Movie Tuesday: The Triplets of Belleville

I’m thinking about having Movie Mondays and Trivia Tuesdays, thoughts?

Last night I watched The Triplets of Belleville and I haven’t been able to get their version of Rendez-vous out of my head.  So good!  What first caught my attention was the animation on the dvd case.  Pulling it off the shelf in the library, I immediately thought of the Professor Layton series of video games.  The animation is über important to the film as there is essentially no dialogue.  The majority of the words come from songs, perhaps why I have them stuck in my head.

General summary of this French-Belgian-Canadian film:  The film opens with a recording of a 1930s stage show, that is being viewed by Madame Souza and her grandson, Champion.  Noticing he is unhappy, Madame Souza tries to cheer him up with a puppy, though he remains uncheered.  Perhaps he needs a balloon?  Well, a tricycle does the trick and years later Champion is a professional cyclist with Madame Souza following him on the old tricycle with a whistle.  Champion is kidnapped during the Tour de France.  His grandmother and their dog, Bruno, go on an adventure to find him.  From following a ship in a paddle boat to eating frog with some crazy musical hall signing triplets, Grandma Souza is determined to find her grandson.

It is tricky to find the right words to describe the strange and mesmerizing air that is this charming film. Even Roger Ebert had trouble coming up with the right words.  It was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Animated Feature, the first PG-13 film to earn a nomination in the category, and Best Original Song for “Belleville Rendez-vous”.  It won the Cesar for Best Film Music, the BBC Four World Cinema Award, and the genie Award for Best Motion Picture.  It was also screened at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.

One reason why you may not have heard of this charming film is because it lost to Finding Nemo for Best Animated Feature.  Remember how in 2003 how Finding Nemo was practically every you turned?  If you haven’t seen it I totally recommend that you do.  If you have seen it, see it again.  It’s fabulous.

Check out the opening scene and “Belleville Rendez-vous” and you’ll see why it’s been stuck in my head for the past two days:


Check out NPR’s story about the music in the film:

What do you think?

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