“Around the world in 80 days”, a versatile adaptation



Around the world in 80 days **
by Samuel Tourneux
French animated film, 1 hour 20 minutes

It’s a good surprise, as animated cinema sometimes reserves in the depths of summer, that this new adaptation of Around the world in 80 days. The rereading of Jules Verne’s classic is however very freely inspired by it since the characters here are anthropomorphic animals closer to the American burlesque cartoon of the twentieth century than to the French adventure novel of the nineteenth century.

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So forget the phlegmatic British aristocrat and his faithful acrobatic valet respectively replaced by Phileas Frog, an amphibian surfer kindly con artist, and Passepartout, a young monkey whose dreams of exploration are curbed by an overprotective mother. Thanks to a bet with brainless shrimp, the two acolytes therefore set off for the famous round the world trip.

False airs of exotic fable

It’s gone my marmoset! », Proclaims the slogan of this French feature film which does not hide its intentions of pure entertainment in garish colors intended to seduce the international family audience (the original version is in English). But it must be recognized that this World Tourin 80 days has more than one ride in her bundle: over impromptu encounters with scorpions on motorbikes in the desert, snails on chariots in the jungle, or a frog princess piloting a dragonfly-shaped plane above a volcano, the duo of adventurers is rather endearing. Each of them turns out to be more complex than expected during this initiatory story with the false airs of an exotic fable. The jaded frog and the naive monkey will learn as much about themselves as they will learn about the realities of the big world.

Staged with undeniable know-how, the characters in synthetic images (in 3D) fly from twists and turns, all enhanced by very nice special effects drawn in two dimensions. Full of energy and spirit, the race against the clock turns out to be much shorter than the 80 days announced.

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