There’s much to praise in this bubbly, 3D fairytale from French animator Bibo Bergeron. Set on the streets of Paris in 1910, ‘A Monster in Paris’ borrows some of its tics from silent cinema, but it also reaches out to films such as ‘Frankenstein’, ‘Phantom of the Opera’, ‘The Fly’ and ‘King Kong’ for inspiration. It’s a mostly enjoyable and heartfelt tale of an ill-matched friendship between bug-eyed chanteuse Lucille (Vanessa Paradis) and Francoeur, a giant, scary but soft-centered flea who impresses her with his singing voice (courtesy of Julian Lennon).
As a low-profile entry into the animation pantheon, ‘A Monster in Paris’ charms with painterly backdrops and sartorially elegant characters. But Matthieu Chédid’s catchy Latin songs and the superbly choreographed dance sequences captivate the most. A monotonous chase between a scheming mayoral candidate and Francoeur and his supporters is a low point, but not so low as to mar the film overall. It’s a kids’ film, after all, and a decent one at that.