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The Triplets of Belleville

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Sylvain Chomet’s The Triplets of Belleville is somewhat of a trippy little flick, pardon the pun. With very little dialogue, but an arresting soundtrack of Frenchified jazz sounds, this film will captivate you and your child. (You can watch again later in a wine-induced haze, and wax poetic about the multiple meanings and layers behind the film).

The Triplets of Belleville follows a melancholic little boy, Champion, who grows up to become a champion cycler in the Tour De France. Sounds inspirational? It’s not. He is kidnapped by gangsters and it is up to his grandmother, his dog, and the titular Triplets to mount a rescue. The film is never sappy or overemotional, most likely because there are no silly scenes of taut conversation. Instead, the filmmaker focuses your attention with retro-inspired animation, which is truly stunning, and an amazing soundtrack written by the director along with Benoit Charest (Quebecer, naturally). How to describe this film? It’s impossible. William Morris, the artist, wrote this: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” This film is extraordinarily beautiful, and thus, a useful way to teach your children about film. (Especially if you’ve recently been to the multiplex. One word: dreck!!)

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