A Monster in Paris



French monster movie encourages looking past the surface.
  • Review Date: April 14, 2013
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn a bit about Parisian culture and landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, the various bridges, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

Positive messages

There's a great message about not judging anyone by his or her appearances, and how true friends stick up for each other and help each other out no matter the wacky circumstances. Everyone needs a friend.

Positive role models

Francoeur is not a monster despite the fact that he's a ginormous mutant flea. He's quite sweet and has a beautiful singing voice. The mild-mannered Raoul and and humorous Emile are braver than they look, and they -- along with the women they fancy -- help to save Francoeur from a horrible fate.

Violence & scariness

At first the "monster" can seem scary, but he's quickly revealed to be harmless. A climactic confrontation involves a vehicle chase and then a frightening scene at the Eiffel Tower, where an armed villain shoots at people and the monster. A woman is nearly choked and another is held threateningly off the side of the Eiffel Tower; she almost plunges to her death. The monster falls from the Eiffel Tower and is momentarily presumed lost or dead.

Sexy stuff

A couple of kisses between couples who flirt through most of the movie.


A few instances of exclamations such as "Oh my God" and "Jesus!" as well as insults such as "stupid" and "idiot."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are adults drinking at a dance/concert lounge, but it's unclear whether the drinks are alcohol or not (presumably, being Paris, it is wine).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A Monster in Paris is an animated period adventure about a science experiment that turns a flea into a huge "monster." But the flea, who is later called Franc, is as gentle as can be and will teach kids the importance of not judging people based on their looks. There's some gun violence and a frightening climactic battle between a meanie with a loaded gun and the "monster" and his friends. Kids who pay attention will get glimpses of Parisian landmarks and will value the movie's messages of tolerance and friendship.

What's the story?

In 1910 Paris, inventor and deliveryman Raoul (voiced by Adam Goldberg) and his best friend, Emile (Jay Harrington), a projectionist make a delivery to a famous scientist's home. Finding the home absent save for a monkey named Charles, Raoul and Emile roam around the scientist's things, and Raoul attempts an experiment that ends up transforming a flea into a seven-foot-tall "monster." While the humongous flea frightens Parisians, a nightclub's lovely young singer Lucille (Vanessa Paradis) makes an incredible discovery -- the monster has a beautiful voice (Sean Lennon). She calls him Francoeur, dresses him up, and makes him part of her lounge act. But the local politician (Danny Huston) wants to run him out of the city, or worse, kill him. It's up to Lucille, Emile, Raoul, and his love interest Maud to protect Franc.

Is it any good?


Animation wise, A Monster in Paris is beautifully made for a release that's straight to DVD here in the States. The backdrop of Paris comes alive with the details of bustling tradesmen and shopkeepers and gorgeous landmarks. Paris becomes a major character in the story, with its night life and cobblestone streets and glittering lights. What a great way to introduce kids to the magical city.

The story itself is one of transformation, friendship, and discovery. Franc isn't the monster that the villainous politician makes him out to be; he's a gifted musician (played in the English version by John Lennon's son Sean) and a kind-hearted soul. The romantic subplots are sweet, as is the banter between best friends Raoul and Emile and childhood chums Raoul and Lucille. With catchy musical numbers and a poignant message, this is a movie the whole family will enjoy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the dangers of judging people based on how they look instead of who they are. How does Franc surprise those who get to know him? Why do the Emile, Raoul, Lucille and Maud protect him?

  • What other movies use a similar story about someone who looks scary or monstrous but is actually a gentle giant/soul? What do these movies teach us?

  • How does the movie convey the time and setting of the story? What does life in Paris in the early 20th century seem like in the movie? What details does the filmmaker include?

Movie details

DVD release date:April 16, 2013
Cast:Adam Goldberg, Jay Harrington, Vanessa Paradis
Director:Eric Bibo Bergeron
Studio:Shout! Factory
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some action violence involving gunplay, and mild rude humor

This review of A Monster in Paris was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bynduns April 19, 2013

A brilliant film

I'd heard a lot about this movie and after finally seeing it, I was impressed. The songs, while not a big focus, are quite memorable and the characters are lovable with Francoeur himself being a true angel. Honestly, my only complaint with this film is that there are times where it doesn't seem to know whether it wants to be a fun animated adventure or an art house film as it often seems to jump back and forth, but all in all, it's very good and I highly recommend it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old June 4, 2013


Really nice cartoon and family movie!
Kid, 9 years old April 20, 2013

Great fun!

This movie is a very interesting love tale and at the same time, it is a very good comedy.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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