Friday, July 7, 2017

ANI-MOVIES, *April And The Extraordinary World

Created as an international production between Belgian, Canadian, and French studios, this full-length animated movie is done as one of the few steampunk stories that takes place outside of the normal given boundaries of the average points in time that would normally carry over into the "deiselpunk" era. Inspired by the artworks of cartoonist Jacque, this is an original story that spans decades set in an alternate history version of Europe.

Beginning in 1870, Napoleon the 3rd comes to inspect a new weapon his leading scientist Gustave Franklin, but instead of his army of super ape soldiers he was hoping for, Nappy III gets a pair of super-intelligent reptiles(possibly dinosaurs). In his anger, Napoleon causes a lab accident leading to his own premature death along with Gustav Franklin. Over the next few decades, several different "Napoleons" take up the leadership of France, while the rest of the world suffers from having their most brilliant scientists go missing. Due to this, there were no World Wars, and mankind's technology has been reduced to a slow pace with still relying on producing steam. In 1931, Gustav's grandson Pops along with his own grandson Paul, Paul's wife Annette, and their daughter April, have created special elixir which gave their cat Darwin that enables him the powers of speech and human intelligence. However, the French government is rounding up every scientist they can to bolster their arsenal, and track the Franklins down to their secret hideout, which has Pops going missing, and April's parents seemingly disintegrated by a bizarre thundercloud that chased them. Cut to 1941 where April has been living in secret on her own with Darwin. Meanwhile, a French policeman is tracking April down for any connection to her family, and using a vagrant pickpocket named Julius to do his legwork for him. Julius ends up falling for April, and joins her after she finally gets word that her parents are still alive, along with reuniting with her grandfather Pops as they unite to try to find out the conspiracy of the missing scientists, all while being chased by the French government.

The animation in this has its own unique style of animation and the look of the characters, very reminiscent of The Adventures Of Tintin, while blending in the feel of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec comic that also got its own French-created live-action movie. Those who have seen A Cat In Paris should be familiar with the quirky style of storytelling that usually goes into a European high adventure/chase plot when it comes to this film. It makes for an interesting all-ages movie to, featuring American voice actors like Susan Sarandon, J.K. Simmons, and Paul Giamatti, even though they are mainly playing supporting characters. For real makes for an excellent entry in any steampunk movie marathon!

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