A Cat in Paris, animated by French studio Folimage, is a little film you wouldn’t think was Academy Award material at first glance. Although nominated for Best Animated Feature, the movie had a limited release in the United States, making it rather obscure. However, A Cat in Paris, with its crime adventure plot, unique animation, and relatable characters, is a little hidden gem of animation that is worth seeing.
The movie follows the night life of a stray Parisian cat over the course of a single night. He’s the sidekick of a friendly cat burglar, Nico, and a friend and confidante to a lonely young girl, Zoe, whose dad was killed by a notorious gangster, Victor Costa, and whose mom works as a police superintendent. When Victor Costa sets his eyes on a valuable piece of art arriving soon in Paris, everyone’s lives become intertwined as a pending crime unravels.
The animation is a unique feature that feels hand drawn and Picasso inspired. The characters’ movements are wavy and fluid, making it fun to watch Nico run across rooftops and steal people’s jewelry. Although drawn like a fun picture book, the movie carries some heavy themes. Zoe and her mom are clearly traumatized and grieving over the murder of Zoe’s father, consequently making them distant from each other. Nico, the nice cat burglar, is willing to do the right thing even though it could get him caught by the police. Even though everyone carries some heavy baggage, they are willing to do what it takes to stop Victor Costa.
A Cat in Paris is a film that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. It doesn’t come with any fancy wrappings or ribbons. But there is humor, heart, and exciting rooftop chases across Paris’ skyline. I was impressed by the stylish animation, tight storytelling, and characters you could root for which only makes it a shame the film never got a widespread release. The best way I could describe A Cat in Paris is the old saying, “Good things come in small packages.” And with cats.