'April and the Extraordinary World' - Movie Review

This is some wild and crazy shit. The introduction is a blatant info dump voice-over in which we're told that the world we're seeing didn't develop the combustion engine (making a direct comparison to our world), and scientists keep disappearing. All set in motion by a scientist working for Napoleon Bonaparte who unintentionally created sentient lizards instead of invulnerable soldiers. April Franklin ("Avril" in the French original, voiced by Marion Cotillard) is the great granddaughter of the scientist in question, and now the government is forcibly recruiting her scientist parents to work for the war effort - which is aimed at the vast forests of Canada as most technology is wood-fired and Europe has been stripped of trees. Got that? Did I mention it's crazy? But that's not a bad thing!

The steam-punk vision of 1941 in which April eludes the government and occasionally does science herself absolutely lives up to the title. The story is crazy yet cohesive, briskly paced, and a blast to watch. I'm at a loss to tell you who the target audience is: I don't think it would sit well with young kids (and some of their parents would be unhappy those kids are seeing it, with the word "merde" being bandied about), yet it's not really aimed at adults either. Teens? But they'd never watch it. How about this: it's for the discerning adult fan of animated movies. And credit where it's due: I once again owe CineFix a debt for their really excellent "Top 10 Animated Movies of All Time" for pointing me to this movie.