Monday, 9 April 2018

Premise Films Reviews - Belleville Rendez-Vous.

Belleville Rendez-Vous also was known as the Triplets of Belleville is a French animated film directed and wrote by Sylvain Chomet. The film’s narrative is about an elderly grandmother caring for her young grandson, she would do anything to help him and make him happy, she has looked after him since his parent left. After a while she sees that he is lonely, she tries cheering him up with a piano however it doesn’t go to plan so she gets him a puppy. For a while it works, and he is happy, although he quickly goes back to being sad but not quite alone. She does not give up and soon learns that her grandson has an interest in cycling and decides to buy him a tricycle and over the years he becomes a professional cyclist, giving him the chance to enter the Tour De France. he gets kidnapped by the French Mafia leading the rest of the story with the grandmother trying desperately to get him back safe and sound.  

Figure 1 - Tour De France scene 

Sylvain Chomet is an Artist, Animator, Director and Writer who was born in Yvelines, Île-de-France November 10, 1963, 25 years later he moved to London to be an animator, he first started out at the  Richard Purdum Studios. As well as being an animator he also created some comic books to further his career, his first animated film was called The Old Lady and the Pigeons (1996) receiving a BAFTA and an Oscar nomination. This leads him to make the film Belleville Rendez-Vous (2003), during his career his animations, in particular, the Belleville Rendez-Vous (2003) have been known to some critics as “Sylvain Chomet, the writer and director, has created an animated feature of appalling originality and scary charm. It's one of those movies where you keep banging your fist against your head to stop yourself from using the word meets, as in Monsieur Hulot meets Tim Burton” (Ebert, 2003).

Chomet gives two types of animation to this film, the first being rubber hose animation which is used to represent a flashback demonstrated in figure 2, this gives the audience a senesce of nostalgia of the old animation such as Betty Boop (1920), Popeye (1933) and Disney’s Steam Boat Willy (1928). As for the rest of the film, it is in a detailed watercolour style seen in figure 3, this art style is also seen in the works of Don Griffith a Disney layout artist who worked on the Aristocats (1970), 101 Dalmatians (1961) and Jungle Book (1967). In this film, Chomet uses the traditional cell animation techniques, in his own words "drawing that interests me. 3D terrifies me. The idea that, in plasticine, one of your characters might melt, or that you might have to start all over again from scratch because you've knocked against the edge of the table that's not for me. Computer 3D doesn't interest me " (Chomet, 2003) to this day Chomet still uses the traditional cell animation techniques in every film.

Figure 2 - flashback scene 

Figure 3 - a view of the city 

 The film had a budget of $9,500,000 and managed to gross over  $7,002,255 although not quit gaining all of the money the spent making it it was still success among some people and critics, some thought that the film was great and this critic stated that this is “A wonderfully weird bit of French animation that amounts to little but a celebration of its creator's bountiful imagination, yet manages to enthrall because writer-director Sylvain Chomet is such a solid visual storyteller.” (Nuckols, 2004). The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, one for Best Animated Feature, being the first animated film to be nominated in that category, and two for Best Original Song the Benoît Charest and Sylvain Chomet for the song "Belleville Rendez-vous", sung by Matthieu Chedid. The film lost the Best Animated Feature award to Finding Nemo, however  It also won the following awards the César for Best Film Music, co-production with Canada it, the Genie Award for Best Motion Picture and the BBC Four World Cinema Award. Belleville Rendez-Vous (2003) continues to be a delight to watch and is a great example of traditional cell animation.

Figure 4 - Restaurant scene 


  • Ebert, R. (2018). The Triplets of Belleville Movie Review (2003) | Roger Ebert. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Apr. 2018].

  • Moins, P. (2003). Sylvain Chomet’s 'The Triplets of Belleville'. [online] Animation World Network. Available at: [Accessed 9 Apr. 2018].

  • Nuckols, B. (2004). Animated 'Triplets' not just for kids. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Apr. 2018].

Illustration List:

  • Belleville Rendez-Vous. (2003). [film] Directed by S. Chomet. France, the United States and Russia: Sony Pictures Classics. Figure 1, 2, 3 and 4 

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