Indie-Mation Club Week 1: ‘Triplets of Belleville’ Review
An excerpt from the full review:
Older women are a rare protagonist, and not just in animation; strong and capable grandmothers even more so. But Triplets of Belleville is its own kind of rare film. Following Madame Souza’s quest to find her grandson Champion, a bicyclist kidnapped by the French Mafia, Sylvain Chomet’s debut feature film has quiet simplicity that may seem unusual to most American audiences.
Beginning with a black-and-white television program featuring the Triplets of Belleville and several caricatured but real-life stars of the time, we meet Madame Souza and her young grandson Champion. After the unspecified death of his parents, young Champion lives with Madame Souza, who tries to find the quiet young boy’s interests, eventually even getting him a dog, Bruno, but to no avail. That is, until she finds a scrapbook all about bicycling; the young boy gets a tricycle and the grown man has a bicycling regime leading him to the Tour du France. Oui oui! But the French Mafia lie in wait. Sacre bleu! Champion and two other cyclists are kidnapped from the race, and Madame Souza does her best to follow their trail – to the bustling metropolis of Belleville…