A Monster in Paris (2011)

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Released 4-Sep-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 86:14
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Bibo Bergeron
Studio
Distributor
Europa Corp.
Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Children's animated films are a dime a dozen these days, so it is always refreshing to see one which doesn't follow the normal conventions. This one, A Monster in Paris or Un Monstre a Paris takes a quite different approach to the more mundane entries into the genre. For starters it was written and directed by French animator Bibo Bergeron who had a brief dalliance with Hollywood as a director of the ill-fated Shark Tale. It is also set in Paris and was made in French (although features an quality English dub as well). It also has a somewhat oddball premise, which bears a passing resemblance to Phantom of the Opera.

     The setting is Paris in 1910 and the Seine is flooded meaning for example that the Eiffel Tower is only accessible by boat. Emile (Jay Harrington in the English version) is a cinema projectionist who loves the ticket seller, Maud but is too afraid to tell her. His best friend, Raoul (Adam Goldberg) is a delivery driver who has a truck named Catherine. One day, Emile needs to replace the belt on his projector and accepts a lift from Raoul to pick one up. Raoul must make some deliveries along the way including one to the home of a mad inventor. On arrival they find the inventor has left his monkey, Charles, in charge and Raoul decides to take a look around the laboratory. Of course, things go wrong and then combine two potions created by the inventor with a flea from Charles resulting in a 6 foot plus tall flea that can sing beautifully and play guitar. Meanwhile, Raoul's childhood sweetheart, Lucille (Vanessa Paradis in both versions) is a well-known singer at a Paris nightclub who is being pursued by local politician, Commissioner Maynott. He wants to become Mayor and will stop at nothing to win the election. Of course, Lucille and the flea, who she names Francoeur (singing voice by Sean Lennon), meet up and start to perform together. Francoeur must do so in disguise in order to try to avoid the attentions of the Commissioner who wants to expose the monster so he can win the election.

     This is a cute and sweet children's film which features some excellent songs and some quality mild action scenes. Unfortunately, it also suffers from some of the problems which plagued Shark Tale being characters that are not overly engaging and an oddball premise about a genetically enhanced flea who can sing, dance and play guitar but not talk. On balance, this is better than Shark Tale and it is certainly different and interesting which makes it worthwhile for families looking for something outside the mainstream. The animation is high quality, colourful and nicely detailed.

     This film was released in 3D at the cinema and is available in Blu-ray 3D in other regions but not locally.

     Worth a look but a long way from perfect.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is excellent for DVD.

     The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture was very clear and sharp throughout for DVD.

     The colour is excellent which shows off the wonderful animation.

     There was some minor shimmer at times and a little motion blur.

     There are English subtitles available.

     There was no obvious layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is very good.

     This disc contains English and French soundtracks in Dolby Digital 5.1.

     Dialogue was generally clear and easy to understand although sometimes seemed to be slightly misplaced in the soundstage.

     The music was lovely featuring a quality score and some excellent songs.

     The surround speakers were used a lot for directional effects, atmosphere and music.

     The subwoofer was also used supporting the music and action.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Not much here.

Menu

    The menu featured music.

Theatrical Trailer (1:57)

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This film has been released in similar DVD releases around the world but most regions also got a Blu-ray or Blu-ray 3D version. Draw from a DVD perspective.

Summary

    A cute but flawed children's animated film.

    The video quality is excellent for DVD.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras drowned in the flooded Seine.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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