Film Box Retrospective: ‘The City of Lost Children’ with Kathleen Ellison

November 8, 2012

Photo courtesy of

Imagine that “Nightmare before Christmas” ate “Edward Scissorhands” and had a love child with “Frankenstein.” That child would be  “The City of Lost Children,” except instead of a skeleton stealing Christmas, it’s a scientist stealing dreams.

This 1995 movie is both fantastical and dark with unique visuals.  Directed by Mar Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, this French film surprisingly stars Ron Perlman, along with Daniel Emilfork, and Judith Vittet.

In a surrealistic city, children are going missing. A mad scientist by the name of Krank (played by Emilfork) is kidnapping little children. But when One, a strongman (played by Perlman), finds that his little brother Dendree is kidnapped, he sets out to rescue him. One’s only chance of  finding him is with the help of a thief called Miette (played by Vittet).

Yes, it is a foreign film, but it comes with an English language option, so no subtitles. Trust me, this movie is worth the watch.

The characters are amazing in this movie; they have such depth and intensity. Pearlman’s character was especially moving and surprising given that he’s known for playing characters that are dangerous and mean, which is the opposite of One. I also liked Miette, because of her strongly independent and jaded nature.

The plot line was very unique, but not incredibly complex. There were many surprising characters and events that happened in the movie that you don’t predict.

The visuals in this movie are to die for, it’s so beautifully dark and I loved how Miette’s bright red dress contrasted with the dark setting. The murky green waters surrounding the city and the scientist’s island helped to create this tone of mystery and evil in the movie.

This movie is now one of my favorites. It has won my heart with the deep relationship between One and Miette that grows throughout their adventure. The dark nature of Krank brings up a lot of themes about dreams and growing up in the movie. You need to watch “The City of Lost Children!”

Kathleen Ellison is a freshman majoring in Communication and can be contacted at

Posted in: A&E

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