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René Tabard is a film historian. He may also be a veteran of the Second World War (1940-1945). He knew Georges Méliès as a child and is fascinated by his work, and also thought Georges was killed during the First World War, possibly at Verdun. René helps Georges restore 80 of his many films, and also helps Hugo find a special key that can act as evidence in order to prove Splodyhead, one of Hugo's three experiment pets, innocent in the alternative version of the 2011 film Hugo.