(Adam Goldberg, Vanessa Paradis, Bob Balaban, et al / Blu-Ray + 3-D Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital Copy / NR / (2011) 2013 / Shout! Factory)
Overview: Paris, 1910. Panic sweeps the city as floodwaters rise and a monster is on the loose! Meanwhile a wacky inventor, his camera-crazy best friend, and a madcap monkey are on a mission to protect the beast, Franc, as he holds a rare and special talent!
Blu ray Verdict: I have to say, and as much as I'm not a huge animated film kinda guy, I sat down rather excitedly to watch this - and was NOT disappointed! Directed by Bibo Bergeron ('Shark Tale') with a voice cast including Vanessa Paradis (ex-Mrs. Johnny Depp) and Sean Lennon (son of John), 'A Monster In Paris' is fantastic, hilarious, well-crafted visual fun for all the family.
The basic plot premise is that a wacky inventor, his camera crazy best friend and a madcap monkey make a huge mistake when let loose in the Professor's laboratory! With lotions and potions spilling everywhere, the troublesome trio accidentally create Franc, a musical talent of monstrous proportions!
With the help of the beautiful, but feisty singer Lucille, the team are on a mission to protect their new friend from the ghastly wannabe Mayor, Commissioner Maynott, who has a plan to increase his popularity by capturing Franc and revealing him to be a scary monster to the people of Paris.
As I say, basic plot lines, for sure, but what spills out is a wondrous story of epic proportions that grab your heart and never lets go. It is also a far superior film than 'Shark Tale' and the characters are well-rounded and likeable. And boy, that Parisian setting is so beautifully rendered without being overly cliched. The real treat, however, and in my humble opinion, is the music. There is no sign of the gratuitous pop or R&B we have come to expect from animated films ('Shark Tale' being a good case in point). Rather there are a few simple, yet classy tunes which have just enough pizzazz to get the kids dancing around with every viewing.
In closing, and again, I particularly liked the way the animators captured the atmoshere of Paris - not easy to do. And I also liked the unlikely heroes - for it makes a nice change to see the nerdy guys win the day and get the girls! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with Interactive Menus, Photo Gallery, and Scene Access Options.