DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

A Monster in Paris, Blu-ray 3D (2012/2013)

A heart-warming animated feature for the whole family, in which the monster is not at all monstrous.

Published on March 19, 2013

A Monster in Paris, Blu-ray 3D (2012/2013)

Voices: Adam Goldberg, Vanessa Paradis, Bob Balaban, Catherine O’Hara
Director: Bibo Bergeron
Music: Sean Lennon & Vanessa Parais
Studio: Europacorp/Bibo Films/ France 3 Cinema/ Walking the Dog/ Shout Factory SF 13894 [4/16/13] 2-disc version
Video: 1.77:1 for 16:9 color 1080p HD 3D
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English
Extras: Digital copy for download, 2D  & 3D discs
Length: 87 minutes
Rating: ****½

Another delightful French animation feature, which takes you back to 1912 Paris and a host of interesting characters. Emile is a shy little movie theater owner and Raoul is his hip friend, a colorful inventor.  They find themselves on the hunt for a supposedly terrible monster who is terrorizing citizens, but it turns out they created the monster (Franc, a giant flea) themselves by accident. Cute little Lucille is the singing star of the Rare Bird cabaret who ends up taking pity on the monster and making him a part of her stage show, since he shows a special talent for playing the guitar and dancing.

There is also an eccentric scientist and his strange monkey helper. All end up being pursued by the ambitious and ruthless local police chief, who is also running for major of Paris. The stylized appearance of the various characters and of 1912 Paris is great fun, and the music—partly the work of John Lennon’s son Sean—is quite enjoyable and swinging. Some is in English and some in French. But the spoken voices are all in English.

I have two hesitations about this one: the 3D quality didn’t seem especially striking, and animated films usually have some of the most spectacular 3D effects. Also, other reviewers have remarked on earlier releases having had a choice between the original French soundtrack (which supposedly had better music and some better voices) and the English-dubbed one. This version has only the latter—even if you select the English subtitles, it’s still the English soundtrack. It seems to me with the 50 GB capacity of Blu-rays you should at least have a choice as to which soundtrack you can select.

—John Sunier

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