April and the Extraordinary World | Chicago Reader

April and the Extraordinary World

106 minutes 2015

Based on a graphic novel by Jacques Tardi, this French-Belgian-Canadian animation (2015) presents an alternate universe in which the age of steam has continued into the 1930s and sinister lizard people kidnap the greatest minds in history for their own nefarious ends. April, the daughter and granddaughter of scientists seeking a serum for everlasting life, makes for a winsome heroine, and the movie—equal parts Jules Verne, The Adventures of Tintin, and Inspector Gadget—should appeal to precocious children, especially little girls interested in the sciences. Adults may find it as derivative and simplistic as the steampunk aesthetic to which it's indebted, but for a gateway to more resonant cinema and literature, you could do worse. Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci directed. In French with subtitles.

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