21 November 2006

Ink Blots XXXIX - The Triplets of Belleville

It's a little odd to call a movie under appreciated when it was nominated for an Academy Award, but then again, though nominated for the Best Animated Feature in 2003, The Triplets of Belleville lost out to Finding Nemo (a film I find to be over rated). And while Triplets got its 15 minutes of fame, it doesn't seem to be revered today as it should. Especially from the perspective of this animated film glut that we are currently riding, Triplets was something different, and a true gem.

This movie centers around Madame Souza, an elderly woman raising her grandson Champion, and prepping him to compete in the Tour de France. But when Champion is kidnapped, Madame Souza, and her dog Bruno set off for Belleville to rescue the lad. That is where they team up with the elderly titular Triplets to save Champion from his captors.

There is very little dialog in this film, much of the entertainment comes from the visual gags such as Bruno's black and white dreams, and his hatred of trains, and the Triplets household object cabaret. The music in the film is also superb. In fact Belleville Rendez-Vous was nominated for the Best Original Song but lost out the that juggernaut that was Return of the King which swept every category without mercy.

Belleville made a modest $7 million in the US and a total of $15 million worldwide, but box office returns seldom represent quality. This is a film that may look a bit weird at first glance with its exagerated comic book style designs, but the film is sure to entertain and thus it earns an A.

7 comments:

tygriffin said...

Sylvain Chomet, the director, is as I understand, currently working on the "Tale of Despereaux" a project which Framestore CFC is doing work on I heard and Universal is helping fund per AWN. Hopefully, Despereaux will be at least half as interesting as The Triplets. :)

Kory said...

I'd definitely categortize it like this too. I was fortunate enough to see it in the theater here, and bought the DVD. Its great ot be able to recommend it to people who can appreciate it and not worry about subtitling complaints. Silent animated characters are in a class of their own. Charlie Chaplin would be proud =)

nØsØap said...

Hey Chip Chief!
Two things 1) I love your reviews and your knowledge of these movies has been invaluable to me. Thank you! 2)I'm wondering if you know this movie I'm trying to find. How can I contact you or should I muck up the comments with another of my questions? Thanks again!

Chip Chief said...

nØsØap,

glad you like the site. hey feel free to just ask a question in the comments. hopefully i can be of some help.

nØsØap said...

Sweet thanks! I have this vision in my mind from my childhood. This one moment is all I really remember from this movie. It started out in live action with a small boy. He got a HUGE present and a kid-size red convertible came out or something. Then the present turned into some sort of doorway and the kid drives through. And then he embarks on wild animated adventure that I'm not sure if I even saw. Any idea what movie this is? It's been bothering me for years!

Chip Chief said...

I am pretty sure you are remembering The Phantom Tollbooth.

nØsØap said...

Yes! That's it! Now my mind can rest in peace. I knew you'd know it. Thanks Chief!