April and the Extraordinary World is available in: English on Netflix USA
Avril et le monde truqué
France asleep in the nineteenth century, governed by steam and Napoleon VI, where scientists vanish mysteriously, a girl, Avril, goes in search of her missing scientist parents.
As a film fanatic who grew up watching lots of 2D animations, I’m very happy to see they’re still alive in other parts of the world after Hollywood abandoned them for 3D animations. Especially when it comes to this kind of animation, obviously the France produced some extraordinary films in the recent years such as ‘Ernest & Celestine’, ‘A Cat in Paris’, ‘Zarafa’ et cetera. This is an internationally produced film in the French language, but available in the English language too, which was based on the graphic novel by the French cartoonist Jacque Tardi.
This is the story of a young girl Avril that takes place in the 1940s, Paris. But it all begins many decades earlier that reveals how a family of three generations were pursued by the powerful men. It is the parallel universe story, especially when it comes to the technology, the world is underdeveloped and is in the steam age. This film is about the science and invention where Avril’s parents, grandparents were on the verge to invent an ultimate serum. Now those bad guys are after Avril and her cat, Darwin. So before they catch her, she must find her family members if they had survived the crash a decade ago to put an end to all the surrounding mysteries.
Usually Europe means fairy tales with magic stuffs, but this is an sci-fi-adventure. Feels like watching a Japanese anime. Excellent story, the brilliantly developed characters with lots of suspense and thriller, so I don’t think it makes sense to call it a comedy or children’s film. Definitely for all ages, the film has a bit of everything to please the people from different generations. The sketches were another highlight, very catchy with the low bright colours. Directed by the two new directors, but their’s experience is the fine result of this film.
“Cats don’t dance. And they don’t talk! So be quiet.”
It is a beautiful world with the twin Eiffel towers, a bridge in the English channel kind of stuffs, yet it suffers from all types of severe pollutions. The global warming is the hot topic right now, but this film sets in 65 years earlier. So it comes in the line of ‘Boy and the World’, but all the focus was turned towards the family of scientists and their adventures than to press harder on the important issue. But throughout the narration, it is quite clear the world was affected by without the proper scientific progression and adaptation to save it. Avril might be the centre of the story, but the film character distributed widely and theirs story were well preserved to keep the excitement and pace steady till the end. So be prepared for some unexpected, because it’s very matured yet a light humorous film.
The title might give an expression of a cliché, so if you expect a fantasy tale, then you’re in the wrong place. But I’m surprised for how unique it was from other sci-fi films. Especially somewhat resembles ‘Les Misérables’ and some others, yet quite refreshing with all the twist and turns. When the actual story ends, there’s an extended scene which makes us to dream for a sequel to come. But it all ended here, so a follow-up is very unlikely. Apart from the story, the technical brilliance was like par with the Animes, especially it reminds Miyazaki’s films. These directors must keep doing films like this and who knows they may become the French versions of Tomm Moore.
One of the best animations of the years. A sci-fi which is not a dystopian theme. I said that because that’s what very common in the current films. Instead, it is a mid 20th century story and totally an entertaining film with the breathtaking visuals. The story wise, it is nothing less than any similar live-action themes. It should have been very popular by now, but it is not and the reason is it is not a Hollywood. That’s really very sad, but if you are an international film fan then you should give it a try and animation fans must not skip it. Like I said you won’t often get a film matured, at a time funny as this one where adults and children can sit together.