Known for romance and the rococo, France and its main city Paris have long been fodder for filmmakers. Here's ten examples of how animation has treated the celebrated City of Light.
For live action features, there is no city like Paris. The bistros. The sidewalk cafes. The bakeries filled with baguettes and croissant. The nightclubs with their exotic can-can dancers. Every cliche in the cinematic book. Fimmakers from Woody Allen to innumerable French auteurs like Renoir and Chabrol love the gorgeous city of light. It exudes elegance and romance. It offers stunning locations and famous landmarks. It's a backdrop with a bounty of available angles and approaches. It's also an easy symbol, shortcut for emotions otherwise needing explanation or examination. Of course, not every genre finds the town as tantalizing. While cartoons occasionally visit the banks of the River Seine (it's the home to Pepe Le Pew, after all), most pen and ink offerings avoid the city.
Still, there are a few celebrated examples of Paris as an animated backdrop. In recognition of the latest (see number four on our list, out of DVD and Blu-ray this week), we bring you this collection of 10 films that made the magical metropolis their narrative home. Many are well known and acclaimed. Others are so obscure it requires an encyclopedic knowledge of the artform to discover their delights. In all cases, Paris plays an important part in the storyline, highlighting the humorous, and sometimes hazardous existence along the Champs elysees. In all cases, the artists have found unique and iconic ways of representing the famous skyline, bringing everything from the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower to vivid life. Even something geared specifically to the elementary school set (like our number ten choice) does a great job of showing why Paris is such a special place.