DVD Watch: 'A Monster in Paris'

Shout! Factory releases a smooth new kids' instaclassic

DVD Watch: 'A Monster in Paris'

Sure, Dreamworks and Pixar are the Goliaths of the animation game, but A Monster in Paris (Shout! Factory, $14.97 [$24.97, 3-disc Blu-ray]) is the story of the little guy. Literally.

In Monster's opening act, we meet Emile, a diminutive, Leprechaun-looking sort who is trying to win the heart of Maude, battling to keep his old projector running, clinging to his new camera, and struggling not to lose his lunch as he bumbles around Paris with his friend Raoul, who is proportioned not unlike the Eiffel Tower and whose driving wouldn't be out of place at the Circuit of the Americas. In short (pun intended), Emile has a lot going on.

But when a lab accident sends a shadowy creature bouncing through the French capital like a giant flea, the two friends realize they have a bigger problem on their hands. And now our little guys have to figure out how to save the day from the self-satisfied savior of the city commissioner, because – quel surprise! – that pesky flea might just be a misunderstood little guy himself. Indeed, I haven't felt so sympathetic toward a bug since WALL-E accidentally rolled over his little cockroach friend.

It's a story of courage, unlikely friendships (Raoul and starlet Lucille are a veritable Benedick and Beatrice), lilting tunes that'll stick in your head for days, and cute humor (no one is ever too old for helium hijinks). Sure, the soundtrack is a tad repetitive, and there might be a few too many subplots for younger watchers to keep up, but the animation is crisp and bright, the voice actors are undisputedly talented, and the plot is a classic (not unlike that behemoth Beauty and the Beast, in fact).

Yes, I suspect everyone will walk away just a little bit taller after watching this movie.

A Monster in Paris (PG, 87 min.) is directed by Bibo Bergeron (Shark Tale) and stars the vocal talents of Adam Goldberg, Jay Harrington, Bob Balaban, Sean Lennon, Vanessa Paradis, Danny Huston, and Catherine O'Hara.

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