‘Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie’ Review: A Straightforward Kids’ Adventure in Paris

Ladybug Cat Noir The Movie Review

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This year, animation has managed to get into the spotlight in ways that no other movies have been able to do. The Barbie machine has dominated the conversation thanks to a fantastic marketing campaign. Still, it is my belief that it will be animation, the medium that will deliver the most consistent results when talking about quality. From the fantastic Across the Spider-Verse to the constant Elemental, animation has proven to be a medium that can reach both kids and adults of any gender. We are even getting a new Hayao Miyazaki film this year. There is really no competition. Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie, on Netflix, is a new welcome addition to the list.

Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie is directed by Jeremy Zag, and it is based on the animated show of the same name that has been running since 2016. In a curious fact, Jeremy Zag worked on the show as a composer, so seeing him jump into the director’s chair for this installment is quite peculiar but awesome. The film stars Anouck Hautbois and Benjamin Bollen in the original French dub.

The movie tells the origins of the two Parisian teenagers who become superheroes after getting their hands on magical ancient artifacts. The pair will face each other and a new supervillain who threatens to destroy the city of light to achieve its goal.

Ladybug Cat Noir The Movie Review 2

From the get-go, it would be a surprise to say that Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie is not a particularly compelling film for adults. The target audience for the movie is clearly young kids and even pre-teens.

This is normal. This is the target audience of the animated TV series as well, so any parents who want to watch this film will their kids should be prepared for that. While the movie never goes into toddler’s territory, the storytelling is as simple as possible and won’t offer many surprises or profound revelations. It doesn’t have to, the film is working under the premise of being entertaining, and for young kids, it will.

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When it comes to animation, we find ourselves in front of a very standard 3D animated production. At this point, the look of this type of movie seems to have been standardized somehow.

This is to say that while the animation looks good, it doesn’t look very original, or at least it doesn’t look like something that has a French flavor that could distinguish it from other productions made in America. The movie has a Parisian background, which makes the setting feel different, but the character design is as generic as it can be in a movie like this.

It might be asking too much from the movie and the animation studios that work on it; they have to follow what came before, which needs to be a TV production with multiple episodes each year.

However, animation can truly go to places where live-action cannot, so it feels a bit like wasted potential to see that the movie doesn’t go further and just stays exactly where it is safer. At this point, the Pixar and DreamWorks look should be avoided as much as possible. This is why things like Across the Spider-Verse feel so unique because they are really allowing themselves to be different and unique.

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So, the animation quality is fine. You won’t be seeing something of the quality of a Disney studio, but it is enough to realize the movie’s storyline efficiently. As I said before, the story is quite simple and adheres to the conventions of the genre. There is a lot of Batman, and Spider-Man in here, so if you know a bit about those superheroes, some of the stories here will be very familiar to you. There are also no twists or revelations along the way.

The nature of the main characters is delivered very clearly. We can only say that what is here is enough to justify seeing the movie and having fun with the characters. However, Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie is not like any other superhero movie because it is also musical.

Yes, Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie goes into musical mode several times during its running time. The songs are fine, none will become classics, but they are short and sweet and allow the movie to keep going while they happen. I would like to say this for most live-action musicals, where the songs simply add too much time to the movie’s length.

The movie also uses most of these musical movements to develop the relationship between the characters, which is a typical teenage romance.

The romantic aspect of the movie is central to the development of the characters. These teens are finding themselves in life and have the luck to find themselves sharing a situation that will fortify their bonds to the extreme. Yes, it is a dangerous situation, but the movie never really goes into those dark aspects of the story.

It only stays and shows what is fun and important about a story like this and not much else. So, while the movie is quite simple in its execution, it seems it has a bit of everything for everyone. Kids and parents might enjoy it, maybe not to the same level, but certainly to a level where both parties can have a good time.

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Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie isn’t the best-animated movie of the year. It isn’t even the best-animated movie on Netflix right now; Seabeast would be a much better choice. However, it works at a level that allows it to be fun, which seems to be its only purpose.

The performances are fine, the animation looks great, and the story is solid, although maybe a bit too simple for older audiences. You won’t get offended by watching this movie, but most audiences won’t seek it out unless they need to watch it with their kids. Thankfully, the movie knows not to overstay its welcome. That self-awareness is the best thing they could do.

SCORE: 7/10

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