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Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie Review

Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie Review

Hey there, Miraculous fans! Get ready to be dazzled because “Miraculous: Ladybug and Cat Noir, The Movie” is now streaming on Netflix, and it’s not just your usual superhero flick. Our beloved teen heroes are taking Paris by storm, battling baddies, and yes, they’re breaking into song! This full-length film is a fresh take on the French TV series “Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir,” which you can also catch on Netflix. It cleverly dodges a potential title mishap with an extra colon and serves up a double treat as both an origin story and a musical extravaganza. So brace yourselves!

This cinematic adventure is crafted to charm hardcore fans while welcoming new ones, aiming to broaden the horizons of this growing franchise that spans comics, video games, and more. But the real question I’m here to answer is: should you even care?

Our heroine, Marinette (voiced by the talented Cristina Vee), could easily be the mayor of Clumsy Town with her knack for creating chaos wherever she goes. Whether it’s bumping into things or making a mess on someone’s high-end sweater, she turns the first day of school into an epic disaster. She hasn’t yet embraced the confidence boost that comes with being a superhero, but that’s all about to change thanks to a somewhat convoluted backstory.

Enter Wang Fu (voiced by Paul St. Peter), the guardian of the Miracle Box, which houses precious gems called Miraculouses. These gems summon Kwamis, adorable magical creatures that grant special powers to their chosen wearer. For Marinette, her Kwami is Tikki, the spirit of Creation. Transformed into Ladybug, she sports a spotty suit and eye mask and wields a magical yo-yo, unleashing an array of superpowers that conveniently fit whatever situation the plot throws at her.

So, why is Marinette the chosen one for such a special gift? It’s simple: she heroically saved Wang Fu from a disastrous encounter with a bus. That’s quite the feat! And by a twist of fate, the boy who makes Marinette’s heart skip a beat at school, Adrien (voiced by Bryce Papenbrook), is also in on the magic. He’s been given Plagg, the Kwami of Destruction, and transforms into Cat Noir, complete with a sleek leather outfit, mask, cat ears, and even a tiny bell (which brings to mind Roger Ebert’s humorous comments about Catwoman – thankfully, there’s no kitty litter involved here).

Wang Fu needs these two because Hawk Moth (voiced by Keith Silverstein) is out there causing trouble. This villain harnesses negative emotions to create towering monsters. Why does he do this? Well, it seems chaos is his thing. Plus, he’s dealing with the pain of losing his wife. And guess what? He’s Adrien’s father. Talk about complicated.

Before we dive into Ladybug and Cat Noir’s epic battles against a massive croissant creature and a mime with extraordinary powers – which is oh-so-French – let’s talk about their tangled romance. Marinette is head over heels for Adrien. Meanwhile, Cat Noir is smitten with Ladybug. But neither knows who the other really is, leading to a whirlwind of emotions and plenty of material for heartfelt songs. They’re grappling with personal issues like loss, social anxiety, and the heavy weight of love that’s not returned.

This whole scenario relies on what I like to call the “Glasses Illusion” – neither hero can see past the other’s disguise, even though they share the same hair, voice, and pretty much everything down to their scent. It’s a stretch for us as viewers, but then again, if we’re on board with the idea of giant pastry monsters and magical mimes, maybe it’s not such a leap after all.

If you’re new to the world of Ladybug and Cat Noir, like me, you’ll be relieved to know that this movie doesn’t require any prior knowledge. You can jump right in without a clue and still enjoy it. However, we have to wade through its complex setup, making even the most intricate government red tape seem like a simple true-or-false quiz. There’s a chain of events involving a master, an item that leads to another item, and so on, until finally, someone becomes a superhero. It’s a bit much, isn’t it? The reason behind all these layers is beyond me. But if it means less time spent on forgettable musical numbers, I’m all for it.

The real issue lies in how the film’s premise is far more complicated than its rather basic storyline. Guess what Ladybug and Cat Noir need to learn to save Paris from the villains? Yep, it’s teamwork. Their powers are stronger together than apart. Without teamwork, the baddies might only manage to partially damage landmarks like the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame. The take-home message? Teamwork is awesome. Sounds familiar, right? And there are a couple more lessons: dealing with loss is tough, and even clumsy people have depth. That’s about the extent of it.

I don’t want to sound dismissive, but the movie comes off as quite formulaic, feeling more like a Product with a capital ‘P.’ It tries to stir in some emotion and romance into a pre-cooked concept, served up with an animation that looks dynamic and costly – all hallmarks of a story crafted for a particular audience. The film sticks to the safe zone, avoiding any risks. The hardcore fans can argue about whether it fits into the official canon (especially after some BIG developments towards the end). This one might be worth skipping for those who aren’t young teens or are already fans of this carefully constructed franchise.

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