The Rabbi's Cat - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Rabbi's Cat Reviews

Page 1 of 4
August 9, 2017
A story about racism, religion and understanding disguised as a French animated film about a talking cat that wants to convert to Judaism. It was a very smart and interesting adventure that never tried to convey any forced ideas. The biggest problem I had was the chopped narrative that never had any clear focus.
½ May 17, 2016
Great for a specific audience: if you like animation, history of Algiers, or like philosophical statements about religion. Otherwise, I would not recommend.
April 21, 2016
beautiful movie honestly does the graphic novel it's based on justice. one of my favorite movies of all time. an absolute treat. death, love, religion, art, language, mortality, faith, family and friendship all intertwine in this gorgeously animated feast for the eyes and mind
September 13, 2015
A cat that wants to covert to Judaism, I love it!
September 4, 2015
ô Eternel, Dieu d'Abraham, Fais que je retrouve ma maîtresse Demande-lui de m'aimer toujours ô Dieu du ciel et de la terre Demande-lui de s'occuper de moi Transporte-moi au coeur de ses bras. Qu'elle ne se marie pas! Qu'elle n'aie jamais d'enfants!
½ May 12, 2015
The cat is so sassy, i Love it
Super Reviewer
November 26, 2014
It is a good thing that the rabbi's cat develops the power of speech when he does, as he soon has to defend himself from charges of having eaten the family bird. But to Zlabya, the rabbi's daughter, the cat is even more adorable now. Not so much to the rabbi, as the cat, being able to count also and realizing he is old enough, begins to pester the rabbi to have his very own Bar Mitzvah. However, the rabbi soon has bigger problems to worry about like having to pass a French test in order to be recertified which the cat promises to help with.

Considering that talking animals have been around as long as there have been sound movies, it does seem more than a little strange that it has taken until very recently with "The Rabbi's Cat" to fully explore what that would mean in the real world, especially in this timeless Algeria where religions intersect and co-exist mostly peacefully.(If I had to guess, I would have to say this might be the 30's with the 1925 Citroen playing a part, and after the Russian Revolution but no mention of the Holocaust.) But that's not all as this very entertaining film makes great use of hand drawn animation in a variety of styles to detail its world, aided by a very cool soundtrack.
October 15, 2014
Cute and very well animated.
½ August 2, 2014
I liked this movie, but as I simply adore the art and stories of Joann Sfar, I think I was expecting more. It felt like a summation of the album series which it is based on, keeping a very high pace, never really letting down. It could easily have been 15-20 minutes longer, adding more contemplative parts. The animation is beautiful, though a bit sleek, again compared to Sfar's original drawings. I see the need for this, as animation is not comics art, but the few times where Sfar's more expressive way of depicting the world shone through, made me wish that the film had been more in that vein.
½ July 16, 2014
Uma animação francesa que reflecte de forma excelente como a temática da religião molda o ser humano e como este reage quando confrontado com argumentos contrários, assim como aborda também outros assuntos como o racismo e a tradição. Vários estilos de animação cuidada populam este filme que graças a personagens agradáveis e diálogos ricos consegue transmitir a sua mensagem de forma leve e atractiva.
June 15, 2014
An film that's really weird and isn't afraid to take risks, all the whilemaintaining a very pleasent and adventurous mood
May 17, 2014
Celui ci, ca fait au moins 2 ans que je veux le voir ...
J'veux aussi lire la BD !
½ March 16, 2014
The movie deviates a bit from the comic book, but it is still entertaining and the voices add a lot of character to Mr Sfar's drawings.
½ January 20, 2014
Poorly paced, but an excellent and challenging ending really throws this thing into sharp relief.
December 11, 2013
Super charming characters with an interesting animation style, with the intelligence and social commentary to match
½ December 8, 2013
Basada en una novela gráfica, El gato del Rabino es una hermosa cinta animada que nos habla de la tolerancia y de las diferencias religiosas desde el punto de vista de un pícaro gato que habla. Puede que no sea para toda la familia, pero es obligatoria para cualquier fanático del cine de animación.
½ December 8, 2013
Basada en una novela gráfica, El gato del Rabino es una hermosa cinta animada que nos habla de la tolerancia y de las diferencias religiosas desde el punto de vista de un pícaro gato que habla. Puede que no sea para toda la familia, pero es obligatoria para cualquier fanático del cine de animación.
November 23, 2013
One line summary: Lovely, funny, clever, and beautiful.


Set in Algiers initially, then many places in Africa around 1920.

A cat adopts a rabbi and his daughter. The cat, after eating a talking parrot, gains the ability to speak and read. He helps the rabbi with his professional development test. In doing so he invokes God's name; the rabbi passes, but the cat temporarily loses his ability to speak French.

A large box of books from Russia; the box also contains a body. Only the cat recognizes that the body is still alive. When the cat awakens the Russian, he finds the prince can understand him (in Russian) even though the others cannot understand him in French.

They look for a person in Algiers who speaks both Russian and French. The rabbi finds him and recruits him to translate for the prince.

There are a number of philosophical discussions and talks about the politics of the area in 1920. As a side effect of all this, a quest is started to find black Jews in Africa. Getting there was hilarious. It is also revealed that the prince wants to paint all sorts of subjects throughout Africa.

The rabbi, the prince, the cat, the rabbi's Arab Muslim friend and his talking donkey set out to find this city. There are lots of changes along the way. The cat regains his ability to speak French. The prince finds his wife. Eventually the prince and his new bride find the city. The humour is outstanding.


Art/Animation: 10/10 The style is pen and ink, with minimal shading. This is rather well executed in great detail.

Sound: 10/10 Always good.

Screenplay: 10/10 Brilliant writing for an ensemble of clever characters. The story is humorous and moves right along, from beginning to middle to happy ending. The comedy of manners aspect is deftly handled.
Super Reviewer
November 23, 2013
Intertwining psedo-intellectual/philosophical discussions with fundamentalist slices of the Jewish, Russian, Arab and French cultures, Le Chat du Rabbin is an odd and unbalanced, yet interesting vehicle of satirical comedy and controversial humor without the discretion or the charm of a Persepolis (2007), but with an interestingly unforgiving lack of mercy towards fanatical believers and authority figures.

My main concern is that the film is split into uneven chapters, having troubles with the distribution of the leading and secondary roles, and with a plot suddenly becoming a cross-continental journey with no epic or adventurous spirit, but with random events seemingly being included for the purpose of narrow-minded criticism instead. Of course these religions deviated from God's Word are worth the criticism and questioning of their own religious logic, especially because of the harm, violence and lies they execute in today's society, but if one of the purposes was indeed satire or criticism (maybe a combination of both), the film offers no proposal or reflection at all, like a boy that throws a stone at an adult's back and hides his hand before the adult can turn.

Nevertheless, these animation attempts are still strongly encouraged, even by me, so it's better that they keep showing up. The French animation industry was close to dying before the 2000s.

½ November 3, 2013
A really fun tale that brings out plenty of laughs. The really high points in this movie come from Rabbi's talking cat. When ever the movie appears to be slowing down the cat will keep you engaged with his witty comments and hilarious monologues.
Page 1 of 4