a heist which is led by her father’s killer. Zoe’s mother at the same time is a police officer desperate to help her daughter through these difficult times while also trying to catch her husband’s murderer once and for all. Nico in the end plays a strong part in this hour long thrill-ride.
First off I must say that the return to hand-drawn animation is wonderfully executed in this film and it makes me appreciate just how much more sincere and beautiful it is then cheap animated 3D gags of late. The detailing of the Paris landscapes and interiors are wonderfully crafted and make it so much more appealing to any audience. While this is an amazing film, it has only really made its way through film festivals over the past year and sadly hasn’t found a huge audience. This is upsetting as I believe this film could possibly receive an Oscar nomination for the efforts put in by the cast and crew. The voice talent is also terrific throughout being played by French actors and it was directed by both Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol who are well known for their short animated films having gathered several nominations over the last decade or so.
The story itself is filled with amazing chase sequences that are supported by an incredible musical score while at the same time being very personable whenever two characters such as Zoe and Nico are talking to each other and taking care of one another. I enjoyed the relationships of the characters as they never felt forced at all even with the length of them film only being an hour long. The plot itself might seem a little too simplistic to adults when they’re watching it but since it’s more focused towards children, I don’t really see that as being a negative aspect. There’s a little bit of everything here for both young children and adults which makes it enjoyable for everyone. Great dialogue, wonderful thrills, fun characters and breathtaking animation make this one to see. So if you ever get the chance to see it, give it a go and I’m sure you won’t regret it.
The Australian DVD
Audio/Video: The video is a 16:9 widescreen presentation. Picture quality is just gorgeous, the animation really comes to life. Audio is presented with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0, sound is also gorgeous and very sharp and crisp.
* Original French language version
* English language dub – Not a bad dub, and it will work if you have trouble reading subtitles.
* Making of – A great little feature and worth watching, nice to see there was an extra like this placed a long with the film.
* Theatrical trailer
Thanks to Ben from MadMan for his support.