A Monster In Paris Blu-ray Review
When a delivery takes timid Emile and boisterous Raoul to the botanical gardens, Raoul uses the owner’s absence as an opportunity to explore. Despite attemps made by Charles, the owner’s assistant/monkey, to keep the duo from handling assorted potions, Raoul manages to cause an explosion when mixing two substances together. Using his new camera, Emile captures the blast on film, as well as the emerging of a monster from the wreckage. Hijinks around 1910 flooded Paris ensue and the monster is loathed by citizens, loved by a seedy politican and embraced by lounge singer Lucille, when she discovers this monster, Francoeur, has a beautiful knack for music.
An animated French film, A MONSTER IN PARIS takes you all through the City of Light from the Eiffle Tower to the River Seine with fun stylizing that borders on appearing like claymation. In fact, the monkey, Charles, very much reminded me of the PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS primate with the use of index cards as his form of communication.
It was very distracting to see two characters look almost identical, specifically when comparring Lucille and Maude. The simliarities between the females gave the impression that the animators just added glasses to distinguish between the two and did not spend time on creating another character.
Though the overall story was somewhat flat, the musical numbers were highly entertaining and fun. Even the sad sounding tune ‘A Monster in Paris’ was beautifully performed by Sean Lennon (son of John & Yoko). All of the upbeat riffs from Lucille and Francoeur made you want to tap your toes and clap your hands. It was a bit of a stretch to me that Francoeur could not speak but could sing actual words… why wouldn’t he just sing all the time to communicate instead of making meek sounds and sad humming noises? This question, along with the issue listed above, pulled me out of the picture and I had to remember to focus on engaging and forget those small distracting details.
The voice talent used in the English version of A MONSTER IN PARIS was excellent; everyone was perfectly cast. Adam Goldberg, Jay Harrington, Bob Balaban, Danny Huston and Catherine O’Hara brought a lot of personality to their respective characters. Though the main human characters were likeable enough, Francoeur was central to the heart of this film. Even with his massive size, dapper disguise, and lack of vocabulary, it was easy for the audience to connect with the oversized flea. The emotions expressed with his eyes were powerful giving the viewer a glimpse into the fear and joy that Francoeur experienced.
Watching the action sequence with Prefet Maynott (Huston) chasing down Francoeur and friends, I felt a bit bored because it felt like it took too long while trying to squish in a love story between Emile and Maude. Overall, this picture is short of being special or memorable. It entertains and is cute enough but the terrific musical moments can only carry a film so far.
Audio (DTS-HD 5.1): A MONSTER IN PARIS has a nice blend of talking and singing characters and the audio was perfect in this picture.
Video (1080): The sharp bold colors were perfect for this drama.
This disc does not have the option to watch the movie in French, but does allow you to change your audio from 5.1 to 2.1Dolby Digital and you can have English subtitles on an English movie. I was very disappointed in the lack of special features as there were zero.