The Illusionist (French: L'Illusionniste) is a 2010 British-French animated comedy-drama film directed by Sylvain Chomet. The film is based on an unproduced script written by French mime, director and actor Jacques Tati in 1956. Controversy surrounds Tati's motivation for the script, which was written as a personal letter to his estranged eldest daughter, Helga Marie-Jeanne Schiel in collaboration with his long-term writing partner Henri Marquet, between writing for the films Mon Oncle and Play Time.
The main character is a version of Tati animated by several people under the lead of Laurent Kircher. The plot revolves around a struggling illusionist who visits an isolated community and meets a young lady who is convinced that he is a real magician. Originally intended by Tati to be set in Czechoslovakia, Chomet relocated the film to Scotland in the late 1950s. According to the director, "It's not a romance, it's more the relationship between a dad and a daughter." Sony's US press kit declares that the "script for The Illusionist was originally written by French comedy genius and cinema legend Jacques Tati as a love letter from a father to his daughter, but never produced"