A cartoon about a cat who wants to become Jewish will face off against major Hollywood competition at one of the animation industry’s biggest awards shows.
“The Rabbi’s Cat,” a French feature about a feline in 1920s Algeria, will compete against blockbusters including “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Brave” and “ParaNorman” for the top prize at February’s Annie Awards, handed out by the International Animated Film Association. In addition to a nomination in the best animated feature category, the film has also earned a directing nod for Joann Sfar.
A French-Austrian co-production, the movie centers on a talking feline capable of debating the biblical story of creation. (The cat justifies his skepticism by citing carbon dating.) The plot also includes a trip across North Africa that the house pet hopes will lead to Jerusalem.
Based on a series of French comic books, the film features voice work by Mathieu Amalric, who played a nemesis of James Bond in 2008’s “Quantum of Solace.” The movie received a Cesar, the French version of the Oscar, as the best animated film of 2011, and received a nomination in the same category at the European Film Awards.
The cartoon will go into limited release later this month in New York and Los Angeles, and will learn its fate at the Annies on Feb. 2 in LA.