Friday, 6 March 2015

Review: The Triplets of Belleville

'Belleville Rendezvouz’ (or more commonly known as ‘The Triplets of Belleville’) was created and directed by Sylvian Chomet in 2003. Chomet is a French born animator and director with a specific signature element in each animation. His previous work ‘The Old Lady and the Pigeon’ (1997) is a fun and slightly dark tale but it involves overweight tourists and extremely exaggerated characters. This is seen again in ‘The Triplets of Belleville’ where the obese tourists litter the streets and cyclists with ‘coat hanger’ bodies and bulky legs, there isn’t an in between body frame. Having said that Chomet has also captured a French flair within his work, the cobbled European streets, the many cyclists, the Tour de France takes place and the way some particular characters are animated. Also included in the animation was French born Michel Robin who has been an actor in over 165 credits.
‘The Triplets of Belleville’ is an almost silent story of a Grandmother and Grandson who live together in a tall narrow house. The Grandson dreams of partaking in the Tour De France and does so but is kidnapped by an illegal team of individuals. The Grandmother and the pet dog set out to rescue him with a helping hand from elderly triplets who used to sing and dance in theatre.
The animation highlights how we read the characters as real people and how we can identify and relate them to something .i.e. the exaggerated tourists and cyclists. It also elevates the illegal underground systems that are purely there for money making even if it means putting individuals under extreme conditions. Lastly, ‘The Triplets of Belleville’ didn’t have much of a script, almost purely visual, we are able to still understand the whole story without it being told by lines or narration. The use of almost no script was achieved successfully it was a method that forced you to take in and watch the animation, you’re not allowed to relax completely because you have to watch each frame to understand it all. It was also a beneficial way of exhibiting the character designs. The animation within the production was very effective and almost theatrical like with comic flair. The French waiter in particular, stereotypically we may think of someone who bows after serving a customer and doesn’t walk anywhere but scurries instead. This waiter did exactly that but to another level where he served customers almost upside down but he still held the snobby smug grin that we all expect.

Based on all the elements in this production, the animation, character design and plot it ticks everything. I would recommend it for somebody who is interested in seeing animation demonstrated in a different light.

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