Dilili in Paris is a strangely uneven French confection made of lovely animation, a bizarre plot about the kidnapping of little girls, and an English language dub so awkward it kills the rhythm.
Dilili is a Kanak child from New Caledonia who stows away on a ship bound for France. She’s discovered and taken in by a countess who grooms her for society life in Paris. Upon arrival, she throws in with an actor, Orel, and together they embark on solving the mystery of the kidnapping of young girls in the city by a nefarious group known only as the Male Masters. Reminiscent of Alan Moore’s From Hell, the story focuses on the city as a character as well as the setting for solving a mystery with secret societies pulling the strings.
“…stows away on a ship…and taken in by a countess who grooms her for society life in Paris…”
Along the way Dilili is introduced to a historical dream team of men and women (mainly women) who were noteworthy during the Belle Epoch: Louise Michel, Marie Curie, Emma Calvé, Collete, Louis Pasteur, Toulouse-Latrec, and more. All are immediately willing to render aid and assistance to Dilili upon request, so apparently charming is Dilili. She visits Gustave Effiel in his tower. She commandeers the services of a heavier-than-air craft right out of a steampunk fantasy, and the denouement of the plot (such as it is), has the well-heeled French society folk popping champagne as nothing happened.