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.
Paul is a sweet man-child, raised - and smothered - by his two eccentric aunts in Paris since the death of his parents when he was a toddler. Now thirty-three, he still does not speak. (He ... See full summary »
Anne Le Ny,
Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unites them, but their journey - in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero - brings heartache and torment.
It's 1941 but France is trapped in the nineteenth century, governed by steam and Napoleon V, where scientists vanish mysteriously. Avril (Marion Cotillard), a teenage girl, goes in search of her missing scientist parents.
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
From the moment I pressed play on the DVD remote, the whole family was transfixed by this wonderful movie. It was so good, that we immediately watched it again. So what was so good about it? Well, firstly Bruno has to be the best dog (either animated or live) in any movie. The subtle observation of its daily routines are among my favourite scenes. Second, the humour is refreshingly dark and constantly surprising (it's not too far removed from Gary Larson's The Far Side). The scene 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 few 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 make is to say that this probably isn't mainstream stuff. If your favourite movies are summer blockbusters, then maybe this isn't for you. If, on the other hand, you like discovering quiet gems from time to time, stumbling across something a little different on a cable channel, then this could be just what you're looking for.
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