There are not many animated films out this New Year so far. In fact the only one out at the moment is a French film, redubbed for the UK, ‘A Monster in Paris’. So how does the only animated film so far look and set the target in the cinemas?

Director Bibo Beregon (Shark Tale, Flushed Away, The Bee Movie) sets his latest film in Paris, 1910, during the ‘Great Flood, where Emile, voiced by Jay Harington plays a shy movie projectionist alongside Raoul, Adam Goldberg, a vivid inventor who finds themselves on the hunt for a mysterious creature terrorizing the city. But with the city’s ruthless striving police chief Préfet Maynott Danny Huston on the hunt for glory,  their opinions are changed when they join forces with Lucile, the big star of the City Vanessa Paradis, and a well mannered monkey in an attempt to save the monster, their latest friend.

There are certain aspects of this film that make it a stand out to Beregon’s past films. In The Bee Movie, a theme shown is on the present and how it is essential that we look after our environment, but his latest film focuses on the past during a historical event and to keep hopes high and not judging the character of someone. Throughout the film, the city is seen as desolate, using bleak shades of colour such as black and grey that would definitely impress the likes of Tim Burton. The dull colours certainly represents how run down the city was during the disaster. In contrast, the choice of colour shown in the characters are represented with many bright colours, for example Emile in bright green and police chief Maynott in yellow. As well as this the viewer gets to see that the citizens are keeping morale high by viewing regular films and shows as seen in the film.  This being said, the message and themes is the only aspect that represent the film positively.

Because the film isn’t originally English, it drags on with jokes that aren’t funny. The audience didn’t show much of a good reaction and for this to happen in an animation where most of the viewers are children, this isn’t a good thing.  The poor humour slows the pace down and the film doesn’t pick up until the very end where the action is shown. Furthermore for a film which shows the historic event of a flood, there isn’t much water shown, as there is only a few seconds of it represented when they are stranded in the flood. This could be because water is the hardest thing to animate, but that being said Beregon managed to do this fine in Flushed Away.

Compared to one of Beregon’s previous films, A Sharks Tale, which features big names such as Angelina Jolie, Will Smith, Jack Black, Rene Zellweger, Scorsese, and De Niro the cast isn’t great either. The lack of cast and big talent that isn’t shown in this animation compared with Shark Tales, brings this film down, as well as the songs that aren’t as catchy compared to the hit ‘See you at the car wash’.

This animated film shows little effort in trying to be successful through its bad script letting it down. A child in primary school could do much better. For this reason I give it a small 4 out of 10.  The failed film doesn’t set much of a target for other animations this year to follow, but with the likes of Madagascar 3 to come out later this year, at least then animated films can hopefully be redeemed.

By Mike Ham