Western Animation / A Monster in Paris


"And all the headlines read, for the whole world to see, a Monster in Paris."

A Monster in Paris (Un Monstre à Paris) is a French animated film directed by Eric "Bibo" Bergeron, with music by Matthieu Chedid, aka -M-.

During the Great Flood of 1910, Émile, a shy movie projectionist, and Raoul, a colorful inventor, find themselves embarked on the hunt for a monster terrorizing the citizens of Paris. However, the monster takes refuge with a beautiful, kind-hearted singer named Lucille and is revealed to be actually quite harmless. Now all of them must continue to protect the monster, Francœur, from the chief of police who's out to kill him.

A Monster in Paris provides examples of:

  • Deadpan Snarker: Raoul. Lucille also has her moments.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The "La Seine" sequence becomes this about halfway through.
  • Disney Death: Francœur.
  • The Dragon: Pâté. Being clearly good, he's also a Token Good Teammate.
  • The Edwardian Era
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Charles.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Played straight... but also subtly subverted. The movie is in fact about a monster in Paris, but the real monster turns out to be Maynott, not Francœur.
  • The Faceless: Raoul's professor friend, who is absent through most of the story, and when he appears at the end his face is never shown.
  • Fainting: Lucille does the "Monster" fainting variation when she first sees Francœur.
  • Fiery Redhead: Lucille.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The newspaper seller nearly run over by Raoul at the start of the movie is shouting a headline about the "Commissioner's popularity at an all time low". How does Maynott get his public approval rating back? By publicly hunting down an enlarged flea who would never hurt anyone because it will make him look heroic to save Paris from the alleged monster.
    • During Lucille's and Francœur's fantasy dance sequence, at one point he is peeking over the edge of the lighthouse cap. This is his exact location when Maynott is attempting to kill him at the end of the movie.
  • Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better: Francœur is bipedal despite the fact that fleas naturally walk on six legs.
  • Funny Background Event: During the scene where Victor Maynott and Inspector Pâté are talking with each other about the current flood and how to take care of it, all the while you can see Albert fruitlessly struggling to uncork the bottle of wine he's brought for the pair, from using his teeth to holding it with his feet, until finally he manages to get it off after the word "pop".
  • Fun with Homophones: The French version of the song "La Seine et moi" plays on the words "Seine" and "Scene" (the stage) sounding the same. When it's Francœur's turn to sing, it's no longer about the river Seine, but about Lucille performing on stage.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Raoul.
  • Gay Paree
  • Gentle Giant: Francœur.
  • Hartman Hips: Lucille. The lady who drops her necklace in the alley way has even more prominent curves.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Pâté.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Raoul has a big thing for Lucille, a stunning redhead.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Raoul and Émile.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The chief of police is clearly shown as a selfish Jerkass, and finally loses his sanity.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Francœur and Lucille.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Raoul. In the English version one doubles as a Shout-Out to Back to the Future.
  • Imagine Spot: Émile daydreams about dating Maud at the beginning of the movie.
  • Immune to Bullets: Francœur takes a couple shots to the exoskeleton without batting an eye.
  • In a Single Bound: Francœur, which naturally leads to some pretty awesome Roof Hopping. Justified, since he's a giant flea.
  • Indy Ploy: Raoul's schtick during the climax.
  • Insistent Terminology: Raoul's coat isn't made of straw, it's made of a very expensive material! Although eventually Raoul gives in and admits that, yes, it's made of straw.
  • Instant Expert: Francœur learns to sing, dance and play guitar damn fast. He's later seen writing a piano piece!!!
  • Jerkass: Albert.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Raoul.
  • Laughing Mad: Maynott becomes this during the climax.
  • Light is Not Good:
    • Maynott's signature outfit is a light brown suit, verging on yellow, and his presence is always indicated either by a spotlight, daylight, or a well-lit room. He's also a pompous psychopath.
    • Contrasted with Francœur who must sneak about at night to avoid detection, wears a dark coat and hat as part of his diguise, and is quite possibly the kindest character in the film. Dark is Not Evil indeed.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Lucille and Francœur, according to Word of God.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Francœur gets his name from a sign in the alley where Lucille finds him.
  • Little People Are Surreal: Averted. While Emile is technically a little person, the film treats this characteristic with sensitivity, touching on how this impacts his self-esteem.
  • Love Triangle: Averted. Fans assumed this would be the case, partly thanks to some apparently unreliable English summaries.
  • Male Gaze: The necklace scene in the alleyway with the woman in the red coat. The camera notably lingers on her behind.
  • Man in White: Francœur dresses to compliment Lucille's Woman in White.
  • Medium Blending: The film opens with a newsreel of live-action footage of the real 1910 flood.
  • Meganekko: Maude
  • Monumental Battle: The climax takes place in the Eiffel Tower.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The American trailer for the movie led many to believe that Francœur and Lucille would end up romantically involved, a la Beauty and the Beast, with Raoul playing the part of Gaston. Of course none of this is true.
  • Nice Hat: Francœur.
  • No Flow in CGI: Averted with Lucille's performance dress and Francœur's cloaks/scarves.
  • Nonhumans Lack Attributes: Justified with Francœur, since fleas' reproductive organs aren't readily visible or recognizable as such. Played straight with Charles.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Francœur's coat, hat, and mask magically trick people into thinking he's human, despite the fact that his blue face, huge yellow eyes, and large pincers are still quite visible from under his small mask.
  • Plot Allergy: Raoul's feather allergy gets him in trouble several times, particularly embarrassing Lucille while she's in her angel costume, and triggering a Sneeze of Doom that almost causes him and Lucille to fall off the Eiffel Tower.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Pâté.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Subverted in the first stinger.
  • Scenery Porn
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shrinking Violet: Émile is a male example.
    Émile: The smaller you are, the less people look at you. At... At least that's been my experience.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Lucille.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • When the bus narrowly avoids colliding with Raoul's truck and throws Francœur face first into the hood, Lucille immediately checks to see if he's injured. Raoul's only concern is that the impact damaged the hood.
    • At the end of the movie, when Lucille is about to kiss Raoul and confesses she stole his toy car when they were children to entice him to come to her, he interrupts the romantic moment to ask if she still has the toy.
  • The Speechless: Francœur, outside of the songs, is incapable of speaking and chirps (or sings basic sounds) instead, which makes him even cuter. The set-up for "A Monster in Paris" (the song) implies he needs to hear music of any sort to be able to talk/sing.
  • The Stinger: Two, one before and one after the credits.
  • Talking Animal: Charles is an interesting variation. He can't talk, but circumvents this by writing on cards. And he must be writing really fast. (That or they were all written beforehand.) Likewise, Francœur is incapable of speech (unless he's singing).
  • Talking with Signs: Charles is trained to communicate through messages written out in cards.
  • Title Drop: In one of the songs sung by Francœur.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Pâté is confronted to this choice as he realizes that Maynott is a bastard and is completely losing his sanity. He chooses the second option.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Émile, during the climax.
  • Tsundere: Lucille has been this to Raoul since the first grade. She finally stops at the end.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Francœur. Let's be honest, nobody expects a 7-foot-tall flea monster to have such a high-pitched voice.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The more the climax progresses, the more it's obvious that Maynott is getting completely off his gourd.
  • Villainous Crush: Maynott for Lucille. It's obvious he's eager to have her as a Trophy Wife.
  • Woman in White: Lucille in her stage costume.
  • What a Piece of Junk: Raoul's truck, Catherine.
  • White Gloves: Francœur.

Alternative Title(s): A Monster In Paris