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Les triplettes de Belleville 2003
Description: When her grandson is kidnapped during the Tour de France, Madame Souza and her beloved pooch Bruno squad up with the Belleville Sisters--an aged song-and-dance squad from the days of Fred Astaire--to rescue him.
Released: 13 Feb 2004 Director: Sylvain Chomet Writers: Sylvain Chomet Actors: Jean-Claude Donda, Dirk Denoyelle, Monica Viegas, Graziellia de Villa Genres: Animation, Comedy, Drama
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Les triplettes de Belleville Reviews:

Yesterday evening a mate introduced me to this extraordinary piece of animation. After watching it I was left with the feeling that I'd just watched a movie which communicated something to me, but I wasn't quite sure what that might be. For hours afterward I thought to myself, "Why did that movie appeal to me so?" The storyline is easy and straightforward. The features are charming and nuanced. The rendering is a real tour-de-force. The one thing that caught my eye was the sheen of the water as Mme. Souza and Bruno are crossing the ocean in pursuit of her grandson. I can hardly trust that was animation. Then I noticed the enjoy of the light on the water reflected vs the hulls of the boats at dock in the harbor. My mate pointed out the skill of the graphic designers in maintaining the proper camera angles of the projected live movie footage on the screen during the chase sequence.The melody is absolutely captivating. Everything from the opening dance-hall sequence to the extraordinary test of the Kyrie from Mozart's Mass in C Minor during the storm at sea and the entrance into the harbor of Belleville. Notice how the melody builds in richness as the camera descends from the several spires at the beginning of the sequence to the dense mass at road level.Remembering the features and how they relate to every another and the movie as a entire keeps you thinking about the significance of the film's contents. For instance, I only actually remember that the opening sequence was drawn in the archaic, fluid style of early cartoon animation (Steamboat Willy, Olive Oyl and Popeye) because, of course, it was depicting happenings which predated the time of the movie proper. The style served a purpose, beyond being an end in itself.For a long time after watching the movie I remained puzzled about its appeal to me. I've seen a huge number of animated detail films, but none have left me quite as reflective as did this one. I was less concerned with the meaning of the details. It is a cartoon, after all.I continued to wonder about Madame Souza's expression. About how the author was able to invest such meaning in those easy dark circles set behind thick lenses and the line of her mouth, which modulated between forthright resolve and a gentle satisfaction. Then it occurred to me. Beyond the larger outline of the storyline and the features in which it is couched, it says us of the power of one person's love and concern for another. I suppose we all want we should obtain such unconditional love, and it makes us feel warm to think that such a thing should now be. Even if only in a cartoon.The movie either will or will not appeal to you, depending on what it is you're looking for in an animated detail film. I watched it without expectations, and was left wondering, "Why does it resonate with me?" And you'll wish to see it again.


Rarely am I riveted by animated cinema that isn't nice Japanese Anime, but 'The Triplets of Belleville' had my eyes glued to the screen from the beginning. The storyline is quite simple: A grandmother tries to create her young grandson (who is living with her) happy, and discovers his fascination for bicycles, so she buys him one. Slash to years later, and he is actually a contender for the Tour de France, with his grandmother still doting on him, actually acting as his trainer. During the race itself he and another riders are kidnapped and taken to Belleville, so the grandmother and their enormously fat dog go looking for him. Without cash or shelter, the two are discovered by three old women, former popular vaudevillians – The Triplets of Belleville. They invite her and the dog in to stay and support her attempt to rescue her grandson.'The Triplets of Belleville' is wonderfully unusual in many ways. Firstly, the hero design by director Sylvain Chomet is abstract and garish. Most characters are extremely ugly, and almost each citizen of Belleville another than the primaries are grotesquely obese. (Even the Statue of Liberty in Belleville's harbor is ridiculously fat) The goons who kidnap the grandson are hilarious in their design – they have tall, fully square shoulders and at times morph together. The cyclists have half inch waists, agonized faces and enormous leg muscles. Also, there is almost no dialogue during the 81 minute film. There are a couple of songs, (the melody in 'Belleville' is great) but another than some incidental sounds, there is maybe a couple of lines of current dialogue. This serves as definitive proof that the movie was brilliantly said through the action and animation.To be sure, 'The Triplets of Belleville' is not for everyone. It is probably the antithesis of Disney or Pixar in its abstractness, intelligence and design. Not to tell that the others are not intelligent, most aren't, but movies like 'Finding Nemo' rely on pop culture to convey their wit, whereas 'The Triplets of Belleville' is brilliantly compelling with a handful of words. A powerful 8/10.--Shelly


From the moment I pressed enjoy on the DVD remote, the entire family was transfixed by this unbelievable movie. It was so good, that we instantly watched it again. So what was so nice about it? Well, firstly Bruno has to be the greatest dog (either animated or live) in any movie. The subtle observation of its everyday routines are among my favorite scenes. Second, the humour is refreshingly dark and constantly surprising (it's not too far removed from Gary Larson's The Far Side). The stage showing the expansion of Paris to convey the passing of time had us in hysterics. Thirdly, it's just so imaginative. Everything is exaggerated beyond belief. If you like your animation to have a touch of realism, then stay away. In Belleville, things are grotesquely exaggerated. I've noticed a several negative comments about this film, which raises the question of who is going to like it and who isn't. I guess the fairest comment I can create is to tell that this probably isn't mainstream stuff. If your favorite films are summer blockbusters, then maybe this isn't for you. If, on the another hand, you like discovering quiet gems from time to time, stumbling across something a tiny various on a cable channel, then this should be just what you're looking for.



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