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April and the Extraordinary World

A French animated adventure that makes a strong case for science

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Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci’s engaging animated adventure takes place in an alternative timeline, in which 1940s Paris is a polluted, plantless dystopia, run haphazardly by coal and steam. The world got into such a bleak state after scientists were kidnapped (thus, electricity, internal-combustion engines and so on never got invented). Among those disappeared were the parents and grandfather of April, a science-oriented teenager who, along with her talking cat, Darwin (a scene-stealer), initiates a search for her family. It all leads to a very strange place that viewers should just discover on their own; suffice to say, if the first half of the film is a familiar steampunk affair, replete with lots of grimy Victoriana and standard villains, the second half is more of a loopy sci-fi romp. Should be fun for older kids, especially those who like gadgets, discovery and lizards.


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