The American view of animation is that it is solely designed for children and younger people; and while the East has avoided this influence, it has trickled somewhat into the rest of the western world. However, with the release of this French animated film in English territories, we can now see a movie that while being animated, is able to be engaging and thoughtful for adult viewers as well as children.
Set in France, 1910, against the historical flooding of the Seine River, we meet Emile; a shy man who works as a projectionist at a film house. Emile has an unrequited love with his co-worker, Maud, and has a best friend in the form of crazed inventor Raoul. An accident takes place in the workshop of Raoul, and soon after the titular monster begins to be seen around Paris by the characters. This brief outline fails to do justice to the plot of the film, which is less Van Helsing, and more Hunchback of Notre Dame, or Frankenstein’s monster.
With several love triangles in place (as only a French movie could provide) as well as deep meditations on the nature of a person, the characters are engaging, pleasant to listen to, and actually seem like people. The villains are suitably evil, and the plot has a overarchingly positive message in place. The backdrop of Paris is rendered beautifully, and several plot points involving the opera allow for many wonderful songs and singing to be employed as well.
For a nostalgic yet fantastical trip through Paris, you could do far worse than getting this quirky yet lovable movie, which will entertain both the kids and the parents.