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The Triplets of Belleville

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The Triplets of Belleville
The film post features several characters riding bikes with information about the film surrounding them
French theatrical release poster
FrenchLes Triplettes de Belleville
Directed bySylvain Chomet
Written bySylvain Chomet
Produced by
Edited by
  • Dominique Brune
  • Chantal Colibert Brunner
  • Dominique Lefever
Music byBen Charest
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 18 May 2003 (2003-05-18) (Cannes)
  • 11 June 2003 (2003-06-11) (France)
  • 25 June 2003 (2003-06-25) (Belgium)
  • 29 August 2003 (2003-08-29) (United Kingdom)
Running time
78 minutes
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • French
  • English
  • Portuguese
Budget$9.5 million[2]
Box office$14.8 million[3]

The Triplets of Belleville (French: Les Triplettes de Belleville) is a 2003 animated comedy film written and directed by Sylvain Chomet.[4] It was released as Belleville Rendez-vous in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The film is Chomet's first feature film and was an international co-production among companies in France, Belgium, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The film features the voices of Lina Boudreault, Mari-Lou Gauthier, Michèle Caucheteux, Jean-Claude Donda, Michel Robin, and Monica Viegas. There is little dialogue; much of the narrative is conveyed through song and pantomime. It tells the story of Madame Souza, an elderly woman who goes on a quest to rescue her grandson Champion, a Tour de France cyclist, who has been kidnapped by the French mafia for gambling purposes and taken to the city of Belleville (an amalgam of Paris, New York City, Montreal and Quebec City[5]). She is accompanied by Champion's loyal and obese hound, Bruno, and joined by the Triplets of Belleville, music hall singers from the 1930s, whom she meets in the city.

The film was highly praised by audiences and critics for its unique style of animation and has since gained a cult following.[6] The film was nominated for two Academy AwardsBest Animated Feature and Best Original Song for "Belleville Rendez-vous". It was also screened out of competition (hors concours) at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.[7]



In France, Madame Souza is raising her grandson Champion, a melancholy orphan. They watch an old variety show on television featuring a trio of singers, the Triplets of Belleville (Rose, Blanche, and Violette). When the program is interrupted, Souza asks Champion if the "film" is finished. The listless Champion does not reply and instead changes the channel to a piano concert. Souza, seeing Champion's interest in the music, pulls out an old piano and tries to amuse him, but Champion remains indifferent. She deduces that Champion is lonely and buys him a dog, Bruno. Neither Bruno nor an electric train set succeed in lifting Champion's spirits, and the dog has no interests apart from eating, sleeping, and barking at trains.

While tidying Champion's room, Souza discovers a book filled with photos of cyclists. She buys Champion a tricycle, and he becomes an obsessive cyclist. Some years later he is competing in the Tour de France, when he is kidnapped by a pair of mobsters in a Citroën Van. They take him and two other contestants across the Atlantic, Souza pursuing them on a pedalo.

Arriving in the United States penniless and hungry, Souza and the obese Bruno are adopted by the Triplets of Belleville, now elderly, and taken to their seedy apartment. When dinner is finally served, it consists of frog soup and frog stew, with tadpoles for dessert, collected by Violette using "expanding bait". Souza joins their band, playing bicycle spokes like a dulcimer, to their refrigerator-shelf harp, newspaper percussion and vacuum-cleaner bagpipe. During the show, Souza spots the kidnappers. With the help of the Triplets, Souza rescues the cyclists, who had been forced to pedal-power a gambling machine, and escape on the pedaling frame, pursued by the mobsters in Citroën sedans.

In a flashforward, an older Champion watches the TV again showing their adventure when they are leaving the city and remembers Souza asking once more if the film is finished. Champion turns to the empty bench next to him and says "It's over, Grandma".

In a humorous post-credits scene, the boatman who rented Souza the pedalo is seen patiently waiting for his vessel to return.





Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 94% of 150 surveyed critics gave it a positive review, and the average rating was 8.2/10; the consensus reads: "Richly detailed and loaded with surreal touches, The Triplets of Belleville is an odd, delightful charmer."[8] Metacritic, which assigns a normalized score, rated it 91/100 based on 35 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[9]

Awards and nominations


The film was nominated for two Academy Awards: for Best Animated Feature, making it the first PG-13 animated film to be nominated in that category; and for Best Original Song (Benoît Charest and Sylvain Chomet for the song "Belleville Rendez-vous", sung by Matthieu Chedid in the original version). The film lost the Best Animated Feature award to Finding Nemo. It also won the César for Best Film Music,[10] and as a co-production with Canada it won the Genie Award for Best Motion Picture[11] and the BBC Four World Cinema Award in 2004.[12]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients Result
Academy Awards February 29, 2004 Best Animated Feature Sylvain Chomet Nominated
Best Original Song Benoît Charest (music) & Sylvain Chomet (lyrics) (for Belleville Rendez-vous) Nominated
Annie Awards February 7, 2004 Best Animated Feature The Triplets of Belleville Nominated
Outstanding Achievement for Directing in a Feature Production Sylvain Chomet Nominated
Outstanding Achievement for Writing in a Feature Production Nominated
Critics Choice Awards January 10, 2004 Best Animated Feature Sylvain Chomet Nominated
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards January 7, 2004 Best Animated Film Sylvain Chomet Won
Best Music Benoît Charest Won
New York Film Critics Circle January 11, 2004 Best Animated Film The Triplets of Belleville Won
Online Film Critics Society Awards January 5, 2004 Best Animated Film Sylvain Chomet Nominated
Best Foreign Language Film The Triplets of Belleville Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards December 18, 2003 Best Animated Film The Triplets of Belleville Won
Satellite Awards February 21, 2004 Best Animated or Mixed Media Film The Triplets of Belleville Won
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards December 16, 2004 Best Animated Film The Triplets of Belleville Won
Best Canadian Film Won

See also



  1. ^ a b "Beleville Rendez-vous (2002)". UniFrance. Archived from the original on 28 August 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  2. ^ Grey, Tobias (19 January 2003). "New Gaul draw: France toons up". Variety. Archived from the original on 20 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  3. ^ "The Triplets of Belleville". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 4 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Best Indie Animated Movies of All Time|Collider". Collider. 19 November 2021. Archived from the original on 16 December 2022. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  5. ^ Curiel, Jonathan (29 December 2003). "For caricaturist Chomet, creator of 'Triplets of Belleville,' it's a long way from Disney". SFGate. Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  6. ^ "22 Animated Cult Classics Worth Checking Out - MovieWeb". 11 January 2023. Archived from the original on 12 January 2023. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  7. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Triplets of Belleville". festival-cannes.com. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  8. ^ "The Triplets of Belleville (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on 19 March 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  9. ^ "The Triplets of Belleville". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 5 October 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  10. ^ James, Alison (17 February 2004). "Lumiere Awards puts spotlight on 'Triplets'". Variety. Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  11. ^ Tillson, Tamsen (31 March 2005). "Genies toon in 'Triplets'". Variety. Archived from the original on 1 October 2018. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  12. ^ "BBC Four delivers crown to 'Triplets'". Variety. 25 January 2004. Archived from the original on 2 October 2018. Retrieved 19 April 2014.