The Triplets of Belleville – A 2D Animated Masterpiece

July 29, 2006 · Filed Under Animation Award Winners, Theatrical Animation 

It’s time to return to an animation style that pleases the dimpled team. While talking about Disney is necessary since they’re the big dog, their animation style is not pleasing to us. We prefer less predictible and more interesting 2D animation story-telling. Our favorite animated theatrical feature in the modern era is “The Triplets of Belleville“. It is simply spectacular. The dog, Bruno, in “Triplets” is one of the greatest animated characters in all of animation history. This is not hyperbole. There’s not one false twitch in Bruno in the entire movie. Never before has a canine character been so believably animated. Bruno was brilliant. This is a list of the awards won by “Triplets”:

2004 Academy Award Nominee – Best Animated Feature Film, Best Song
2003 Telluride Film Festival
2003 Toronto International Film Festival
2003 Boston Film Festival
2003 Chicago International Film Festival
2003 AFI Film Festival

“Triplets” is the brainchild of Sylvain Chomet. It took five years for Chomet and his team to complete “Triplets”. From a BBC interview on the objective of the movie:

I wanted to do things in animation that hadn’t been done before. It’s a very rigid medium in what people think it should be. It’s always got to be for kids. It should bring good feelings, have bad guys and good guys, and end with a moral. But this means there are lots of subjects and things you can’t show, like someone smoking a cigarette for example. With “Belleville”, the aim was to go against that, and do something that wasn’t aimed at kids. It’s great that kids can enjoy the film, but it freed us up to go in directions that the animated movie hasn’t gone in before.

He succeeded in creating a masterpiece. In the same interview, Chomet comments on the use of CGI animation:

It was mainly to get rid of all the boring stuff. Objects, for example, always take a very long time to animate because they don’t change as they move. We used CGI for the cars, the bicycles, the boats and the trains, and it meant the animators had more time for enjoyable elements like the character acting.

This is exactly how CGI should be used. CGI is for the “boring stuff’.

“The Triplets of Belleville” is widely available on DVD. It should be part of every animation lover’s video library. Watch “Cars” and then watch “Triplets”. It’s a world of difference. “Cars” comes across like a soda cracker and water. “The Triplets of Bellville” is a feast.

[tags]Triplets of Bellville, 2D animation, Sylvain Chomet[/tags]



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