April and the extraordinary world is an enchanting mixed bag of 1890’s European vignettes and scientific-industrial fantasies, all of which enfleshed in a loving and heartwarming tale. It’s too bad that they translated the french dialogue into English so I didn’t get the most authentic experience. Nevertheless, it was a joy to revel in the foggy terrain of scientific conspiracy brewing in the dimly lit caverns and secret alleyways of Paris. The premise is set; An organization is enslaving the world’s best scientist’s from Einstein to Fermi, April’s family is on the run for creating a sought-after drug and a whole new chapter of science is re-fashioned into a time where the world is a heartbeat away from change. Fast-forward time to 15 years or so, April and her talking cat are flung into a thickening plot that threatens to envelop our fateful protagonists. It is a charming tale full of fun and nostalgia and inventiveness. Personally, it was a very satisfying watch.
April and the extraodinary world is very much a science-fiction animation. It’s a little contrived at times and our protagonists consistently escape danger in the most fortuitous ways, almost to good to be true. But it starts becoming a running theme if you consider the incredulous nature of action sequences and events. With a consistently fantastical style, the film is a visual treat for younger viewers while the hugely comedic pet cat Darwin is sure to make even adults chuckle loads. But none of the film’s plot is realistic at all. So don’t go thinking it’ll provoke some deep thoughts on society or science in general. It is what it is – A good animation more concerned with real people than real situations. Set in the backdrop of beautiful Parisien architecture, the European ‘feel’ is real with this one.
Admittedly, the film was better in its first half than in the latter. When the whole ‘big reveal’ was out, I felt like the film lost itself a little. I get that the movie wants to be ‘magical’ and incredible, but diverted itself into all sorts of directions that seemed inconceivable and tonally off. I didn’t think the antagonists played much of a role in the overall message the film was trying to convey. But the first half of the film will be worth the watch alone.
While the film isn’t perfect by any means, it is both entertaining and funny. With all the european charm and mystery to keep you right beside April and her talking cat, her journey is a tumultuous ride of teenage adventure, troubled pasts and insecurity. While the other characters didn’t leave much of an imprint on me, April and her witty cat set themselves apart in a markedly ‘french/european’ tale that has a heartwarming story that everyone can relate to.