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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Silent Triumph
Words almost fail me to describe this movie. It has scarcely any dialogue, but the hand drawing is so exquisite that you don't miss it at all. With just a look, or a movement, the characters portray so much that words become superfluous. The resigned desperation of the cyclists, the determination of Grandma, and those irrepressible Triplets, all expertly drawn to...
Published on 17 Jun 2004 by Amanda Richards

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A well animated story
The first scene with the triplets performing in their early days is superb. The rest of the film is not as good as the opening scene, but it is still a very well told story with great stylistic images and few words.
Published on 24 May 2012 by Marcus Oakland


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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Silent Triumph, 17 Jun 2004
By 
Amanda Richards "Hotpurplekoolaid" (ECD, Guyana) - See all my reviews
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Words almost fail me to describe this movie. It has scarcely any dialogue, but the hand drawing is so exquisite that you don't miss it at all. With just a look, or a movement, the characters portray so much that words become superfluous. The resigned desperation of the cyclists, the determination of Grandma, and those irrepressible Triplets, all expertly drawn to graphically convey every nuance.
There's humor to be found in every frame, the characters are caricatures of caricatures, and the imagery is breathtaking. This is one of those movies that you can watch over and over again, and find something new each time. The music and sound effects also contribute to an overall excellent movie.
It's sad, it's funny, it's moving. The Triplets of Belleville brings a new maturity to cartoons.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why you should watch The Belleville Rendez-vous today!, 29 Dec 2004
By A Customer
I truly cannot speak highly enough of this wonderful little animated film.
Set in France in the early 20th century, it tells the story of Champion, a young chubby-cheeked boy who is sent to live with his grandmother after the death of his parents. After trying a variety of techniques to cajoule a smile out of her grandson, she eventually decides that a bicycle may be the answer... her intuition pays off and, after many late-night, rainy bike rides among the steep inclines of the town's hills, Champion begins to live up to his name.
This is where the film really begins to get going. Shady mafiosa-types carry out a daring kidnap of Champion and two of his opponents mid-race. Their tired bodies are then led to a dark underground lair and the trio's cycling talents are used for gambling purposes.
Meanwhile, Champion's Grandmother embarks on an epic trail across deadly seas and through an even more dangerous New York City in an attempt to track her boy down. She has help along the way from three once-famous singing sisters who are now a little down on their luck. Their heroic efforts eventually result in an unlikely end to the tale.
The animation in this feature was truly Oscar-worthy. While some of the recent Disney/Dreamworks pictures have been very special, The Belleville Rendez-vous is in a different league. The animation is wonderfully dark and all of the characters are deliberately exaggerated caricatures - particularly the marvellous dog; the scenes involving his interest in trains are hilarious.
Overall, the film feels as if it was from a different age... one where the emphasis was on imagination and originality rather than cheap laughs and colourful fish. A must-see film for anybody looking for something with a little difference and panache.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 28 Dec 2003
By 
MR PAUL A HOLMES (London, UK United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This is something that has your eyes wide open, childlike, from beginning to end. It shares it's charm with Nick Park's Creature Comforts but unlike our plasticine friends' Belleville Rendezvous inhabits a slight darker world.
Like Ardman, it chooses to make a charicature of it's host nation, but then goes some. France is both quaint and tiresome through the eyes of the director, but more viciously, America is a grotesque nightmare.
Whilst the politicking will keep the intellectuals amused, the real fun is the adventure. And what an adventure it is. Dog lovers will love Bruno, and just plain humans will love everything else.
If there is a genre, and a tradition, this film adheres to it with a final chase scene that is brilliantly absurd. Disney doesn't make this stuff. Because it can't. It's not allowed. And for that we really all should be thankful. See it, whether you are nine or ninety - it's a masterpiece.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 12 Jun 2004
When I shove this DVD under peoples noses a lot of them either look at me funnily due to the fact that it is ,and I quote, a "cartoon", or give me the excuse that it is "not their thing".
I bought this film without reading any reviews, or even having any ideas about the plot (not that it's possible to describe the plot). All I knew was that it was french. And we all know what the french are like. So the very first time I watched it, I didnt know what to expect. I have to say.. by the end of the feature.... I was breathless. Amazing is not praise enough to sum up this film. It's absolutely brilliant. I have seen nothing like it before. I love the way the plot unfolds bit by bit (differently to how it does in other films). And even though there's no speech through the film (aside from the singing and a few one liners from minor characters) you can learn a lot about the characters. How can you not fall in love with the impeccably captured Bruno the dog or the determined, lazy eyed Souza and of course the fantasticaly intruiging Belleville triplets themselves.
The music scenes are my favourite, and inspired me to get the CD soundtrack too. Especially Souza on the piano...well.... maybe not. But anyway this is an absolute masterpiece of modern cinema and hopefully it'll be followed up by other original pieces in the near future. The subtle humour and the small observations are probably what makes this film work so well. Who doesnt love the fact that the americans are all large?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Belleville Rendez-Vous, 2 Aug 2009
By 
B. Wright (Gloucester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a charming film, full of wit and humour. Set in France, it tells the story of a boy called Champion who wishes to compete in the Tour de France. Living with his grandmother after the death of his parents, he is encouraged and driven on by her, cycling miles every day to reach his goal. There is a dark humour throughout; as Champion and several other cyclists are kidnapped by mafia-type gangsters and taken to New York, his grandmother sets out on a journey to find him and bring him back to France.

This story is told without any of the characters speaking; essentially it is a 'silent' film, with the audience shown the story. The animation is absolutely fantastic though, as it focuses on the more grotesque things in life. The characters are lovingly rendered, all becoming caricatures of real life, from the gangsters (who all look like tombstones!) to Champion's grandmother and the triplets of Belleville. Champion's dog is especially touching with his love of trains and the melancholy gait as he traipses around the house. It is full of sound and music too: one particular scene has the triplets singing in a 1940s style close harmony group, using only 'found' items such as their fridge shelves and pots to create a musical backing.

The film is wonderfully dark and brooding, with the cities and the characters all larger than life. The animation is some of the best I have seen, and the use of music throughout is well judged. It feels like the film is from a different era, echoing the triplet's 1940's style music. It is well worth adding to your collection if you particularly like animated films or French cinema.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A deserving proze winner, 17 Aug 2004
By 
A. Skudder (Crawley, West Sussex) - See all my reviews
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This is a cartoon film as entertaining as any of the recent Disney films: this is animation as art, the way Disney has not really managed since Fantasia or Snow White.
The comparison might seem a bit unlikely, but to me this is similar to the original Ren & Stimpy cartoons, the ones drawn by John Kricfalusi (whose name I have probably spelled wrong) because the backgrounds are all beautifully painted, and rich with detail, while the characters are not just caricatures but in many cases true grotesques - like the waiter in the hotel who fawns so far backwards and forwards that his head is always upside-down, or the mafia henchmen whose bodies are completely oblong. If you doubt the Ren & Stimpy comparison, just look at the frog-eating scene in Belleville and see if that is not as gross as anything Ren & Stimpy did!
I am still amazed that one film can be beautiful and ugly, slapstick and subtle, amusing and melancholy, and at the end of it you are still humming that Belleville song.
Talking of which, there are not many extras on the DVD, but one is the music video of the theme song, featuring some French singer I have not heard of. He has himself inserted into bits of the film and it all works rather well, not to mention that it it gives you another chance to enjoy the tune.
I am not normally into cartoons, but have to give this one full marks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magnifique - pure and simple., 17 Feb 2011
By 
Terry Bee (Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
It's amazing what you can do with a few pencils and a colouring set. Who needs 3D when the brain delivers for you? This is one of the finest animated films you're likely to come across and I would recommend it to all, eight years old to eighty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belleville rendez-vous, 2 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Belleville Rendezvous [VHS] [2003] (VHS Tape)
Pure genius ! A cartoon for adults - MOST brilliant - Something REALLY different ! cynical yet totally charming, enthralling, riveting, true to the deep boredom of French province life and all unspoken feelings - Sensational music track, no dialogue but speaks volumes. Perhaps you have to be French to taste the whole flavour.... I am ! Highly recommended, certainly NOT middle of the road, pure work of Art in everyway , go on, treat yourself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful film, 17 Feb 2004
This is just one of the best-looking animations I have ever seen. The attention to detail is superb. The animation of the cyclists making their way slowly up the mountainside had me in absolute awe of Sylvain Chomet, and then he tops it with a Citroen 2CV car chase!
This is what animation should be like. The almost total lack of dialogue is forgotten completely as you stay transfixed to the screen.
I love this movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best buy!, 14 Feb 2011
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Great film, each time I watch it I understand it more and more (because it's a silent film). Would recommend to anyone
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Belleville Rendezvous [VHS] [2003]
Belleville Rendezvous [VHS] [2003] by Sylvain Chomet (VHS Tape - 2004)
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