PG (mild violence and action, thematic material); 70 min.
The French movie A Cat in Paris, nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar this year, may be a cartoon about a cute animal but it's not aimed at children. Like Chico and Rita, The Illusionist, Waltz With Bashir or Persepolis, it's a beautifully drawn yet stylishly stark film meant for adults.
Dino is a cat with two lives. By day, he's a pet in the home of a little girl, Zoe, and her harried widowed mom who is a detective. After sunset, Dino slinks out of the house to accompany a cat burglar on his nightly rounds. Of course, Dino's two worlds collide as the mom, the thief and a gang of thugs who want them both out of the way cross paths.
Though A Cat in Paris, directed by Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol, doesn't have the thematic heft of some of the other animated movies geared for grown-ups, its palpable neo-noir feel (including a jazzy soundtrack that includes vintage Billie Holiday) makes up for the slightness of the story. One thing's for sure: Cartoons about furry creatures in Paris have come a long way from Pepe Le Pew.
Exclusive: Landmark Magnolia, Dallas
-- Cary Darling