A Cat in Paris (France, 2010) ****

A Cat in Paris is a charming, hand-drawn, action-comedy, animated film, kids and adults will both enjoy. It was produced by the French animation studio Folimage, directed by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, to a story by Alain Gagnol. A Cat in Paris tells the story of Zoé , a young Parisian girl whose police detective dad was murdered by a known criminal some time before the story starts. Her comfort is her black cat, which leaves her every night, pursuing other adventures. When Zoé decides to follow the cat one night, she helps unravel a crime mystery, find a new unlikely friend, and regain her voice. There is nothing very special in this film, except that there is. Rather than focusing on 3-D effects and the same dry formula of a boy or a girl that find their "true" calling, A Cat in Paris focuses on a good classic story and well-developed characters. It is relatively short (only 65 min), shot in film-noir style, and has a retro visual style. The film was nominated for an Academy Award and shown in the USA with well-made English dubbing. It's worth noting also that the correct translation of the film’s French title, Une Vie de Chat, is A Cat's Life.