“April and the Extraordinary World” (Avril et le monde truqué)
Written by Franck Ekinci, Benjamin Legrand & Jacques Tardi
Directed by Christian Desmares & Franck Ekinci
Watched on 30.04.2016
Enchanting. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of “April and the Extraordinary World”. Set in an alternative past, where humans never invented electricity, it’s beautifully animated, very funny, extremely charming, quite original, and tells an interesting story that hopefully manages to inspire – especially its younger viewers.
I loved the Steampunk setting, which was established and implemented really well. Even though living in such a world would probably be a nightmare, there’s something fascinating about the idea of humanity never inventing electricity and thus still using coal as primary source of energy. I also loved most of the characters, especially Avril. I think that it’s tremendously important to have such role models, for children in general, but for young girls in particular. To have a female scientist and inventor who might just save the world – I really hope that it inspires a lot of them. I also loved Pops, who is such a great, quirky character. And don’t even let me get started on Darwin the cat, who was absolutely adorable. Now I want my cats to be able to talk too! The other characters are also mostly ok, even though I didn’t find Julius particularly interesting, and the policeman was a little too “comic relief” to me. My only major complaint, though, is that the movie unfortunately couldn’t quite make do without a big antagonist – even though he’s only revealed rather late in the game. Apart from that, however, I loved it. “April and the Extraordinary World” is very entertaining and funny, with some hilarious gags (like the changing picture in Pop’s house, or “I didn’t save my file!” – you’ll get it when you see it). It’s also beautifully hand-drawn, in great looking (and charmingly old-fashioned) 2D, once again proving that this art style is far too good to let it become extinct because of CGI/3D. Finally, I really loved the story, which – despite a couple of well-known tropes – felt quite fresh and original to me. In my opinion, “April and the Extraordinary World” is a movie that every child should see – and even though it’s mostly targeted at them, adults nevertheless should also find much to enjoy.