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Sylvain Chomet,the incredible genius behind "Les Triplets de
Belleville" has to be congratulated on this magnificent animated film
that is so appealing. M. Chomet has created an anime film that rivals
the best of the genre. One can relate to the characters of the film
from the beginning, as this story will involve the viewer from the
M. Chomet takes a look at a world through his wonderful characters that have an universal appeal. Mme. Souza and Bruno, her dog, are two of the best realized and life-like subjects one will ever find in this type of film. The brilliant sketches of the film will stay with the viewer long after one finishes watching it. M. Chomet talent lies in the fact that he gets us involved in the film without practically any dialog, just on the strength of the images we are watching.
This is a film for everyone thanks to its creator, Sylvain Chomet.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Les Triplettes de Belleville" is a sublime animated film. We've seen
quite many terrific animated films recently but don't expect this one
to be anything like the 'Finding Nemo's' or 'Spirited Away's' you love
so much. This movie has its very own style and message that simply
can't be categorized. "Les Triplettes..." is depressing and
exhilarating at the same time and totally fills you up with feelings of
admiration and deep respect for the artists who're behind it. Apart
from some (brilliant) music and spoken announcements, there's no
dialogue in this film. Yet, you strangely feel what's going on inside
the minds and characters of the designed characters. It's a tale of
chasing your dreams, perseverance and brotherly love. Beautifully set
in middle-class France, with protagonists constantly fighting poverty,
we're introduced to a shy orphan living with his grandmother. The boy
never asks for anything but dreams of a cycling career. His grandmother
supports him throughout and gives him the possibility to purchase this
dream. Several years later, the boy participates in the world-famous
Tour de France. The film then takes a bizarre twist and becomes like an
odd slow motion action movie slash black comedy. It's really unique and
hard to describe so you better watch for yourself. Obviously, the
bizarre storyline is secondary to the one of a kind style! "Les
Triplettes de Belleville" is funny but of course not in a slapstick
way. Through situational humor and well-portrayed characters, it often
brings a smile to your face without ever going over the top. This is a
truly special film and it deserves a lot of praising for its
originality. I reckon not everyone will appreciate the slow-paced style
but for purchasers of cinema diversity, this is a must!
"Les Triplettes..." is a French, Canadian and Belgian co-production. I'm especially proud to see the latter country's involvement. We Belgians don't mean that much in the field of cinema (especially not the animated field) and it's pleasing to find out about some true artists living here. The magnificent "Belleville Rendez-Vous" song will remain stuck in your head for a long time and the positive energy coming from this motion picture will unquestionably impress you. This is film-making like it was intended to be: passionate and with great respect for the audience.
This is a cartoon that manages to be very funny but dark and macabre as well.
The animation quality is top notch; the feel of the sets reminded me of Disney when they were good. (The Aristocats, lady is a tramp etc.) The cameo appearances of pre-war stars include Josephine Baker, Django Reinhardt, Fred Estair and others. Plus the music is exactly right with subtle references to top players of years gone by. If you are a jazz fan you will love and recognise these.
Then there is the dog Bruno, very funny if you have ever owned a big silly dog then you will recognise him here! Every now and again a milestone film is produced, something original and great, I suspect that this film was a labour of love.
Different and great, just 9/10 because the frog sequence was a little too gross for my stomach!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie intrigued me from the moment I picked up the DVD case. I like anime and American animation, but this movie is that and so much more. The fact that it is a cartoon vanishes under the simple yet powerful story of the indomitable Mme. Souza and Bruno rescuing her grandson from American gangsters. There are many (and many not so subtle) caricatures of the clash between American and French ideals, the past and the present. Witness the lovely pension home of Madam, leaning away from the train tracks that are built into it, with train hating Bruno timing the trains to give them a good barking too. The matre'd at the restaurant was very amusing with his rubber spine. The triplets themselves are sad, yet tough as nails. I found the frog hunting hilarious while depressing. Great dames of the theatre should not end up like that. Best of all, the car chase, right out of a Pink Panther movie. I kept expecting Peter Sellers. And if you can resist the temptation to get up and boogie to the irresistible "Belleville Rendezvous" then you are better than I am.
I always consider British Animation very amusing. But French animation
is like seeing another side to cartoons. This movie is made in France
and very French like.
I've heard this movie was extraordinary, so I rented it, and found myself a great movie. The animation is very well done. The plot works very well with or without words. A good number of good scenes in it. Plus the characters are like looking at a twisted cartoon on a foreign newspaper.
The music is very catchy. I recommend getting the soundtrack to this film. If you like Foreign films or French like stuff, then I recommend this film. It's one of those movies to see like everyday.
I give it 8/10. Suggested for 13 and up. Because this isn't really a kids movie. Contains some inappropriate scenes. But the rest is fine to see.
Sometimes you wake up in the morning with bits of a dream bouncing
around your head: you remember that it was weird and funny and
emotional and important and you think "Damn, there's a movie in there
somewhere!". By the time you've had breakfast and got to work the bits
of dream have faded. The makers of "Belleville Rendez-vous" (English
title) gathered up all their bits of weird dream and made a movie out
of them. Plot: Four old ladies- the eponymous triplets plus granny,
take on the Mafia to recover a kidnapped cyclist. Not a lot of the plot
makes any sense in conventional terms, but that's dreams for you!
Visuals: Consistently stunning; the palette may tend towards dull
greens and browns, but every frame is lovingly drawn with astonishing
detail, and lots of little jokes thrown in. Characters: In Bruno, we
have the doggiest old dog ever committed to film. You just know that he
smells bad, and that you'd put up with his hygiene problems. The way
his legs wobble and tremble at key moments is beautifully observed. If
you have ever had to care for a smelly, old, lovable mutt, you will
instantly connect. Granny (Madame Souza) is an indomitable dwarf,
endlessly resourceful, courageous against the odds, and brilliantly
realized by the animators. The Triplets are frightening: I was reminded
of the witches in Macbeth, but, of course these weird sisters are on
our side. (WARNING: do not watch the Frog scene when sitting down to
eat). I'm not quite so impressed by Champion- the goal of the quest. He
doesn't have much of a personality: I suppose this could reflect the
one-dimensional focus of a high-achieving sportsman, but he didn't have
much emotional resonance for me. He didn't even respond to being
rescued! All in all, this is a startling film, if not a great one, and
don't be put off by it's French origin- there isn't a line of
meaningful dialogue in the movie- the whole story is related through
visuals and non-verbal sounds.
My Rating- 8.5 out of 10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
How do you tell a story that no one has heard before? In a journey film,
your hero moves along a road, trying to get from A to B, or fleeing A
without a stated goal. Along the way, you can bung in any number of strange
encounters just think of The Wizard of Oz. In what other film could you
fit a chorus of midgets, a field of heroin-bearing flowers and a horde of
flying monkeys? Sylvain Chomet's new cartoon is similarly brimming with
goodies. Our heroine is Madame Souza, a woman with thick jowls and a
prominent mole. Bruno, a morose, lard-arse dog, follows her. Madame Souza is
a coach. She trails behind her cyclist grandson, blowing a whistle at
regular intervals. (There is barely any dialogue: the director relies
instead on sound and little curlicues of accordion music.) When a betting
racket abducts her grandson during the Tour De France, Bruno and Madame
Souza set out to rescue him. They follow him to Belleville, a New York-style
city of towering buildings. Here they meet three old ladies, once famous but
now reduced to eating frogs and giving concerts with refrigerators.
Everyone in this film is hilariously well suited to his task. The cyclists have bulging calves and long, aerodynamic noses. When Madame Souza and grandson finish training of an evening, he hulks over the table, a blanket on his shoulders. There is nothing left over. With his long eyelashes, scrawny limbs and flared nostrils, he suggests a horse. The gangsters have hulking, rectangular shoulders like refrigerators: they are built to intimidate. A little engineer goes crawling through machinery with a wrench: he has the beady eyes and twitching nose of a rat. These characters are good at only one thing. Only Bruno the dog is flexible, his obesity actually an infinite store of energy. He is harnessed to broken-down vehicles, tracks his master through scent and bears Madame Souza on his back.
There is a delirious sense of invention. Late in the movie, we see three cyclists mounted on a platform. They are drugged, looking as they pedal at a country lane projected on a screen. (They actually go nowhere, as if doing cardio at the gym, and the gangsters make bets as to who will keel over first from exhaustion.) The platform breaks loose, and they go sailing away as if on a yacht, still looking dully at the screen. The layers of reality and illusion jangle one against the other. It is a marvellously dense image, a film student's wet dream.
Seriously, how frequently can you catch such a unique movie experience? "Belleville" is a sheer ride of the senses, combining our fantasies, our fears and our imaginations to make a movie that makes us want to let go and dream about it. I think it should be specially effective to everyone who was a kid in 1960's france, and in my opinion, the collective imagination of those years in that country are the building blocks of this picture. I was mesmerized by such an unusual amount of imagination, and such an explanation to questions like: "why do animation movies exist?" and "why is traditional animation still worth while?". In the USA it seems difficult for people to understand this, and impossible for them to make a movie as daringly dark and expressionistic as this. Amazing experience, which allows you to go over the entire spectrum of emotions you are willing to unleash.
I love it when I get to review a well done, creative film. It is a seldom occurance. In the case of "The Triplets of Belleville" I will write about a wonderful, heartwarming, funny movie. The story revolves around a mother and son who live in a single dwelling in Paris. The mother loves him very much. The son becomes a competator in the Tour De France.
During the race, he gets kidnapped by some gambling ring. The plot then starts to develop. The mother follows the kidnappers, with the help of her dog, to the seaside city of Belleville. In Belleville, she and the dog are invited to stay with the Triplets of Belleville, a group of Burlesque performers.
There are alot of impressive parts of this film. The scene at Tour De France, where the son is kidnapped, is visually captivating. The scene in which the mother and dog are at sea, folowing the massive ship that holds the kidnappers, is beautiful. The scene which introduces the kidnappers is hilarious. The scene which shows the mother and dog joining the Triplets for a meal is both disturbing and poignant. The scene where we find out why the son was kidnapped is stunning. And, I have to mention the final climax. It is the best few minutes of the film. From the beginning until the final frame, it is exciting and marvolous.
I wish I knew the name of the writer and director, so I could give him some well deserved credit. I know that he is French-Canadian. And, I know that he received a Acadamy Award nomination for best animated film. I send him congradulations on a great achievement. This is one amazing film. Josh Weinman, Video Production Student
That is the best word I can use to describe this movie. What we have here is
a visual and aural feast, with a charming plot and somewhat misguided
The thing I can't understand for the life of me is how people are painting it as some sort of social commentary. The Americans are very fat... and so are the French (the ones in this movie). The French eat cheese and drink wine. The Americans eat hamburgers and there are some sleazy apartment complexes in New York. Oh what commentary! Such observations have never been made before! My feathers are rifled and my underwear is bunched!
Pardon my sarcasm, but this movie just has a very exaggerated style throughout, and in my opinion anyone who is focusing on its "criticism" of certain cultures is missing an extremely entertaining film. The Triplets features what has to be the best soundtrack I've heard in a film in quite some time, and the theme will be stuck in my head until I can get my hands on the CD (at least I hope there's a CD of the soundtrack!). The parts with the Triplets themselves are so charming, and pleasing to the ear, that I only wish they were in the movie more often.
Which ties in with my only criticism of the movie, the pacing and direction are off, as many people have commented. At times the Triplets leaves you wondering how long you'll have to wait before another brilliant scene comes along, and at other times it throws so much brilliance at you at once that you can't keep up no matter how hard you try. The story is nowhere near fleshed out enough in some areas, and far too fleshed out in others. And we need more musical numbers from the Triplets!
While the animation is jaw-dropping, and the mixing of different media such as cell shading is cutting edge, I honestly didn't care for the style of the art very much. The cyclists, in my opinion, just looked creepy. The constantly fat and/or dentally impaired characters got too over the top fairly quickly. Despite the fact I wasn't a fan of the style, I still found the film very enjoyable simply because of the quality of the animation. Also, I did enjoy watching some characters, such as the mafia goons and the grandmother.
In the end the Triplets of Belleville leaves you feeling like you just ate the most extravagant, over-indulgent, delicious cake you've ever come across. It was very lacking in the basic food groups needed to make a meal fulfilling, and you know you got very little of substance from the feast. Still, you'll be damned if you didn't stuff your face.
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