In 1941, Paris, you may recall, did not have two Eiffel Towers, nor did it subsist on technology that never moved past the age of steam. But such is the alternate universe version of the city presented in April and the Extraordinary World, the beguiling French animated feature from directors Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci, which is based on a graphic novel by Jacques Tardi, and hails from Persepolis’ animation studio, Je Suis Bien Content. It’s been dubbed in English by the likes of Paul Giamatti, Susan Sarandon, Tony Hale, J.K. Simmons and Angela Galuppo as the lead (Marion Cotillard voiced the titular role in the French language version), and the official English trailer was released today.
Despite this version of Paris seeming set even further in the past than it actually was, the film follows someone aiming to actualize the very futuristic idea of a cure for death. Here’s the completely nuts, completely intriguing official description:
A family of scientists is on the brink of discovering a powerful longevity serum when all of a sudden a mysterious force abducts them, leaving their young daughter April behind. Ten years later, April lives alone with her cat, Darwin, and carries on her family’s research in secret. But she soon finds herself at the center of a shadowy and far-reaching conspiracy, and on the run from government agents, bicycle-powered dirigibles and cyborg rat spies.
At /Film, Jacob Hall says the film “is a fun movie, a pulpy, smart, family-friendly adventure that feels unlike anything being produced in Hollywood.” At Variety, Peter Debruge glowed, “Here, within a thrilling tale that respects the intelligence of its audience, attentive parents will find the antidote to their fear that watching cartoons might rot your brain.”
Watch the trailer:
April and the Extraordinary World opens in select theaters in the States on March 25.