When her grandson is kidnapped during the Tour de France, Madame Souza and her beloved pooch Bruno team up with the Belleville Sisters--an aged song-and-dance team from the days of Fred Astaire--to rescue him.
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Madame Souza, an elderly woman, instills in her grandson Champion (for who she acts as his guardian) a love of cycling. As a young man, he does become a dedicated road racer with his grandmother as his trainer. During a mountainous leg of the Tour de France in which Champion is racing, he goes missing. Evidence points to him being kidnapped. Indeed, he and two of his competitors were kidnapped, the kidnappers who want to use the threesome's unique skills for nefarious purposes. With Champion's overweight and faithful pet dog Bruno at her side, Madame Souza goes looking for Champion. Their trek takes them overseas to the town of Belleville. Without any money, Madame Souza and Bruno are befriended and taken in by three eccentric elderly women, who were once the renowned jazz singing group The Triplets of Belleville. The triplets help Madame Souza and Bruno try to locate and rescue Champion. Written by
I found "The Triplets of Belleville" to be one of the most charming movies I've had the pleasure of seeing the last couple of years. This delightful movie follows the adventures of Madame Souza, her son, Champion, and their dog, Bruno.
Madame Souza recognizes that something is missing from Champion's life. His parents are, clearly, gone. All he has left from them is a picture of the pair of them on a bicycle. As she silently pieces together what Champion needs to be happy, she and he discover a new life as participants in the Tour de France - he as a competitor and her as his coach and trainer.
They live a life of quiet, simple joys until he is kidnapped, an event that leads to a trip to Belleville for all three. This fictional city will prove oddly familiar to most viewers. Here, Madame Souza is befriended by the titular characters - I will leave the "book report" style commenting here.
There are so many delights in this picture, but I am going to focus on my favorite character, Bruno the dog. I don't think I have ever seen a movie capture a real dog as well as this one does. We see him from a puppy, learn the event that leads him to hate trains, feel anxious for him when he paws at his bowl while the silly humans finish their own dinners, and fear for him when his canine instincts lead him to places of danger.
Throughout this all, Bruno is gloriously canine. He dreams of the things that are important to him, he sees the world as smells and images. He is awesome. Or, perhaps, she is awesome. Bruno is a male name, but many have suggested he is a she.
Anyhow, the other characters are great fun as well, but my heart belongs to this big fat dog. Even if I hadn't loved the rest of the movie (I did), I would recomend it for Bruno alone.
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