|“||Listen up, boys. This is the one I've been waiting for. My sweet mother hung this over my crib. It's my earliest memory. And now I want it!||„|
|~ Victor Costa|
Victor Costa is the main antagonist of the French animated film, A Cat in Paris. He is portrayed by Jean Benguigui in the French version of the film, and JB Blanc in the English adaptation. In the film, he is a Parisian crime lord and public enemy number one.
Victor is described as short, stocky, greedy, and quick-to-anger, "capable of the worst tantrums". He is also unpredicatable, to which his men are often afraid. He seeks to steal an imposing African statue, perhaps reflecting a certain inferiority complex about his size.
The film starts with Nico, a cat burglar, who sneaks past the guards into a building and robs jewels, Nico is always followed by a black cat.
The next morning the cat wakes up in a little girl's house, Zoé, after it has caught a small lizard that it gives to her, which she keeps in a box filled with other dead lizards. Zoé hears Jeanne, her mother, come in and shows her the lizards, but she is too busy over the phone to mind what she shows her, which annoys her. Claudine, the sitter, reassures Jeanne. Mother and daughter share their grief over the absence of their husband/father, after whose disappearance Zoé stopped speaking.
At night the cat leaves again and goes to Nico's, in its way the cat walks on walls and teases a dog that barks incessantly until his owner throws a shoe at it. After one of his nights of burglary, Nico gives the cat a bracelet in the shape of fish, which it gives to Zoé. Her mother sees the bracelet and asks Zoé to give it to her because it surely belonged to someone else. Before leaving, Zoé sees a picture in her mother's dossier file of a man Victor Costa, who is responsible for the death of her husband/father. Jeanne takes the bracelet and gives it to Lucas, a colleague of hers at the police station who asks her to see if it matches up to any of the items stolen at one the most recent burglaries in the Rue Mouffetard. Jeanne is commissioned to handle the security of a huge African statue that has been the target of M. Costa and that cost her husband his life. The statue is being moved soon and will surely be the last opportunity for Costa to get his hands on it.All the while, Victor Costa has been indeed planning how to steal the statue with his dim witted minions to whom he assigns names that they keep forgetting, M. Bébé (Mr. Baby), M. Hulot, M. Grenouille (Mr. Frog), M. Patate (Mr. Potato). When the bracelet does indeed turn up, Lucas follows the lead up to Nico's. In the meantime Claudine has been watching Zoé, but fails to notice that she has followed the cat out the window. While following the cat Zoé stumbles upon M. Costa and discovers that Claudine is actually a member of his gang and has been working as a sitter to have a deep insight into what the police are planning to prevent him stealing the statue. The thieves discover Zoé who hides in Nico’s house, M. Costa nearly discovers Zoé but at the last minute one of his minions calls for him down to the cellar, they have discovered Nico’s cache. Zoé tries to leave but she is caught by Claudine but at the last minute Nico comes back, who locks the mobsters in the cellar. Nico escapes with Zoé on her back jumping over the roof tops with M. Costa and his gang in pursuit after they broke the door down. Nico leaves Zoé near the zoo, she must follow the cat back to his place while he distracts the thieves. The gang is close by and they all follow Nico but M. Costa discovers a piece of Zoé’s t-shirt in the bushes and orders M. Grenouille to follow him after the child in the zoo where they come close to catching her but she escapes in a boat and due to the fact that neither M. Costa nor M. Grenouille can swim.
In the meantime Lucas has been following the cat lead and a neighbor tells him that the cat always comes out of a neighboring house and goes to another, annoying everyone because of the dog. Lucas calls Jeanne to come to her own house because it is related to the burglaries. After she arrives they head up to Nico’s to wait. After shaking the rest of the gang, Nico goes back to his place and finds Zoé there, as he is about to enter the house he is arrested by Jeanne and Lucas, Claudine tells Jeanne that Nico kidnapped Zoé. Jeanne and Lucas take Nico in their police car and while driving to the station, Nico tells Jeanne that she made a mistake and that Zoé is in great danger, he gets the cat to attack Lucas who is driving and uses the opportunity to grab Jeanne’s gun and take over the situation, after stopping he tells Jeanne that he is going to stop Costa and save Zoé. Jeanne becomes suspicious and orders Lucas to take her home. As they arrive they see that indeed Zoé and Claudine are not there.
Claudine has taken Zoé to M. Costa’s house and they have her locked in one of the rooms while drinking champagne. Claudine applies more of her usual perfume that makes everyone else sick, they open the window and the scent reaches Nico and the cat, who always sneezes at Claudine’s smell and it leads Nico to Zoé. After cutting the power down he puts on his usual night goggles and sneaks into the house and whisks Zoé away right under the nose of M. Patate who is sulking because he is stuck with the child and not drinking champagne with the rest of the gang. At the last moment Nico’s presence is discovered and once again he escapes with Zoé over the roof tops with M. Costa in pursuit. The chase takes them up to Notre Dame de Paris, Nico leaves Zoé in one of the terraces and teases Costa to go after him, they both fall because the gargoyles cannot take their weight but Costa is saved because he grabs another gargoyle while Nico is saved by Jeanne. Costa manages to trap Zoé again and jumps over to a nearby crane followed by Jeanne, Nico and the cat. Costa manages to push the cat over the edge and Nico jumps to save it, leaving Jeanne to confront Costa by herself; Jeanne has been having waking nightmares about Costa but she rises above them and uses her personal defense training to free Zoé and disorient Costa who falls from the crane. Jeanne tries to save Costa with the help of Nico, by grabbing him by his shirt; Costa has banged his head against the crane very hard and becomes mad and has a hallucination that the statue has come to rescue him so he jumps off the crane’s hook into the hands of the statue, falling to his death. The rest of the gang, including Claudine, are arrested and Zoé has now started talking again.
The next winter, the cat goes over to Nico’s but is let in by Jeanne, from the window it can be seen that Jeanne, Zoé and Nico are a new family. Nico gives a gift to Jeanne, a snow globe with Notre Dame in it.