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April and the Extraordinary World

April and the Extraordinary World

Nov. 04, 2015 France103 Min.PG
Your rating: 0
9.1 1,050 votes

Video trailer

Director

Cast

Marion Cotillard isAvril (voice)
Avril (voice)
Jean Rochefort isPops (voice)
Pops (voice)
Olivier Gourmet isPaul (voice)
Paul (voice)
Philippe Katerine isDarwin (voice)
Darwin (voice)
Marc-André Grondin isJulius (voice)
Julius (voice)
Benoît Brière isRodrigue (voice)
Rodrigue (voice)
Bouli Lanners isPizoni (voice)
Pizoni (voice)
Anne Coesens isChimène (voice)
Chimène (voice)
Macha Grenon isChimène (voice) / Annette (voice)
Chimène (voice) / Annette (voice)
J.K. Simmons isRodrigue (voice)
Rodrigue (voice)

Synopsis

France asleep in the nineteenth century, governed by steam and Napoleon VI, where scientists vanish mysteriously, a girl, Avril, goes in search of her missing scientist parents.

April and the Extraordinary World
April and the Extraordinary World
April and the Extraordinary World
April and the Extraordinary World
April and the Extraordinary World
April and the Extraordinary World
April and the Extraordinary World
April and the Extraordinary World
April and the Extraordinary World
April and the Extraordinary World
Original titleAvril et le monde truqué
IMDb Rating7.4 3,233 votes
TMDb Rating6.7 47 votes

(17) comments

  • Alexandru IutesOctober 6, 2015Reply

    A great animated movie for all ages a classic in the making

    ”Avril and the extraordinary world” was presented before the official
    release at the Anim’est international animation festival in Bucharest.
    I went to see it after a brief look at parts of the official trailer,
    without knowing anything about the cast, cartoonist, director and the
    plot in general. I have to say that it was a magnificent movie,
    reminding me of some classic Disney style hand crafted animation that I
    used to love when I was a child. It is beautifully drawn and looks
    without any flaws. The story takes place in an alternative universe,
    where some modern inventions where never discovered or made available
    for the advancement of our societies. This makes you question how would
    the world look like if we have never used electricity or petrol in our
    daily lives. And the movie answers a lot of these questions. The plot
    keeps you for most of the movie engaged and in some small parts at the
    edge of your seat. The comic release character, a talking cat with the
    name of Darwin was instantly liked by all people present at the
    screening, adults and children together. His comments of various
    situations in the movie proved to be very effective, bringing smiles
    and laughter all around.

  • zeynel-00540November 4, 2015Reply

    A wonderful animation

    I absolutely LOVED this film! An excellent an complex scenario based on
    a nice and original ”what-if” idea, well-constructed characters, good
    voices, a well-constructed universe, it was absolutely perfect! The
    peculiar use of music -only present when music is actually played in
    the story-, was great, very interesting, and gave a very unique feel to
    the story. The drawings and animation change from the big modern Disney
    blockbusters that we’ve gotten used to, but this is something that
    actually goes very well with the BD-like style of the film: you really
    feel like seeing an high-quality comics that somehow came alive, it’s
    fantastic! A must-go!

  • subxerogravityMarch 31, 2016Reply

    An Extraordinary World indeed

    Avril’s Extraordinary world is an alternative time line in which
    Napoleon V rules France and the scientist that help built the
    foundations of technology are missing, forcing the world into a steam
    punk setting, and Avril a young scientist herself has the key to our
    future.

    It’s animated quite beautifully. I’m a huge fan of steam punk and I
    love seeing the design all over the movie. I also like the style of 3D
    animation blended with computer generated images. It’s always a welcome
    change to see this other than the world we live in right now that is
    dominated by 3D animation.

    It was a great adventure film, filed with character and characters that
    were smart and funny, and accessible to everyone.

    Good watch.

  • jdesandoMay 4, 2016Reply

    One of the smartest, most imaginative animations ever.

    ”Steampunk is … a joyous fantasy of the past, allowing us to revel in
    a nostalgia for what never was. It is a literary playground for
    adventure, spectacle, drama, escapism and exploration. But most of all
    it is fun!” George Mann

    April and the Extraordinary World is an animated French adventure for
    the whole family (I recommend about 8 years and older) reminiscent of
    the fantastic ‘toons of Hayao Miyazaki (think of Howl’s Moving Castle).
    Leading us through an alternate steampunk history of modern France,
    April (voice of Marion Cotillard) is a little girl whose scientist
    parents in 1941 were abducted by the ”Empire” to advance the cause, in
    this case by creating an immortality drug.

    With her charming talking cat(a product of the scientists’
    experiments), April spends her youth confronting malevolent forces like
    a driven policeman (Javert anyone?), a roguish boy, and nature itself.
    Not one moment of the 1 hr 45 min is wasted; each is crafted under the
    expert direction of Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci for maximum
    adventure and humanity (for example, love may be blooming and Grandpa
    Pops is feistier than ever).

    The graphics as well are outstanding in the steampunk visual style with
    the omnipresent steam and pipes, furtive surveillance rodents,
    bicycle-powered blimps, and suspended trolleys, among some of the
    creative expressions. Although great advances such as the use of
    electricity and oil have not been discovered, the above-mentioned steam
    objects awe April as she navigates this alternate universe of coal and
    wood.

    Conservationists shouldn’t despair, for there are numerous references
    to the need to use coal, for instance, responsibly—already coughs are
    in the ambient sound. The suggestion that without the invention and use
    of atomic energy and fossil fuel, the world could have been stuck in an
    ecological disaster is an intriguingly benign take on modern energy.

    The extraordinary April and the Extraordinary World is nothing if not
    an invitation for girls to follow their dreams and create as their
    talents demand. For all children it is a call to be bold and
    responsible as they enter the real modern world.

  • jmc4769May 8, 2016Reply

    Mainly for steam punk fans?

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • arzewskiMay 11, 2016Reply

    Somewhat disappointing

    Had great anticipation, after reading a write-up on a local paper, and
    made special plans to clear one evening to go to the local theater and
    see this. While the drawings depicting the city of Paris in imaginary
    time extensions were beautiful, the action sequences seemed dull. The
    story too was a bit outmoded, seemed to steeped into traditional
    storytelling of graphic novels of four decades ago. And the character
    of Inspector Pizoni was just a inherited old baggage from Tintin’s
    Dupont and Dupont. Not funny anymore. Also, in a Europe that is more
    and more intertwined with different cultural streams, this plot was
    entirely Franco-centric, with nostalgic references to an imperial
    France that stubbornly still hinges of some people’s minds. Get over
    it. It’s over. There is so much ”new”, so why keep on bringing back the
    ”old” ? At the end, left the theater somewhat disappointed.

  • datautisticgamer-74853May 30, 2016Reply

    The most fitting title for an animated movie since The Incredibles

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Andy LockettJuly 25, 2016Reply

    Bande dessinée, animated

    Authors of this once were famous comic makers.

    There is a term in french culture for the graphic novels. They call it
    ”Bande dessinées” which means ”strip stories”. This one is not. Or, to
    be exact, it’s more of a stripped one.

    It’s a rip-off. Cultural and visual. I could name hundreds of popular
    videogames, books and graphic novels, ideas from which were stolen to
    be placed into this. It’s a commercial being in its entirety and has no
    other meaning than to be and stand for something. This one stands for
    someone else’s naiveté.

    I had great expectations, but this, not being independent, put too much
    pressure onto its own makers.

  • francisbcoolJuly 25, 2016Reply

    A must see, one big adventure!

    Graphically I fell into surprisingly different worlds. As well
    realistic as imaginary it’s one big adventure. Sometimes the lines
    between them are so thin that it makes you wander. What if? So it’s
    definitely not a childish movie, more the contrary. However there’s
    lots of messages in it for the youth as well grown ups. I was afraid
    before I watched it, it would be a Japanese cartoon with loud screaming
    boys and girls with wooden movements and for the western people non
    understandable humor but again: Bang! No way Jose!! It’s a beautiful
    visionary as well the sounds and music, perfectly directed it’s as I
    sad A must see, one big adventure!(btw it’s a French/Belgium production
    I thought, I really don’t understand I never had heard of it before…
    It signs again what’s appreciated in this crazy world and what is not.
    Unbelievable! This movie is an very enjoyable piece of art packed in ,
    drawn in three dimensions. Nine stars from me because it surprised me
    as well in the beginning and after that every minute again, on and on,
    again and again.. Amazing peeps! It was truly a pleasure and after
    three days I’m writing this cause I still can’t forget it and never
    will. Have fun.

  • Radu_AAugust 9, 2016Reply

    The best (and a bit of the worst) of European animation

    There is much to love, but also a bit to dislike about ”April and the
    extraordinary world” (the correct and more interesting title is ”April
    and the twisted world”). Its story explodes with creativity, especially
    compared to US animation (which tends to severely underestimate the
    intelligence of children). Its ”ligne claire” – animation style is both
    a break from US-animated CGI, which hasn’t been successfully adapted in
    Europe, and an homage to the patron saint of European comics Hergé
    (co-director Ekinci did, in fact, do the storyboards of the 1991-92
    ”Adventures of Tintin” TV series, which is often considered to be the
    best adaptation).

    Leaning on Jacques Tardi for the visuals is a reminder that BD (bandes
    dessinées) adaptations work best in the classic animated form. One
    cannot help but compare ”April” to Luc Besson’s real-action adaptation
    of ”Adèle Blanc-Sec”, Tardi’s most famous work. That movie was a
    commercial success, but BD fans were disappointed with the humorization
    of a serious story-line and the cheap-looking effects.

    What’s not so great about ”April” is that it’s so voluntarily
    old-fashioned that you may have a hard time convincing your kids to
    watch it. The character expressions and movements are very static, the
    heroine is not designed to express emotions through gestures. That is
    very Tardi, very Adèle Blanc-Sec (which translates as ”dry white”,
    after all). But what works fine in a BD doesn’t necessarily work in a
    movie. It seems that French animators still cannot bring themselves to
    realize that the times they are a-changing, and that a l’art pour l’art
    approach cannot reinvigorate an expiring industry, apart from
    justifying a €9.2 million budget (against which it has earned 5%).

    Given the character’s lack of expression, the film relies heavily on
    the dub, and I must say other actresses could have done more justice to
    the part of April than Marion Cotillard – Mélanie Laurent, for
    instance, or Chiara Mastroianni who voiced Marjane Satrapi in her BD
    autobiography ”Persepolis”. Cotillard is a fine actress but she has a
    tendency to exaggerate, which can be entertaining but also quite
    unnerving – just look up her death scene in ”Dark Knight rises” on
    Youtube if you don’t (painfully) remember. Jean Rochefort, on the other
    hand, is wonderful as ”Pops”, April’s grandfather. He speaks his lines
    with great candor and veracity, as does Olivier Gourmet as the father.

    So what you get to watch here is a very creative, if old-fashioned
    animation, which could be of more merit to adults than kids, who may
    find it hard to follow and perhaps somewhat boring. This is not a
    perfect European animated film for the whole family – that would be
    last year’s Irish ”Song of the Sea”. It’s also not a fandom film for BD
    connoisseurs, as the dub and continuity jar a bit, and as there is no
    commitment to a mature audience, like in the works of Sylvain Chomet.
    But if you’re starved for anything animated that is not Japanese or yet
    another US CGI-film about talking animals, this one is definitely for
    you.

  • planktonrulesAugust 13, 2016Reply

    A very unusual animated steampunk, sci-fi, alternate reality picture!

    I recently reviewed a Japanese film and was left a bit indifferent by
    the film. It’s a shame, as I really love animated pictures. Thank
    goodness I found ”April and the Extraordinary World”…an animated
    movie that was delightful and really, really unusual. It isn’t so
    unusual because it’s in a steampunk world…a few other films have
    explored this same sort of material. However, the film offers far more
    in this odd alternate universe…and it makes the film worth seeing.
    Fortunately, it just debuted on DVD and is available through Netflix.

    When the film begins, you learn that this alternate tale of planet
    Earth diverged for our reality in the 19th century. Apparently Napoleon
    III was a bit of a nut and was intent on using his top scientist to
    create super-soldiers which the French could use against the Prussians.
    However, the experiments were failures and soon the French and
    Prussians made peace. His successor, Napoleon IV, was also a bit of a
    nut…and tried as well to use the top scientific minds to make
    super-weapons…but, oddly, soon all the scientists began
    disappearing…and so the world never experienced the gains of the 19th
    and 20th century. Electricity never really came into widespread use and
    instead the world was a dirty, deforested strange steam-driven
    place…and the French were part of an empire dedicated to war with the
    United States…a war for resources as the Europeans had completely
    exhausted their natural reserves.

    Time passes and soon the story soon involves a family torn apart in the
    1930s. Napoleon V’s agents have been searching for the scientists and a
    few of them are in hiding in Paris. Soon young April and her scientist
    parents and grandfather are all separated and the young girl is raised
    in an orphanage. A decade passes. April lives in a secret hiding place
    with her talking cat…yes, I said talking cat. Anyway, government
    agents are looking for April…and assume they can use her to find her
    family and the other scientists. Here’s where it gets weird…yes,
    weirder than the talking cat! It seems that most of the scientists,
    including April’s parents, are working with aliens…yes, aliens! What
    are they working on and how does April figure into all this? And, how
    does the cat become a hero? See this clever mind-bending film and find
    out for yourself.

    This project has an unusual pedigree. It originally was a graphic
    novel…which isn’t unusual. But it was made and financed by French,
    Belgians and Canadians! The overall product is a very nice bit of
    escapism. I liked the story very much as well as the characters. My
    only complaint, and it’s so small that I barely want to mention it, is
    that the characters themselves weren’t drawn to the highest standard.
    The background and much of the animation was lovely…but April and the
    rest don’t exactly look like Disney or Studio Ghibli quality. I found I
    was able to look past this.

    So who would enjoy the film? Well, most anyone except younger kids. It
    is not cute or child-oriented in any way and younger kids would
    probably be confused and bored. The youngest I’d show it to are kids
    about 10. Try it if you love anime, try it if you love more traditional
    animation, try it if you like sci-fi or try it if you just want to see
    something different. I’m glad I did.

  • Reno RanganAugust 24, 2016Reply

    The adventures of the family of scientists.

    As a film fanatic who grew up watching lots of 2D animations, I’m very
    happy to see they’re still alive in other parts of the world after
    Hollywood abandoned them for 3D animations. Especially when it comes to
    this kind of animation, obviously the France produced some
    extraordinary films in the recent years such as ‘Ernest & Celestine’,
    ‘A Cat in Paris’, ‘Zarafa’ et cetera. This is an internationally
    produced film in the French language, but available in the English
    language too, which was based on the graphic novel by the French
    cartoonist Jacque Tardi.

    This is the story of a young girl Avril that takes place in the 1940s,
    Paris. But it all begins many decades earlier that reveals how a family
    of three generations were pursued by the powerful men. It is the
    parallel universe story, especially when it comes to the technology,
    the world is underdeveloped and is in the steam age. This film is about
    the science and invention where Avril’s parents, grandparents were on
    the verge to invent an ultimate serum. Now those bad guys are after
    Avril and her cat, Darwin. So before they catch her, she must find her
    family members if they had survived the crash a decade ago to put an
    end to all the surrounding mysteries.

    Usually Europe means fairy tales with magic stuffs, but this is an
    sci-fi-adventure. Feels like watching a Japanese anime. Excellent
    story, the brilliantly developed characters with lots of suspense and
    thriller, so I don’t think it makes sense to call it a comedy or
    children’s film. Definitely for all ages, the film has a bit of
    everything to please the people from different generations. The
    sketches were another highlight, very catchy with the low bright
    colours. Directed by the two new directors, but their’s experience is
    the fine result of this film.

    ”Cats don’t dance. And they don’t talk! So be quiet.”

    It is a beautiful world with the twin Eiffel towers, a bridge in the
    English channel kind of stuffs, yet it suffers from all types of severe
    pollutions. The global warming is the hot topic right now, but this
    film sets in 65 years earlier. So it comes in the line of ‘Boy and the
    World’, but all the focus was turned towards the family of scientists
    and their adventures than to press harder on the important issue. But
    throughout the narration, it is quite clear the world was affected by
    without the proper scientific progression and adaptation to save it.
    Avril might be the centre of the story, but the film character
    distributed widely and theirs story were well preserved to keep the
    excitement and pace steady till the end. So be prepared for some
    unexpected, because it’s very matured yet a light humorous film.

    The title might give an expression of a cliché, so if you expect a
    fantasy tale, then you’re in the wrong place. But I’m surprised for how
    unique it was from other sci-fi films. Especially somewhat resembles
    ‘Les Misérables’ and some others, yet quite refreshing with all the
    twist and turns. When the actual story ends, there’s an extended scene
    which makes us to dream for a sequel to come. But it all ended here, so
    a follow-up is very unlikely. Apart from the story, the technical
    brilliance was like par with the Animes, especially it reminds
    Miyazaki’s films. These directors must keep doing films like this and
    who knows they may become the French versions of Tomm Moore.

    One of the best animations of the years. A sci-fi which is not a
    dystopian theme. I said that because that’s what very common in the
    current films. Instead, it is a mid 20th century story and totally an
    entertaining film with the breathtaking visuals. The story wise, it is
    nothing less than any similar live-action themes. It should have been
    very popular by now, but it is not and the reason is it is not a
    Hollywood. That’s really very sad, but if you are an international film
    fan then you should give it a try and animation fans must not skip it.
    Like I said you won’t often get a film matured, at a time funny as this
    one where adults and children can sit together.

    8/10

  • Hey JudeSeptember 2, 2016Reply

    Great movie! One of my favourite movies of all time.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Gordon-11September 13, 2016Reply

    Strong story but dull colour scheme

    This animation tells the story of a post Napoleon would, where all
    scientists are captured, and the world becomes very different due to a
    lack of technology. The last surviving free scientists strive hard to
    create the serum that can make life perpetual, but mysterious forces
    are after them.

    The colour scheme of the animation is dark and dull. The characters are
    not cute either, and therefore it’s hard for me to develop a liking for
    it. Though the story is quite engaging, I still don’t find myself
    developing a connection with April and her experiences. The normally
    careful April all of a sudden trusts a stranger appearing from nowhere
    doesn’t make sense, which annoys me quite a bit. Overall, the story is
    strong but has a loophole or two. I would have liked it better if the
    colour scheme was brighter.

  • Red_IdentityDecember 26, 2016Reply

    Pretty entertaining

    2016 has really proved to be a great year for film. April and the
    Extraordinary World may not be on the level of some truly fantastic
    animated films (Kubo and the Two Strings, Tower, The Red Turtle,
    Zootopia) but it’s still a very good film in its own right. The great
    thing about it is that it is not held back by having to only appeal to
    children and by not having to show anything that may be even remotely
    inappropriate for kids. It’s a very classic action-adventure story, one
    where you could also see working in live action (although not exactly
    because many of the characters would not translate to live action as
    well). It is very well paced, very funny at times, and also genuinely
    heartfelt. That ending was also really effective, with the last scene
    really hitting on some great themes that the film had only previously
    alluded to. Definitely recommended.

  • ImdbidiaFebruary 19, 2017Reply

    Imaginative but unpolished

    Avril and the Extraordinary World is a nice French animated film set in
    an alternative past that diverts from real historical events starting
    from 1870. The result is a steam-punk world, dependent on coal first,
    on tree logging then, a world in constant war and where scientists are
    used as weapons.

    The film has a great start and even the initial credits are beautifully
    presented. The mood is excellent, and the world depicted is wonderfully
    imaginative. Although this is mostly a fun and adventure story, there
    are some interesting environmental messages embedded in the story, as
    well as a light reflection on the role of science and scientists in
    Society. The character of Darwin, the talking cat, is utterly charming.
    The backgrounds are stunning as well as some of the machinery depicted.
    I found the second half of the movie really engaging, entertaining and
    with a cohesive story, witty and fun, and the ending was also lovely.

    Having said that, this was a disappointing film for me, certainly not
    what I expected beforehand especially taking into account the raving
    reviews. There are many reasons for that. 1/ The story needed of better
    characters. I found Inspector Pizoni unnecessary for most of the film,
    and too much of a stereotype to be of any interest. Most of the main
    characters, Avril included, are totally unlikable, frigid emotionally
    and I couldn’t care less about them. 2/ The story needed of a better
    tempo. The first half of the film is painfully slow and unfocused, and
    I found myself bored as it seemed to be leading nowhere. However, the
    film leads somewhere, it is just that part of the film was wandering
    around unnecessarily. 3/ The story needed of a bit of more humour and
    fun. At times seems to take itself too seriously! 4/ The movement was
    chunky some times, very good at some others; the lighting and
    chiaroscuro were almost non-existent, and the characters were not
    polished visually. The film was a bit flat visually to me.

    The film is enjoyable overall, but it didn’t do it for me.

  • SnoopyStyleApril 12, 2017Reply

    fascinating world

    It’s an alternate history. In 1870, Napoleon III meets with scientist
    Gustave Franklin who is developing a serum to turn animals into super
    soldiers. Two lizards escape and an explosion kills everybody. The
    young Napoleon IV signs a peace treaty with Prussia and thereby
    extending the Napoleonic age into the future. Scientists disappear and
    the world remains stuck in the steam age. Coal and Europe’s forest have
    been used up. In 1931, the government is kidnapping any remaining
    scientists to prepare for impending war. The Franklin family is
    continuing their research into the invulnerable serum. Inspector Pizoni
    fails in their arrest and vows to avenge his demotion. The parents
    disappear after being attacked by a lightning black cloud. April
    (Marion Cotillard) escapes with her serum-altered talking cat Darwin.
    Ten years later, Julius is working for Pizoni to keep track of April
    and her grandfather Pops. April hopes to finish her parents’ work and
    ends up uncovering a shocking conspiracy.

    This is a fascinating world. The animation is interesting. It’s comic
    book animation. I would stay with April more consistently and keep the
    reveal secret longer. Revealing the parents so early takes away some of
    the tension. It could be a more compelling shock. April needs more
    comedic scenes to add to her appeal. She’s a little stiff. The talking
    cat could have been fun except for his sickness. Nevertheless, the
    overall sense is one of a good adventure.

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