"“It’s a charming, visually gratifying tale for all the family…”"

Thing is, I love French cinema. I love animated films. I love Paris. And I love cats. So, perhaps my critique of this particular feature maybe somewhat prejudiced.  Or maybe a more critical analyse is in order due to my high expectations of the feature.

A Cat in Paris, however, didn’t let me down. It’s a charming, visually gratifying tale for all the family – centred around a cat named Dino, an innocent pet by day, and a criminal genius by night.

Set predominantly over the course of just one night, A Cat in Paris is a rousing and mysterious film about Dino, who assists cat burglar (no pun intended) Nico (Bruno Salomone), in his nightly escapades, stealing jewellery and money from innocent victims.

However, Dino’s owner Jeanne (Dominique Blanc), is the police officer in charge of capturing the thief – although once her daughter Zoe (Oriane Zani) decides one night to follow Dino on his nightly trip, Jeanne has more pressing issues to deal with, as her daughter inadvertently becomes a part of the criminalities, running into danger with public enemy number one Victor Costa (Jean Benguigui), who had previously murdered her father.

As one of few animated features airing at the London Film Festival, A Cat in Paris has all of the absurdity and magnetism that comes with French films, enhanced by the aesthetically pleasing surrealist illustration, where the characters almost resembled paintings by Pablo Picasso.

Despite the enchantment surrounding Dino and his ability to understand humans – I admired the filmmakers Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol for not making Dino too overly idealistic, as the pet still acted as a cat, communicating by meowing throughout and appeared to others as just an ordinary pet – whereas I can’t help but feel that Disney would have had Dino talking at points.

At just over an hour long, it’s vibrant, and accompanied by a serene, jazz soundtrack, and most importantly, tells an interesting and genuinely exciting story. And don’t miss the wonderful inclusion of character and nearby pet dog Rufus – adding a touch of hilarity to an already accomplished feature.