- Les Triplettes de Belleville
name = Les Triplettes de Belleville (The Triplets of Belleville)
Didier Brunner Paul Cadieux Regis Ghezelbash Colin Rose Viviane Vanfleteren
Béatrice Bonifassi Lina Boudreault
Diaphana Films(France Theatrical) Miramax Films(US Theatrical) Tartan Films(UK)
11 June 2003(France) 29 August 2003(UK) November 26, 2003(US, limited release)
France Belgium Canada UK
runtime = 78 Minutes
language = French
imdb_id = 0286244
amg_id = 1:288976
budget = $2,000,000 [cite web|title=IMDb - Box office / business for|url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0286244/business]
"Les Triplettes de Belleville" is a 2003 animated
feature filmwritten and directed by Sylvain Chomet. It was released as "The Triplets of Belleville" in North America, and as "Belleville Rendez-vous" in the UK. The film features the voices of Michèle Caucheteux, Jean-Claude Donda, Michel Robin, and Monica Viegas; although there is some dialogue, the majority of the film story is told through song and pantomime. The film was highly praised by audiences and critics for its unique (and somewhat retro) style of animation. It was an international co-productionbetween companies in France, Belgiumand Canada.
The film satirically pokes fun at national stereotypes and clichés foreigners spread about French and Americans. It laughs at the stereotypes of the French (for example their alleged obsession with the
Tour de France, or their so-called fondness for eating frogs)Fact|date=October 2007 and Americans (for example their alleged obesity and lewd manner). The film features almost no spoken dialogue, though some spoken words (such as Tour de France radio commentary by Robert Chapatteand a speech by Charles de Gaulleon evening TV) are included sporadically.
Following a 1930s-style cartoon
parodyfeaturing the singing Triplettes of the title (Violette, Blanche, and Rose, whose names are loosely patterned on the colours of the French flag) in their heyday, as well as caricatures of Django Reinhardt, Glenn Gould, Josephine Baker, Yvette Horner, Charles de Gaulleand Fred Astaire, the story focuses on Madame Souza, an elderly Portuguese emigrant woman raising her grandson Champion.
Seeking to pull him out of his funk, she buys the child a
tricycle, and as the years pass he achieves such excellence as a cyclistthat he enters the Tour de France. Unfortunately he and two other riders are kidnapped and brought to a fictional metropolis called Belleville (the inhabitants of Belleville represent caricatured 1950s-era American stereotypes, but the city itself is portrayed between Paris, Montrealand New York City) where a member of the French Mafiaforces them to pedal all day on a bicycle-based gamblingmachine located in the bowels of the Belleville French Wine Center. With the aid of the family dog Bruno, Madame Souza sets off on a paddle boat journey to the city of Belleville. There she meets the Triplettes, now aged and decrepit but still performing, and the four women set out to rescue Madame Souza's grandson.
Chomet admits the influence of the
sitcoms.Fact|date=February 2007 There are also references to the French director Jacques Tati's films "Jour de Fête" and "Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot",Fact|date=May 2007 whose combination of pantomimewith sound effectsis an influence on "The Triplets of Belleville". Citroënvehicles influenced the design of the vehicles in the film: the mobsters' getaway cars are stretched versions of the Citroën 2CV, and the vehicle 'Madame Souza' uses whilst her grandson is in the Tour de France is a Citroën HYvan. 'Madame Souza' also has a near accident with a Citroën DSwhile training Champion in the beginning of the movie.
The film's music is inspired by that of the 1920s, and includes characters reminiscent of
Josephine Baker, Adrienne Glesinger, Fred Astaireand a Django Reinhardt-like character who plays along to the dancing 'Triplettes' as Charles Trenetconducts the band. J.S. Bach's Prelude No.2 from The Well-Tempered Clavier (Book 1), is also featured during the bicycle scene (played by Glenn Gould). The triplets are also reminiscent of the Boswell Sisters.
In the liner notes of the soundtrack CD, Benoît Charest says that his music ideas stemmed from his desire to see if he could make a song using a
refrigerator, a vacuum, and a piece of paper. Indeed, these "instruments" show up in the film and the soundtrack.
The film was nominated for two
Academy Awardsfor Best Animated Feature, making it the first PG-13 animated film to be nominated in that category, and Best Original Song ( Benoît Charestand Sylvain Chomet for the song " Belleville Rendez-vous", sung by Matthieu Chédidin the original version). It also has won the César for Best Film Music, and as a co-production with Canadait won the Genie Award for Best Motion Pictureand the BBC 4 World Cinema Awardin 2004.
List of animated feature films
*imdb title|id=0286244|title=Les Triplettes de Belleville
* [http://www.lestriplettesdebelleville.com/ Official website (French)]
* [http://www.tripletsofbelleville.com/ Official website (Sony-classics)]
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