Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A Cat in Paris isn't heavy handed with messages, but there are a few that stand out: People are complicated, a thief may actually be ethical, and a seemingly kind woman might actually have less honorable intentions. Communication is beyond the verbal: Zoe can get her point across even without speaking. Family is ultimately more important than work.
Positive Role Models
The movie is filled with flawed characters: Nico is a thief but an honorable one. Jeanne is a fantastic detective, but she she's so overworked that she isn't always there for her daughter, Zoe. People who seem good are actually villainous. Zoe is mute but has so much to say with her face and her actions.
Violence & Scariness
Although none of the violence is without consequence, there are several suspenseful action sequences, one of which results in a death. A character is accused of slowly poisoning people with her "perfume." A crime boss is a terrible shot and can't kill a spider with his handgun. The central cat kills lizards, and it's considered a good thing. A character falls to his death after a hallucination that brings Notre Dame Cathedral gargoyles to life in a scary manner. Zoe's mother Jeanne has frightening nightmares about the man who killed her husband; she imagines him as a menacing giant octopus. A barking dog is squashed but then is shown barking again.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Costa and Claudine are affectionate with each other, and he calls her his pet. A male nude statue has a penis.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Mostly insults: "Son of a ...," "mangy cat," "stupid."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
It's France -- there's Champagne and wine at a dinner scene, and one character smokes a cigarette.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Cat in Paris is a French animated drama that was nominated for an Academy Award in 2012 and was subsequently dubbed in English. With its cops vs. robbers plot and several gripping action sequences -- not to mention a story that touches on grief, loneliness, moral ambiguity, betrayal, and revenge -- it's not ideal for preschoolers used to lighter cartoon fare. The violence includes gunfire, hallucinations, a man plunging to his death, and a woman who betrays a little girl's trust and then places her in harm's way. Some children will also be disturbed by the fact that Dino (the titular cat) routinely hunts and kills lizards. With a couple of exceptions, the characters are all flawed, and since the story is set in Paris, adults smoke and drink wine and Champagne. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's a sophisticated simplicity to Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol's elegantly crafted caper. Meticulously hand drawn, the animators depict a highly stylized, vibrant Paris (is there any other kind?) that's full of colorful rooftops, restaurants, and statues that will make any viewer want to book a flight to the City of Lights. The plot (despite the one little twist) is easy to follow, and it captures some surprisingly hefty themes for such a short (64 minutes) film: grief, loneliness, moral ambiguity, betrayal, and revenge are all touched upon with a delicacy that's accompanied by an evocative jazzy score. They obviously didn't make this movie just for kids (if they had, Dino would talk), but also for adults who love animation.
It's obvious why the Academy chose to honor A CAT IN PARIS alongside Hollywood offerings such as Rango (which won), Kung Fu Panda 2, and Puss in Boots. While Puss is a cat of loud and flashy action (and lots of sarcastic quips), Dino is simply always there, knowing when to comfort, push, and prod. Even without words, Dino speaks to the characters (especially Zoe and Nico) and the audience in an authentic and often hilarious way. If you have older kids willing to read subtitles, give the French original a chance, but even the English-dubbed version is a wonderful reminder to children that animation is more than singing and talking animals or flashy 3-D sequences.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.