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From what I recall, a girl who is about twenty years old finds herself in a strange and gloomy stop-frame animated city. A very distinct scene, which should identify the film, involves the girl being captured by a creature described as follows. It was like the walking skeleton of a long four-legged creature about the size of a bus. Apparently the girl broke some rule and this creature clamped it's ribcage around her and trotted her off to jail.

If I had to guess a year, it would be between 1996 and 2006.

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What makes you think it was Eastern European or French? I'm thinking this is a guess and therefore the title should be edited as it may be misguiding someone. If it was in a foreign language (and subtitled), then please comment and we can add 'non-english' to the description. –  iandotkelly Jan 14 '12 at 14:40
    
Yes, thanks for pointing that out. –  drhodes Jan 14 '12 at 17:38
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if the movie below is correct, please don't forget to accept the answer by clicking on the check-mark/tick below the votes. This gives the person who answered some more reputation, and gives you some too. –  iandotkelly Jan 15 '12 at 20:48
    
Also clears this question from the unanswered links, and raises your approval rate :] –  Nils Munch Jan 16 '12 at 9:11
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1 Answer

up vote 22 down vote accepted

This sounds very much like MirrorMask, a wonderful movie. It isn't French or Eastern European, but it does have some bohemian style to it (a bit like The City of Lost Children). So it's not surprising that you might recall the movie like that.

The creature is actually a compilation of several creatures, with the ability to use their stilt-caterpillar shape as a walking prison.

Here are some pictures to jog your memory: enter image description here

The visual style was very distinctive, and I'm pretty certain this is the one you are thinking of.

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Wow, I am extremely grateful. Thank you very much! –  drhodes Jan 14 '12 at 17:40
    
No problem, glad to help you out. It is a lovely movie, and even though it has some scary scenes, I believe it can be enjoyed by a wide age range. –  Nils Munch Jan 14 '12 at 19:56
    
Yes please. Cause Im fairly confident I got this one right :] –  Nils Munch Jan 15 '12 at 8:35
    
It might be worth mentioning that MirrorMask is based on a Neil Gaiman story. –  coleopterist Sep 2 '13 at 6:21
    
Indeed, Neil is also a solid influence on the movie itself, and numerous of his drawings and sketches can be seen. :] –  Nils Munch Sep 2 '13 at 13:40
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