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Genre: Animation
Starring (Voices): Michel Robin, Monica Viegas, Lina Boudreau, Béatrice Bonifassi, Charles Linton
Director: Sylvain Chomet
Rating: NC-16 (Some Nudity)
Year Made: 2003




- Making of "The Triplets of Belleville"
- Music Video
- Trailer



Languages: English
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 21 mins
Region Code: PAL 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment
Official Website:




Kidnapped by mysterious, square-shouldered henchmen, a Tour de France cyclist named Champion is spirited across the ocean to the teeming metropolis of Belleville. His grandmother and faithful dog follow his trail and are taken in by trio of eccentric jazz-era divas The motley sleuths follow the clues to an underground betting parlor and now the chase is on!


The year was 2004. When the nominations for the 76th Academy Awards were announced, we were surprised to see Sylvain Chomet’s little-known film (at least during that time) being nominated in two categories, Best Original Song and Best Animated Feature. What? A French animated movie against the Hollywood bigwigs? Who would have thought that it would happen? You have to watch this to believe what an odd piece of gem this is.

The 78-minute movie tells the tale of a boy who gets kidnapped when he competes in the Tour de France. His grandmother and his beloved dog travels the country to save the boy, and along the way, they meet the Belleville Sisters, three loony old women who make up a bizarre but mean jazz combo.

Trust the Frenchmen’s imagination to come up with a quirky film like this. There is hardly any dialogue throughout the feature, but everything is so wonderfully put together in the visual medium that you have to experience it yourself. The characters’ odd shapes complement the nicely blended traditional hand drawn and modern computer generated backgrounds. The pointed noses, the slit eyes, the big ears, the boxy faces – these are not images you’d expect from a conventional animated movie.

The music is another attraction of the movie. There are peculiarly idiosyncratic moments when the Belleville sisters break into a music montage with items like the refrigerator and the vacuum cleaner. It’s almost like watching a “live” performance where you’d applause in glee after the show. The tune nominated for Best Original Song "Belleville Rendez-vous" is a tune that will ring repeatedly in your mind long after the movie.

The movie is artistic without being alienating. Everything in the film looks like a fine piece of art, yet the engaging pace of the hilarious movie makes you pay attention to every detail of every scene. Strange and out of this world moments will also have you sit up in awe. The Belleville sisters going to the swamps to catch frogs to have them for meals? A mafia gang which forced cyclists to pedal all day on a bicycle-based gambling machine? These are just some of the weird but rip roaring things you’d see in the movie.

While this movie never made it commercially to our cinemas, it’s something every animation feature fan, or any film fan, would want to watch to experience the magic of cinema.


This Code 3 DVD contains a 16-minute “Making of Featurette” where the director talks about Paris, Montreal and New York City being the inspiration for Belleville’s unique look. He also talks about the use of classical music in certain scenes. Pardon the French accent though – this clip does not come with subtitles and one interviewee spoke in French, which we did not understand a word of. There is also a “Music Video” of the Oscar-nominated "Belleville Rendez-vous" and a “Trailer” for the movie.


The visual transfer of the movie is pristine, and it is presented in its original French audio soundtrack in either Dolby Digital 5.2 or Dolby Stereo 2.0.



Review by John Li


Other titles from Origin Entertainment:

. Across The Universe

. The Jane Austen Book Club

. CJ7

. The Ten Commandments

. Living Death

. La Vie En Rose

. Urban Justice

. Perfect Stranger

. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

. Reign Over Me

. Surf's Up

. 5ivegirls

. Vacancy

. Paprika

. Walking Tall: Lone Justice

. Dead Mary

. Spider-Man 3

. Priceless

. Trust the Man

. The Contractor

. Blood And Chocolate

. The Wicker Man

. Wind Chill

. Are We Done Yet?

. Android Apocalypse

. Elizabeth I

. The Proposition

. 3 Needles

. Ghost Rider

. The Pursuit of Happyness

. The Illusionist

. Catch & Release


This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


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