The Triplets of Belleville
by Daniel Lizzama
Words cannot capture the delights of The Triplets of Belleville, an astonishing animated movie from the mind of French director Sylvain Chomet. In fact, there are only a few spoken sentences in the entire film; most of the soundtrack is a mix of squeaks, barks, and the jazzy music of Benoit Charest. A bicyclist is kidnapped from the Tour de France by mysterious gangsters; his grandmother travels to the city of Belleville (which has a sardonic version of the Statue of Liberty in its harbor), where she tracks him down with the help of a musical trio gone to seed, the Belleville Triplets. This hand-drawn movie is unlike anything you'll see from Disney; every scene mixes the silent comedy of Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton--in which the world of objects subtly fights with living beings for mastery--and the bouncy hop of Betty Boop.