Le Petit Nicholas

Use of visual elements
The opening credits utilize a pop up book style theme. Since the film is live action, this theme suggests to the audience that this was based on a book, even if they had not heard of said book in the first place. As the opening credits roll, the paper moves in a manner that would be similar to how pop up books work. The paper folds and bends depending on what is drawn without it being too complex; for example, the most complex scene shows a scene of cars rotating through the names of the actors which transforms into a carousel. As the names swipe through the screen, the carousel begins to construct itself without overcomplicating its process. The sides of the carousel begin to rise and fold, and there are paper tabs that show how each car is moving up and down like a carousel. There is emphasis of simplicity, as the credits are digitally created, to maintain the viewer’s belief that this is a pop-up book. Limited colors are used, with each scene and character drawn in black on the white paper, and the red text or occasional red element to provide contrast. Aside from the carousel, many characters and scenes simply fold up or pan on screen, again, like how a pop-up book would work.

Use of lighting
Lighting is used very heavily, which conveys a bright and cheerful mood. Soft but heavy shadows appear behind each paper cut out, which helps to further push the idea that these are scenes from a pop-up book. There is a consistent bright white light for each scene until it shows an underground scene of plumbers working on pipes. There is a soft spotlight on each character and text instead of the usual bright light. The final scene, and only scene with low light, has the teacher putting on a movie for the students. Although the scene is dark, the bright light from the movie projector juxtaposes the dark atmosphere.

Use of typography
The movie excels in its integration of typography with other visual elements. No text “floats” around the screen, rather each textual element moves along with the paper that it’s on, whether it be on the side of a car or hidden behind a window. As the credits play on, texts do not fade away, but they remain until the camera pans away from the text or another page is folded over to cover it, similar to how someone would use a book. The text consistently uses the same red cursive font, until the title is shown. To make the text stand out more, it is in white and has a chalky texture with stray bits of dust to indicate that it is written in chalk.