From a review by Scott Tobias:
Adapted from an old Tati script, Sylvain Chomet's wistful animated film The Illusionist works carefully — too carefully, in the end — to bottle Hulot's spirit like a bittersweet elixir. Some of its nostalgia and all of its beautiful, hand-crafted images will be familiar to fans of Chomet's first feature, the eccentric Jazz Era homage The Triplets of Belleville, but in most other respects it's a striking departure. Where Belleville feverishly evoked '30s Betty Boop and Popeye cartoons, along with showstoppers like Django Reinhardt and Josephine Baker, The Illusionist mourns for an entertainer's gradual passing into obscurity and obsolescence. Its delicate humor is vastly eclipsed by a bone-deep sadness.