movie film review | chris tookey

Belleville Rendez-Vous/ Les Triplettes de Belleville

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  Belleville Rendez-Vous/ Les Triplettes de Belleville Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
8.75 /10
Voices: Jean-Claude Donda, Michel Robin, Monica Viegas

Directed by: Sylvain Chomet
Written by: Sylvain Chomet

Released: 2003
Origin: France/ Canada/ Belgium
Colour: C
Length: 80

An orphan called Champion lives with his grandmother, Madame Souza, and a dog, Bruno, The boy receives a shiny new tricycle and is coached by his grandmother (somewhat unconventionally) for the gruelling Tour de France, but he's kidnapped by French gangsters in mid-race Madame and Bruno follow Champion across the Atlantic...
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Just as Disney's Michael Eisner and DreamWorks's Jeffrey Katzenberg seem to be writing off the cartoon in favour of 3-dimensional computer animation, such as Shrek and Finding Nemo, along come two cartons that prove there's life in the old genre yet.

Last year's animated Oscar-winner Spirited Away probably has more general appeal, but Belleville Rendez-Vous is no less original. It looks a stronger contender for next year's Oscar than any cartoon that's scheduled to come out of Hollywood this year.

The film offers a dog's-eye view of the world that's enjoyably quirky, constantly surprising and very French. Some may not appreciate its satire on the French obsession with cycling. Others may find it a little too self-consciously grotesque, and certainly it raises more smiles than laughs.

But this is a charmingly different cartoon, drawn in a defiantly un-Disneyfied style that owes something to Britainís own Ronald Searle, the newspaper cartoonist Giles, and perhaps even Wallace and Gromit.

Adults will appreciate it at least as much as children - probably more. And anyone with an interest in traditional animation will find new inspiration to go back to the drawing-board.

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