Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Cat in Paris (Una Vie de Chat) (2010)

1 Nomination, 0 Wins

Nomination: Best Animated Feature Film - Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli

The 84th Academy Awards had one of the more interesting crops of nominees in the animated feature film category.  Aside from a pair of more traditional studio offerings (Puss in Boots and Kung Fu Panda 2), the Academy also nominated a far less conventional studio film in Rango, and two foreign films: Chico & Rita and A Cat in Paris.  The latter film, titled Una Vie de Chat in its native France, is the story of a cat burglar (voiced in English dubbing by Steven Blum) who is partners in crime with a young girl's (Lauren Weintraub) cat.  When Zoe witnesses the crime boss responsible for her father's death stealing a statue, the boss (JD Blanc) comes after her.  It's all very twisty turny, far more than seems possible in a 65 minute children's film, yet the story is told with a clever simplicity that keeps the story tight and briskly moving.

Unlike Rango, which won the Oscar for the animated feature category, the filmmakers behind A Cat in Paris utilized much simpler animation, a wise choice for the subject matter.  The film feels like something that might come out of Studio Ghibli, if Hayao Miyazaki decided to make a film grounded in realism.  It's neither terribly original nor all that entertaining, but  A Cat in Paris is still a well made little film that far exceeded my expectations, and it is easy to see why the Academy was charmed by it.

Remaining: 3161 films, 874 Oscars, 5431 nominations

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