The Triplets Of Bellville


Directed by: Sylvain Chomet
Written by:Sylvain Chomet
Starring: Betty Bonifassi, Lina Boudreault, Mari-Lou Gauthier
Released: May 13, 2004
Grade: A-

At this year’s Academy Awards, the nominees for best animated feature were Brother Bear, Finding Nemo and The Triplets Of Bellville.  Most hadn’t even heard of the third nominee and a French song from the film was performed during the Oscar ceremony (for which it was also nominated), one friend sent me a text message to the effect of “what the f***”.

Les Triplettes De Bellville premiered at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival and the buzz has since filtered around the world.  Disney and Pixar currently dominate the animated market and I don’t see this film acting as a threat.  There’s a lot to like about Brother Bear and Finding Nemo but there’s a familiarity and predictability about what to expect.  The Triplets Of Bellville turns the animated genre upside down with its crazy visuals and unique approach.

Don’t expect any dialogue.  After a big musical opening, all you’ll hear is music and a few mumblings.  This may seem strange but trust me, you won’t want to look away from the screen.  There’s some strange happening in Bellville and the challenge of understanding it only adds to the film’s value.

The story revolves around a professional cyclist who is kidnapped by the mafia so his mother and loyal dog go in search for him.  It doesn’t sound enticing on paper but if you catch a glimpse of the film or view the trailer on the internet, you’ll see how much more there is on show.

Of the ensemble, the funniest has to be a smiling French waiter at restaurant.  Another nice touch are the many different dishes the triplets craft from frogs.  As I’ve said many a time before, it’s always more exciting watching films when you don’t know where they’re going.  Here’s another example and in my eyes, it exceeds Finding Nemo (which did win the Oscar) as the best animated feature of the past twelve months.