By William Stevenson
May 07, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
The Triplets of Bellville: © Sony Pictures Classics

From its bravura opening (featuring the zippy Oscar-nominated song ”Belleville Rendez-vous”) to its sweet finale, Sylvain Chomet’s beguiling labor of love The Triplets of Belleville is magnifique. The French director supervised armies of animators in Paris, Brussels, and Montreal over five years to create the most impressive and inventive hand-drawn movie in recent memory. ”Belleville” tells the tale of an implacable cyclist (a tour de force Tour de France sequence is a high point), his devoted grandma, and their devoted dog. And then there’s the swingin’ trio of sassy old crones who make jazz using household appliances and feast on frogs.

EXTRAS An odd music video is a bit too French, but two featurettes offer glimpses of the animation process. Chomet’s accent is so thick, his interviews could use subtitles (which the film doesn’t need, since there’s virtually no dialogue).

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 80 minutes
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