December 18, 2003

The Triplets of Belleville

It's not often that I'm at a loss for words about how much I like a film, and trust me, the French weirdo brilliance of THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE is well worth liking...a lot. Remember at the Oscars, when SPIRITED AWAY beat out all those other much more popular animated features? TRIPLETS is beating-FINDING-NEMO good (although I don't actually think it will). Even more difficult to explain is what the film is about. The film has no discernable dialogue, but it's far from silent film. It's got a trippy big band soundtrack, loads of crazed sound effects, and more heart and soul than most live-action works I've seen this year. Here's as much of the story as I'm willing to share. An old woman named Madame Souza has a grandson who begins live as a fat little wimp. She also has a droopy pooch named Bruno. By the time the grandson is an adult, he's whipped himself up into top shape and is racing in the Tour de France. He's actually kidnapped during the bike race, and Madame Souza, Bruno, and an aged singing trio--the Belleville Sisters--set out to rescue him. Okay, so it's not necessarily the story that's going to convince you to see this amazing movie. The truth is I was most drawn in by the animation style. I've never seen anything as innovative and fanciful. Far from traditional Disney-style drawings and not much like the ever-popular Japanese style, TRIPLETS may have actually invented a style or at least adapted on that has never been used for animation before. There's a bit of computer-generated stuff, but mostly it's free-hand wonderment. I'm going to advise you to just take my word on this one, even those of you who don't typically like animated films. This isn't your great-grandparents animation for sure, but I bet they'd like it too. It opens on Christmas day.

Posted by sprokopy at 02:28 PM