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Quick Review: April and the Extraordinary World


Great Darwin! Thanks to GKIDS, April and the Extraordinary World is now playing in theaters. I saw it at Fantastic Fest and loved the old-school feel of it. They don’t make ’em like this anymore. (Not in Hollywood at least…) Off the radar and worth seeking out if you dig hand-drawn animation. My quick review from FF:

Film 9- April and the Extraordinary World
Director- Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci
Cast- Marion Cotillard, Jean Rochefort, Olivier Gourmet, and Philippe Katerine

April and the Extraordinary World, or April and the Twisted World, as the subtitles on the screen read, is a French-Belgian-Canadian animated film based on the graphic novels of Jacques Tardi. It takes place in 1941, in a bleakly revised France where Napolean V is the ruler and things like radios, televisions, electricity, and combustion engines don’t exist. For 70 years the world’s brightest scholars have been disappearing, causing a stunt in the growth of technology and creating a world that thrives on coal and steam.

April (Cotillard) and her talking cat, Darwin (Katerine), join up with her grandpa, Pops (Rochefort), and savvy police informant, Julius (Marc-André Grondin), and set off on a grand adventure to search for her missing parents. There’s so much to love about this movie; the compelling story, the old school hand drawn 2D animation, the steampunk aesthetic, and the contraptions like the flying blimp bikes that the police operate. It’s a grey world, but the characters are full of life and voiced with zeal. (In French with English subtitles.)

4 out of 5 Nerdskulls

*This review is of the French language version with English subtitles. I have not seen the English dub.

April and the Extraordinary World is now playing in Houston at Landmark River Oaks and will play at Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park on May 22nd as a double feature with Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s The City of Lost Children. Tickets here.

Trailer:

Stills: (click to enlarge)


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