A Cat in Paris

 

A Cat in Paris

[original title: Une vie de chat]

Written by Alain Gagnol & Jacques-Remy Girerd

Production Design by Jean-Loup Felicioli

Music by Serge Besset

Editing by Herve Guichard

Produced by Jacques-Remy Girerd

Directed by Jean-Loup Felicioli & Alain Gagnol

Theatrical Release: 2011

 

Cast:

Dominiqe Blanc – Jeanne – Marcia Gay Harden

Bernadette Lafont – Claudine – Anjelica Huston

Bruno Salomone – Nico – Steve Blum

Jean Benguigui – Victor Costa – JB Blanc

Bernard Bouillon – Lucas – Matthew Modine

Jacques Ramade – Mr. Baby – Mike Pollock

Jean-Pierre Yvars – Mr. Hulot – Phillippe Hartmann

Patrick Ridremont – Mr. Frog – Gregory Cupoli

Patrick Descamps – Mr. Potato – Marc Thompson

 

Production Studio:

Theatrical: Folimage Features

Video: Cinedigm

 

Video

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p

Codec: AVC

Disc Size: BD25

Feature Size: 18.28 GB

Bit Rate: High (34~38 Mbps)

Runtime: 64 minutes

Chapters: 11

Region: A

 

Audio:

English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

 

Subtitles:

Optional English SDH

 

Extras

• "Extinction of the Saber-Toothed Housecat" (3:30)

• “The Many Lives of a Cat” video flip book

  1. U.S. Theatrical trailer

  2. Cinedigm trailers

• DVD

 

Presentation:

Amaray Blu-ray Case: BRD x 1 + DVD x 1

Street Date: October 9, 2012



Synopsis

Dino is a cat that leads a double life. By day, he lives with Zoe, a little girl whose mother, Jeanne, is a detective. By night, he works with Nico, a slinky cat burglar with a big heart who evades captors as he swishes across the rooftops of Paris. Zoe has plunged herself into silence following her father's murder at the hands of gangster Costa. One day, Dino brings Zoe a valuable bracelet that Lucas, Jeanne's second-in-command, notices is part of a stolen jewelry collection. One night, Zoe decides to follow Dino. On the way, she overhears a group of gangsters and, besides recognizing Costa from photos her mother showed her, makes a frightening discovery.


        

 

Critical Reaction:

The Independent

Another old-fashioned slice of Gallic whimsy that could have made in the Fifties. This Oscar-nominated animation centres on a groovy mog, Dino, who belongs to a grieving girl (whose father was murdered by a hoodlum, Costa) and an affable cat burglar. It lacks Pixar's wit and visual splendour, but its simplicity is appealing and it darts along at a fair lick. - Ben Walsh


        

 

Twitch Film

Since the film is so short, directors Jean-Loup Felicioli & Alain Gagnol waste no time in getting to the action. There are abductions, double-crosses, chases across the rooftops of Paris, and a climax at the cathedral of Notre Dame, all pretty big scale for such a tiny film. Such is the wonder of animation, the only limit is the imagination. The animation isn't particularly flashy, and looks more like a children's book come to life than a big adventure film, but it suits the characters and the story beautifully. A Cat in Paris is a quick moving tale that will engage children and parents with equal ease. The directors do not skimp on the dread or the threats of violence, so if you've chosen to raise your young ones in a bubble, you might want to sit this one out. However, the films like this are the ones I most remember from my own childhood, and I'm glad I showed it to my son, because he loved it. – J. Hurtado


        

 

NPR.org

An argument could certainly be made for the film as a pleasing divertissement, but as an Oscar nominee? Let's just say that the producers were fortunate that Pixar whiffed with Cars 2. . . The trouble with A Cat in Paris lies not in its orchestration, which is mostly impeccable, but with what little is being orchestrated. It's well plotted but a little rote, clever but a far cry from ingenious, attractive but not particularly evocative. When it ends, it leaves behind the faintest of paw prints. – Scott Tobias

        

Image: 9/9

In this day of 3-D computer animation, Jean-Loup Felicioli & Alain Gagnol’s Une vie de chat (A Cat’s Life”) is something of a breath of fresh air – well, perhaps not so fresh, but traditional certainly.  Une vie de chat is not only hand drawn, but rather two dimensionally, with pulsing edges in the style of Russian animators like Yuriy Norshteyn (“Tale of Tales”) Here I felt the style to be too much of a good thing and not always appropriate. That said, the Blu-ray transfer is clean, if a trifle soft (I wondered if the source was truly high-definition – but how could it not be!). Since a good deal of the film’s action takes place at night, its cool, noirish, well-saturated color palette is deliberately skewed to seem underexposed.  The Blu-ray delivers some wonderful vibrancy.


        

 

Audio & Music: 7/8

Like many foreign language films on American video, the default audio track is the English language dub, which sports a few celebrities like Matthew Modine, Anjelica Huston and Marcia Gay Harden, even though the most interesting voice is that of JB Blanc for the vicious criminal, Victor Costa.  Though he was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Blanc’s most important work is as a dialogue coach and is best known in these parts for voicing many a video game.

 

Serge Besset’s wailing radio noir music and effects are identical on both mixes. The dialogue is crisp, more nuanced and a shade more subdued on the French track.  Neither makes much use of surrounds, but I suspect that this was just as lacking in the original theatrical showing.


        

 

Extras: 4

The short film "Extinction of the Saber-Toothed Housecat" is a parody of “Bambi Meets Godzilla” – droll and understated.  The animated flip book offers comparisons between concept and final product.  Also included are other Cinedigm trailers, most notably for “The Secret of Kells.”

 

Recommendation: 8

I imagine that the international distributors must have given themselves pause when it came time to tile this curious catnap of a film.  The original title (A Cat’s Life”) was too reminiscent of Pixar.   “Midnight in Paris” might have been perfect but it was already taken.  Ah - how about “A Cat in Paris”! Works for me.  The movie and the Blu-ray is Recommended, though I can’t say the disc offers great dollar-for-minute value.


        



Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

October 7, 2012

 

 

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