A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Cat Classics on Film: A Cat in Paris (2010)

Cat Classics on Film

How many cats do you know who lead a double life? We suspect that very few cats lead lives as full of contrasts as Dino the cat, star of A Cat in Paris, which is today’s Cat Classic on Film.

The plot

A Cat in ParisBy day, Dino is the beloved kitty companion of young Zoe, a girl who stopped speaking after her police officer father was killed by a gangster. When night falls, Dino slips out the window and commutes the short distance to the home of his other friend, Nico (Steve Blum). Nico is, of all things, a cat burglar, and together he and Dino sneak across rooftops and precarious ledges to steal jewels from unsuspecting, sleeping people. Despite his criminal profession, Nico is a pretty nice guy. If you had to be robbed, you’d want Nico to do the job.

Zoe’s mom, Jeanne (Marcia Gay Harden), is a high-ranking police officer who is determined to capture the horrible Victor Costa (JB Blanc), who was responsible for her husband’s death. Jeanne is also tracking down a burglar (one who mysteriously leaves cat paw prints at the scenes of his crimes) and trying to protect a valuable art object that she is sure Costa will try to steal. She’s so caught up in her work she doesn’t have much time for her daughter. A nanny (Anjelica Huston), who is oh so sweet on the surface but rotten on the inside, watches Zoe when Jeanne is gone, which is most of the time.

One night Zoe follows Dino out the window when he leaves to meet up with Nico. Along the way, she overhears the gangsters plotting and discovers her nanny’s true identity. Now Zoe is in danger, and soon Nico is also in danger, accused of kidnapping the girl. Unfortunately, Zoe can’t speak to tell her mother what is really going on.

Action-packed animation

A Cat in Paris features plenty of action and suspense. Time Out Chicago Kids called it a “cartoon noir [that] distills Hitchcock into 64 brisk minutes for middle-schoolers and up” (Wikipedia). The animation style is unique (at least to us) and unforgettable. The night-vision scene is a favorite of ours, with its white-outline figures on a dark background. There is also plenty of emotional complexity for viewers of all ages. In her mind, Jeanne is haunted by an octopus-like monster with Costa’s face, and she has to overcome her fear to defeat him in real life. Zoe, of course, is dealing with the trauma of losing her father and feeling abandoned by her mother. The nanny who is supposed to protect Zoe is actually a danger to her, while cat-burglar Nico is a source of safety.

Scene from A Cat in Paris. Dino with Zoe.
Zoe cuddling Dino.

See the trailer here.

Scene from A Cat in Paris. Dino with Nico the cat burglar.
By night, Dino accompanies cat burglar Nico.

Our verdict

This is one of our all-time favorite animated films, and of course it’s one of our favorite cat films. First, it’s just over an hour long. That’s plenty of time to tell the story in an engaging way, and it made us want to actually sit down and watch the movie (unlike the over-two-hour run times of so many of today’s films). Then there’s the animation, which we found as interesting as the story itself. And who could ever forget Dino, the cat who accompanies a cat burglar on his nightly jaunts?

This film is rated PG. There is some violence, as you’d expect from the presence of gangsters. Some younger kids might be frightened by the Costa character in particular, so we think the “middle-schoolers and up” suggestion is spot on. The soundtrack is pretty awesome too, featuring Billie Holiday singing “I Wished on the Moon.”

A Cat in Paris was first released in France in 2010 as Une vie de chat (A Cat’s Life) and opened in limited release in the US in 2012. It was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Animated Feature Film) in 2012.

Highly recommended!

Two Paws Up! A Great Movie

A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good movie; two paws is for a great movie. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!

The link below is an Amazon Associates link. If you purchase the movie through this link, old SoLT and I could get some coin for our kibble account. Thank you!


"A Cat in Paris," Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Cat_in_Paris


  1. Eek! I hate seeing violence against animals, even in cartoons.

  2. Oh, I love, love, love this movie!!! The animation is just exquisite.

  3. This sounds like a fun movie! I like the shorter length too. I rarely have time to sit down and watch a two hour movie, but an hour I could definitely do!

  4. I have actually seen this and I enjoyed it too.