And here we have… number 8 in the series! If you aren’t aware, I do a weekly series where I review animated films that are – usually – made by a small studio or at least weren’t featured in UK cinemas (possibly US too) So, this weeks entry – April and the Extraordinary World!
April and the Extraordinary World is a French-Belgian-Canadian 2D feature film that released in 2015. It was directed by Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci and was produced by multiple, multiple different studios.
For fans of: Studio Ghibli films, The Legend of Korra & General Steampunk.
Mild spoiler warning
I’m pretty sure I added this film to the list when I just so happened to come across a trailer for it and it reminded me so much of a Studio Ghibli film, that comparison has probably been made quite a lot but I couldn’t escape it whilst watching!
The plot for April and the Extraordinary World goes like this: Set in 1941 dystopian France who are under the rule of Napoleon V, all over the world scientists and theorists have gone missing leaving the world without inventions such as electricity, radio and television, without technological innovation the world is still relying on coal and wood to fuel it’s cities leaving the air polluted and France devoid of any trees. A family of scientists that were on a mission to create a serum for invulnerability are captured and arrested by an unknown source, their daughter; April breaks free though and grows up to be a scientist herself, she is now on a mission to find and save her parents along with her talking cat Darwin.
I think I may have enjoyed this film more if I was 1) not ill and wanting the film to end so I could sleep but also if I understood it, it seemed like a lot of things were happening in the plot and I couldn’t keep up with as to why? Perhaps it’s a science thing and it went way over my head but for me; I found myself lost with what was going on a couple of times. Lets say that it is probably due to my own misunderstanding rather than the film’s error as only want to speak highly of this film! with great fleshed out characters that are likeable – without needing to persuade you, an amazing art style – the 2D machinery again, really reminded me of a Studio Ghibli film, I even loved the character designs that kept a realistic look but with some exaggerated characteristics to remind you that this is a cartoon, I did some research on this film once I had watched it and I found out that the visual look of this film was based on the work of French cartoonist Jacques Tardi.
The film wasn’t hard to watch in anyway, it had great humour and although the film had many serious undertones on climate change, etc. it did a good job at keeping you in the moment and not unsettled, much like how some Ghibli films have themes of war and corruption but don’t directly show it. The worlds and some of the inventions were unbelievably creative – there were scenes that contained things that I couldn’t even comprehend, I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t seen these ideas in a film before! This may be an insult to myself rather than praise for the film as my history knowledge is lets say; missing a few things but I constantly found myself trying to figure out what parts of history were real and what parts were fabricated for the film – everything was totally believable! I was even surprised by who the distributors managed to get for the English voice cast some big names such as J.K Simmons, Susan Sarandon, Paul Giamatti and more can be found in this film.
I apologise if this review is a bit pants compared to the others but like I said; I’m pretty sick and just needed to get this one done and out there so I can sleep and not have to worry about it! I really hope that you do take the time to try and watch this film as it really is a great way to spend an hour and 40 minutes, I wish I had more criticism for this film but I honestly couldn’t think of any! Stay tuned for next week as I’ll hopefully feel better therefore be able to write a little better.
Find my other reviews in this series here: Ballerina, My Life As a Zucchini , Capture The Flag, Mary & Max, Ernest and Celestine, The Red Turtle & Throne of Elves. Find my video game reviews and some of my other articles at nerdoutwordout.com.