Screened as part of NZIFF 2004

The Triplets of Belleville 2003

Les Tripletts de Belleville

Directed by Sylvain Chomet

Belgium / Canada / France In French with English subtitles
81 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay

Production design

Evgeni Tomov


Chantal Colibert Brunner


Benoït Charest


Jean-Claude Donda
Michael Robin
Monica Viegas


Cannes (Out of Competition), Edinburgh, Montreal, Toronto 2003


“Sylvain Chomet’s thoroughly delightful animated feature is touching, hilarious and so French you can taste it. It playfully alludes to Jacques Tati, and lightly sports influences from Betty Boop to Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians, but it really is one of the most bracingly original things I have seen for a long time. A young orphan boy, Champion, loves to watch TV, especially broadcasts by a red-hot jazz singing trio, The Triplets of Belleville, who belt out their toe-tapping numbers in the irresistible style of Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club de France. Once grown up, Champion is a Tour de France racer but gets kidnapped en route by sinister mafia types; his gran and his fat, lazy dog Bruno come to Champion’s rescue enlisting the help of the Triplets themselves, now elderly ladies. Triplets has the pungent, gamey quality of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie, but its innocence and charm are less contrived. The animation itself is superbly detailed and vividly eccentric, and as for the story – it’s impossible to tell if it’s a children’s story for adults or an adult’s story for children. Or if it matters. I was beguiled from the first second.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.

“The year’s most ingenious and original animated feature is the gloriously retro The Triplets of Belleville, written and directed by erstwhile comic-book artist Sylvain Chomet… All animation is obsessive; Triplets also manages to seem fresh. It’s nasty but droll, cheerfully grotesque, full of non sequiturs as well as deadpan repetitions, never cute and the opposite of precious.” — J. Hoberman, Village Voice