Friday, September 23, 2016

'April and the Extraordinary World' Is an Animated Science Fiction Gem

April and the Extraordinary World, also known as April and the Twisted World, is a French-Belgian-Canadian animated science fiction movie (the original French title is Avril et le Monde truqué).  It’s set in an alternate steampunk world, wherein technical and industrial advancement have radically slowed down in the late 19th century toward the 20th century.  As a result, the world’s technologies are steam-powered, driven by burning coal and wood, which result to the depletion of trees and heavy pollution in the air.

The plot centers on a young woman named April Franklin who carries on her family’s research on a serum of invulnerability after the disappearance of her parents.  Along with her talking cat Darwin, she soon finds herself on the run from agents of the government that intend to weaponize the serum, and goes one step closer to reuniting with her parents and uncovering a world-changing conspiracy.
This movie is a brilliantly fresh.  It has an original science fiction story that kept me engrossed all throughout.  The art style of its hand-drawn animation is just gorgeous, reminding me a lot of Hergé’s Tintin (it’s apparently patterned to the style of French cartoonist Jacques Tardi, creator of comicbook heroine Adèle Blanc-Sec, whose live-action feature, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, I tremendously enjoyed).  I extremely like how it’s a delightful departure from the approach on animated movies nowadays.  I love animation.  And I welcome variety and innovation on the medium.

I really have nothing else to say about April and the Extraordinary World.   It’s a movie best explored and enjoyed with no prior conception on what it’s going to be so that its surprises can be thoroughly appreciated, as its world and narrative are pleasingly unhinged, immersive, and thoughtful, and its visuals are enchanting.

Science fiction and animation fans will have a blast with April and the Extraordinary World.  It’s a gem.

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