Visually bewitching French animation about the double life of a clever Parisian cat. By day, Dino the cat is precious pet to Zoé, a little girl who stopped speaking when she lost her dad. (The cat’s got her tongue.) By night, Dino purrs for Nico, a neighborhood cat burglar. But Dino’s two lives are about merge since Zoé’s mom is the police detective investigating the burglaries. Then there’s Zoé’s two-faced nanny, this over-perfumed dame is moonlighting with the gang that killed Zoe’s father. How the heck will Dino get a cat’s required 18 hours of sleep? Filmmakers Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alan Gagnol (who also co-wrote) come up with a great painterly look for those Paris rooftops and some wonderful character designs. (Nico looks quite dashing with his hair plastered down like a young Picasso.) But the film can feel patched together, like a series of dazzling divertissements that got shortchanged at the story construction/development meeting. (Though its brisk 70 minute running time should keep kids from fidgeting.) Perhaps next time, they’ll go for an adaptation rather than an original story.
SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: There’s a fine cast for the English language track, but why all those British accents in the City of Light? Marty Scorsese did the same damn thing in HUGO/’11.