A creature is inadvertently created by bumbling friends, Emile and Raoul and it begins to terrorise the inhabitants of Paris. However, when it encounters the beautiful singer, Lucille, she realises that this ‘monster’ is not the frightening monster everyone believes him to be. Naming him Francœur (honest heart), Lucille, Emile and Raoul set about trying to let everyone know that their new friend is harmless but with a determined Police Commissioner wanting to become famous for catching him, Francœur and his champions may not be a match for one man’s blind ambition.

A Monster In Paris (2011) – Director: Bibo Bergeron

Is A Monster In Paris appropriate for kids

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Rating: U

Running Length: 90 mins

Starring: Sébastien Desjours, Gad Elmaleh, Vanessa Paradis

Genre: Animated, Comedy

REVIEW

Set during the flooding of the River Seine on 1910, ‘A Monster In Paris’ follows two friends, Emile and Raoul who accidentally create a huge creature when playing with potions in a laboratory. The eponymous monster turns out to be a gentle, music-loving flea that was enlarged by the chemicals it was exposed to. Although the plot is an original concept by Bob Balaban (who also voices the character Pâté), it is clear that classic tales have influenced it including ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Damme’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

‘A Monster In Paris’ is certainly a movie aimed at young kids, however, it manages not to be overly childish and will appeal to older members of the audience as well. Cabaret singer, Lucille, is both independent and intelligent, making her own decisions and seeking to show society the truth behind its fears rather than exploiting them like the villainous Maynott. Other protagonists, Raoul and Emile, are pleasant additions to the story but, as they are initially introduced as the ‘main’ characters of the story, it is a shame that their presence doesn’t make a bigger impact.

‘A Monster In Paris’ is a wonderfully told story of compassion and humanity, it is beautifully animated and has strong positive messages that parents are likely to want their children to be exposed to. The ending may be a little rushed but the journey that the audience are taken on is fun, comfortable and enjoyable and while its calibre is just as high as Pixar, it is a refreshing change from it.

IS ‘A MONSTER IN PARIS’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

A couple walk past a huge crocodile in a zoo which suddenly jumps out of its enclosure and aggressively approaches the woman, intending to kill her. She screams in terror and falls over, however the man steps in to help her.

A man sprays an unknown potion into the mouth of an animal. This doesn’t harm the creature at all but this could encourage some kids to copy it and spray something harmful at an animal.

The ‘monster’ is initially shown to be an enormous insect that is hairy, has several spindly arms and menacing red eyes. The first glimpse of the creature is in a dark, smoky room where it terrifies one of the protagonists before escaping into Paris.

On a misty street, a woman is approached by a dark figure. She is a little afraid and struggles to see what is coming towards her, it groans and is seemingly threatening, this is quite tense for around thirty seconds but the figure is not what it initially appears to be.

An ‘artists impression’ of the monster shows him to be much larger than he really is and looms over a couple of people with a knife in his hand.

The monster, Francœur, is persecuted from the beginning and runs away from the people who try to hurt him. In one scene he is repeatedly shot at and pursued relentlessly. This level of aggression towards an innocent creature could be quite upsetting for some younger viewers.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

‘A Monster in Paris’ is a beautiful story of not judging a book by its cover, and the valuable lesson that authority should not be unconditionally trusted. The more mature outlook will not go amiss with parents and as there is plenty of good comedy and action, this is a story that will appeal to all ages.

  • Violence: 3/5 (A man holds a woman tightly by her throat and throws her over the side of a tall building. A character is held at gunpoint, the camera switches to focus on another character and a shot is heard, when the camera returns, the victim has disappeared and it is unclear whether they are dead although it is presumed by others that they are)
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (with reference to the above ‘death’, the characters are devastated by their loss and even after some time has passed, a character breaks down into tears due to the memory of their lost loved one)
  • Fear Factor: 1/5
  • Sexual Content: 1/5 (a man’s trousers fall down and he quickly moves his hands to cover himself, nothing graphic or sexual is seen. There is a brief close up of a woman’s clothed bottom)
  • Bad Language: 1/5 (some mild blasphemy and mild insults e.g. ‘moron’)
  • Dialogue: 2/5 (a character makes his intentions known that he intends to kill Francœur by drowning him)  
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of human nature, trust, seeing the good in others, ambition leading to wrongdoing, the dangers of jealousy and protecting the innocent.

Words by Laura Record

A Monster in Paris (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD)


New From: £5.18 GBP In Stock

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