Thursday, 3 March 2016

"The Triplets of Belleville" - movie review

Fig. 1 – movie poster
“The Triplets of Belleville” is a 2003 animated film directed by Sylvain Chomet. The film immediately grasps the viewers’ attention with its incredible style and visual comedy. The first scene could be considered racist and a particularly bold decision from the director, however it could be excused as it was referring to different times. I particularly liked how the environment was constantly changing and was reflecting the inner struggles of the characters. The characters are undertaking transformations as well. From the glamorous triplets we see at the start to three old and tired performers that lead a very sad and curious existence. From a young puppy to a grown and cuddly beast and so on. Maybe the only character that remains constant is the grandmother, and seeing as she represents unconditional love and devotion it really makes sense for her to be herself throughout the film.

Another striking thing about the film is the lack of dialogue. The narrative is driven by actions and expressions and it really works. We all knew the story without it being narrated. The excellent blend between 2d and 3d animation was tasteful as well, even though I don’t think the 3d elements were enhancing any of the story. Instead of a 3d vehicle which Bruno the dog rides in his dreams, I would’ve happily settled for a more low-fi version of that, that was hand drawn to keep up with the traditional feeling, but that’s just my personal preference.

Even though the film was lacking a dialogue, and I jumped slightly when I heard the main character finally speak at the end, the music and singing was infectious and I still have the tune stuck in my head. The sounds really enhanced the characters too. Particularly the small mechanic guy that was clearly based on a mouse, his sneeze was combined with the high-pitched squeak of an actual mouse and I thought that is an excellent detail.

Overall the film was immensely fun and worth watching, the world it creates is really fun to look at and there was some really great attention to detail in the way America is portrayed for instance. The statue of liberty holding a burger is a particular favourite of mine and the misspelling of Hollywood with Hollyfood. The French vibe was unmistakable too.


Fig. 1 – Movie poster -, (2016). [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Mar. 2016].

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