Following its own brand of logic, Paprika is an eye-opening mind trip that is difficult to follow but never fails to dazzle.
With a conventional invade-dreams/bend-reality plot, it's a bit of a bore.
Detroit Free Press
Especially for fans who understand how movies are put together, Paprika grabs you from the get-go in a series of flowing images and transitions that follow the skewed logic of a dream, jumping from a three-ring circus to a swinging jungle vine.
You could sit through the film two or three times to nail down the details of the story, but the film isn't interesting enough to warrant a second look.
As a showcase of the limitless power of the imagination, Paprika never fails to delight the eye and engage the mind. We are never sure exactly whom we should be cheering for, or even if we're rooting for real characters or their avatars.
Paprika has the curious effect of making you feel strangely happy afterwards, as if some internal load you hadn't even realized you were carrying is suddenly lifted. It sings. Go see it, even if it's not your birthday, you might feel like it is.
We're so used to current cautious commercial formulas, it comes as an enjoyable shock to see something like Satoshi Kon's Japanese film, Paprika, which reminds us that with animation, almost anything you can imagine can be represented.
Fernando F. Croce
Reality and fantasy leak into each other in short-circuiting jolts in Kon's cosmos