Wednesday, 1 February 2012

A Monster in Paris (2001)

Although criticised by some for a weak story, I found this an enjoyable film.  The visual style was distinctive, not only in the characters, but also the sets.  An interesting feature was the way in which most of the buildings in Paris are stylised, with verticals and horizontals distorted.  However, buildings that formed important locals were much less stylised, with verticals and horizontals correct, although they maintain the vertical stretch found in all of the sets.  Vehicles are heavily stylised in a similar manner to the buildings, with small wheels and tall bodies; somewhat unusually however they are also stretched width-wise, helping to reduce the top-heavy appearance that this sort of distortion can otherwise create (such as in "The Incredibles" and "Monsters vs Aliens").

The animation is very high quality, particularly during the musical scenes, where the synchronisation between the music and the animation is excellent.  The set-piece sequences are great, usually managing to incorporate some humour along with the action; and the pacing works well.  At the same time, the 3D was done to a level where it was unnoticable (possibly one of the greatest compliments that can be given) with no gimmicky jump-out-the-screen moments - I particularly liked the way that dissolves between caption cards and the film itself were handled.

Finally, it has one of the greatest assets available to a film - incredibly catchy songs.

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