Writer/director Sylvain Chomet
uses animation to tell the fanciful tale of Champion, a lonely little
boy who is never happier than on a bicycle. His grandmother, Madame Souza,
puts him through a rigorous training process and soon the boy enters the
world-famous Tour de France. When two mysterious men kidnap Champion during
the tour, Madame Souza and her dog Bruno set out to rescue him. Their
long journey leads to the renowned "Triplets of Belleville,"
three eccentric female music-hall stars from the '30s who agree to help
recover the boy.
"When I was a kid, I devoured magazines like Tintin and
I started drawing very early. My parents have told me that I asked
for a pencil when I was two years old, to draw our TV set and the
Juanita Banana figure (from the song by Henri Salvador) that
sat on top of it. From then on, whenever I was asked what I wanted
to be when I grew up, I said, 'CARTOONIST.'
The Triplets of Belleville is based on
mime and on the interplay between the characters. I'm more influenced
by a realistic view than by animation. By Tati's films, of course,
but also those of the masters of silent film: Chaplin, Keaton. That's
why I really like Louis De Funès and all of the English comic
school that you see in series like Absolutely Fabulous or
Black Adder with Rowan Atkinson. I also like the animated
work of Richard Williams and Tex Avery. In comic strips, Goossens
is also a master of timing."
—By Sylvain Comet,
writer/director of The
Triplets of Belleville