The Illusionist

The Illusionist

DVD - 2011
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A French illusionist finds himself out of work and travels to Scotland. While performing in a village pub, he encounters Alice, an innocent young girl, who will change his life forever.


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Aug 14, 2018

By the same animation studio that made the Triplets of Belleville... chock full of little details... the story of a time when the world of entertainment was changing, told through the eyes of a down-on-his-luck music hall magician... sweet, a bit sad, and as I said a visual buffet!

Apr 13, 2016

Animation was interesting and parts (the middle?) had a lovely sense of humor, but the whole is depressing.

Nov 10, 2015

Pas aime du tout!

Green_Bird_203 Jan 26, 2015

This beautifully animated story is paying homage to Jaques Tati, but a bit dipressing.

Dec 30, 2014

Based on an original screenplay by the late Jacques Tati this whimsical animated feature makes old school animation techniques look brand new again. Desperate for work, a middle-aged French magician finds himself doing card tricks for an audience of appreciative drunks at a remote Scottish inn. Mesmerized by his sleight of hand, and dying to break free of her stifling village existence, the innkeeper’s young housemaid convinces the old illusionist to pack up his magical props along with his rabid bunny familiar and run away with her to the bright lights of Edinburgh. Settling into a boarding house populated by show biz eccentrics including a suicidal clown, a schizoid ventriloquist and a gaggle of cloned acrobats, the magician soon finds himself having to play fairy godfather to the maid’s increasingly Cinderella-like demands; even taking on a few extra jobs in order to keep her supplied with heels and dresses. But all fairytales have to end sometime and as the maid experiences her first stirrings of womanhood the old man quietly slips away to begin the next chapter of his life. With it’s meticulously detailed retro feel and palette of soft watercolours The Illusionist produces a dreamy sense of nostalgia for those of us old enough to remember when animation was more art than science. What little dialogue exists is limited to grunts and terse sentences delivered in a handful of languages while the humour is purely physical à la Tati (who also pops in for a surprise cameo). The characters are bigger than life and drawn with an exaggerated hand reminiscent of Ralph Bakshi’s gritty urban cartoons but with more class and less crass; a rowdy rock’n’roll band that transforms into a pack of mincing queens once the curtain falls was especially hysterical. A good old-fashioned family film that doesn’t rely on toy franchises or 3D glasses to keep you in your seat.

kevfarley Dec 26, 2014

The same type of charming animation which was in "The Triplets of Belleville",..
but without that film's vibrant energy, nor its stimulating & interesting story.

It should appeal to people who like European 'art' movies.

Nov 21, 2014

This is a 2010 British-French animation film directed by Sylvain Chomet.
The film is based on an unproduced script written by French mime, director and actor Jacques Tati in 1956.
Tati wrote the script of The Illusionist and intended to make it as a live action film with his daughter.
It was written as a personal letter to his estranged eldest daughter, Helga Marie-Jeanne Schiel, whom he had abandoned when she was a baby.
So, it's not a romance but more like the relationship between a dad and a daughter.
In the film Alice discovers the affection of a handsome young man.
Once the illusionist sees them walking together, he opts to leave her with money and move on.
His final message is a letter that says "Magicians do not exist."
Alice subsequently moves in with her new boyfriend.
The illusionist releases the rabbit on the verdant hillside of Arthur's Seat, where many other rabbits are seen.
To the eyes of the illusioninst, therefore, Alice and the rabbit are the same.
He sets both of them free.
It is a tender, contemplative and somewhat poetic film.

Feb 06, 2014

this disc is dmagaed and it took forever to get it out of player

if this is replacement disc - it too is damaged

bbonier Nov 11, 2013

I don't get it. What is the point of this story? Most of the characters are leading really sad lives with no resolution.

Sep 29, 2013

I was eager to see this since it was done by the same people who did The Triplets of Belleville, which is just gorgeous. As a dyed-in-the-wool animation freak, I can attest to the absolute brilliance of the artwork. HOWEVER, the story is so disjointed it is virtually incomprehensible. I ended up more confused than impressed.

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