New Alternate History Film: "April and the Extraordinary World"
I’ve been derelict about posting to the CHR in recent weeks, but I’ve had a good reason. I’m currently wrapping up a chapter of my new book on the Fourth Reich, which deals with lots of counterfactual scenarios involving unrepentant Nazis in the early 1950s as well as the possibility of Kurt Schmacher as chancellor instead of Konrad Adenauer.
Anyway, wrapping up this major chapter has taken me away from online posting. But today I saw a news item that I thought deserved to be shared.
It pertains to a new animated film that will premier this weekend in New York City (and then elsewhere in the coming weeks). It’s called April and the Extraordinary World and, according to Vince Mancini’s review, which I am sharing from Uproxx, the film “is set in an alternate history version of 1941, where Napoleon’s heirs still rule France, the world’s most famous scientists have gone missing, and coal and steam power a sooty police state where empires fight each other over control of timber.”
“Yes, you could probably call it “steampunk.” I call it a whacked-out combination of Tintin, Miyazaki, and Terry Gilliam, with a typically French flair for slapstick (which, in April and the Extraordinary World, totally works).”
“It follows April, the descendant of a great French scientist, who, along with the pickpocketing police informant sent to spy on her (who falls in love with her) and her immortal talking cat named Darwin, has to find her parents and rescue them from a pair of megalomaniacal lizards, all while dodging agents of the Empire who want to kidnap her and force her to do science for them. She lives in the head of a giant statute of a muscular Napoleon with a rooster on his lap. To call April inventive would be an understatement, but it’s also charming, funny, and smartly executed.”
As a longtime fan of Tintin and Gilliam – and as a devotee of all things counterfactual – I am very excited to see this film. Hopefully this weekend….