Wednesday 4 April 2012

Belleville Rendez-vous - World Animation reviews (France)

Les Triplettes De Bellville (French Title) - Belleville Rendez-vous (English title) - 2003
Director - Sylvain Chomet

1. The Triplets of Bellville Poster

Plot summary / review:
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times describes Bellville Rendezvous as "creepy, eccentric, eerie, flaky, freaky, funky, grotesque, inscrutable, kinky, kooky, magical, oddball, spooky, uncanny, uncouth and unearthly. Especially uncouth." (Ebert. 2003). All of these descriptions are accurate, however, it is also charming, engrossing, touching and oddly beautiful.

The first feature animation by French Director Sylvain Chomet revolves around Champion, a small orphaned boy living with his grandmother. He dreams of one day competing in the Tour De-France. His grandmother (Madame Souza) encourages his dream by buying him a trike. As he grows into a man, he is ferociously  trained by Madame Souza and their faithful dog Bruno.

2. Young Champion

3. Grown up Champion

Whilst competing, Champion is kidnapped by a group of Mafia gangsters and taken to a New York-esque city filled with wonderfully over the top stereotypes.  Champion is used in underground gambling scheme ruled by a French Mafia boss. Madame Souza and Bruno set off on an elaborate rescue mission. Along the way they befriend The Triplets of Bellville, ageing 30's jazz musicians with an unhealthy appetite for frogs.

4. The Triplets of Belleville

Bellville is a wonderfully odd animation throughout. Its eccentric story is complimented with grand, surreal, beautifully rendered environments. It somehow manages to be gloomy and funny, often in the very same scene. This also translates into the character design as Richard Corliss of Time Magazine observes, stating  "the old woman is stocky and clubfooted, a compact metaphor for stubborn dedication; her grandson is so spindly he could ride Giacometti's Chariot; Bruno the dog has more personality than 101 Dalmatians." (Corliss. 2008). Chomet's universe pushes the laws of physics and physiology to the extreme, but to hilarious effect. In a market ruled by computer generated animation, Bellville is a reminder that traditional animation is not dead. It demonstrates that a good story, combined with outstanding character and environment designs can still be popular, no matter how peculiar it is.


Corliss, Richard. Time Magazine Reveiew 4th September 2008 - Accessed 04/04/12

Ebert, Roger. Chicago Sun-Times Movie Review 26th December 2003 - Accessed 04/04/12


1. The Triplets of Bellville Poster - Accessed 04/04/12

2.Young Champion - Accessed 04/04/12

3.Grown up Champion - Accessed 04/04/12

4.The Triplets of Belleville - Accessed 04/04/12

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