THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE is very imaginative and clever. It opens up with the triplets, three eccentric female music-hall stars from the 1930s, singing their signature song on black and white TV. As they’re singing, several people come on stage to perform, one of whom is an African topless dancer with bananas around her waist. The men in the audience rush on stage to grab the bananas. The TV program falters and we see Grandma Souza and her grandson Champion watching TV. She’s trying to keep him from being bored. She gives him a puppy Bruno, but that does not cure his boredom. She gives him an electric train. Finally, she gives him a tricycle after she sees that he is interested in the famous Tour de France race.
Eventually, their little house is surrounded by the big city, and the elevated metro goes right by Champion’s window. Champion is training for the Tour de France, with his grandmother helping him all the way. During the Tour de France, the French mafia captures Champion. His grandmother follows them by land and sea as Champion is taken to Belleville, where three other cyclists are chained to stationary bicycles for the amusement of mafia gamblers. When they pedal, little metal bicycles race around the track, upon which the gamblers bet. Grandma meets up with the triplets, who have some pretty gross habits, including eating frogs. Together they take on the French mafia, with the help of Bruno the dog.
THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE needs no dialogue and has very little dialogue. It has some very funny sight gags and some very imaginative scenes. It also has some grotesqueries, such as the provocative topless dancer, fat women who sit on their husbands, and some scatological humor. The music at the front of the movie is terrific, and the movie has one of the best trailers ever cut. However, most of the movie has no music, and this is a shame because, even with all the imagination, it needs some background color that music would provide.
If a couple of scatological scenes were removed, the movie would be acceptable for all ages. As it is, MOVIEGUIDE® urges extreme caution for older teenagers and adults.
Please address your comments to:
Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcie Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com
SUMMARY: THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE is a very clever, funny animated movie from France about a grandmother who must save her grandson from the French Mafia, with the help of three eccentric music-hall singers from the 1930s. If a couple of scatological scenes were removed, the movie would be entertaining and acceptable.
(BB, VV, N, A, D) Moral, pro-grandmother, pro-family worldview, with no religious references; no foul language, but some significant scatological humor; lots of action violence, including a man shot in the head, men kidnapped, men in bondage (non-sexual), car crashes, people beaten, and some comical violence such as men rush topless dancer with bananas around her waist in music hall, pratfalls, and man caught in the rump of a fat woman who sat on him; no sex; very provocative topless dancer; smoking; and, drinking.
GENRE: Animated/Comedy/Action Adventure