Are Oscars Nominees' Health Plots Accurate or Malpractice?
'A Cat in Paris'
Dr. Markel says: "This animated film tells the story of a young girl, Zoe, who finds herself unable to speak after the evil gangster Costa murders her father. Though nothing is physically wrong with her, it's possible her condition is a function of grieving over her father's death. She may also have experienced a conversion reaction, which can occur with psychic trauma. Often, a person suffering from this problem cannot fully acknowledge their psychic pain so they develop a physical symptom out of an unconscious belief that it will be more acceptable than a psychological one.
"When Zoe is accosted by gangsters and tries to yell for help, she cannot initially do so. She finally finds her voice, and the cartoon then proceeds to a happy ending. The portrayal of this psychological problem is too cartoonish for me, but criticizing a cartoon for being too cartoonish seems ungenerous. In the end, 'A Cat in Paris' was a superb work of animation art and great storytelling."