Watched The Triplets of Belleville with Amy tonight (see trailer). Refreshing to see animation that impresses not because of technical sophistication or by breaking any particular ground, but because of pure inventiveness — even though most of the film feels like it could have been drawn in the early 60s, the animators make choices that are impossible to justify even within the film’s own universe — such as the gorgeous and eerie, Giaocametti-tall ocean liners Mrs. Souza and her dog chase across the sea in a paddle boat. Likewise, the simple plot is peppered with such bizarre scenarios — picture three musical biddies who subsist on a diet of dynamited frogs navigating a steel ship of bicycles and a projector through a vision of paris where buildings have giant wine bottles built in, and you’ll start to get a picture of the imagination factor here. Unlike anything I’ve ever seen, but not just “weird” — it’s charming and truly beautiful.
Had read months ago about Destino – the 1946 collaboration between Salvadore Dali and Walt Disney, but never imagined I’d get to see it on the big screen. But we were lucky – Destino screened just before Triplets; perfect pairing. Much of it was exactly what you would expect from these two forces — the best parts were greater than the sum.
Image above snapped with phonecam during Triplets — this is why the Rolling Stones are cracking down on cell phone use at concerts – copyright grey area is simple and instantaneous.
6 Replies to “Triplets, Destino”
Triplets is a fabulous movie. The whole world looked different when I walked out of the theater after that flick. I especially loved the dog’s dreams… beautiful, surreal, a bit unsettling, and to my mind entirely convincing. I have no proof, but I’m absolutely sure that dogs have dreams like that!
Perhaps the bizareness and pseudo-surrealism of Triplets comes from the fact that it’s mostly a Belgian movie. We (the Belgians) always had a thing with surrealism (Magritte anyone?), especially in literature (where it’s mostly called “Magic Realism”) and its sibling, comic books (TinTin and the Smurfs are pretty surreal sometimes).
One of the technical merits of Triplets, is that you can hardly notice that a lot of it is actually 3D CGI.
Hey Guy –
I didn’t realize that much of Triplets was CGI either, until some of the lapping water scenes, which seemed to come from a different animation cosmology.
Magic Realism I associate mainly with South American writers like Borges and Marquez.
And then there is the Canadian Robertson Davies, and the German Günter Grass.
BTW, for some strange reason the movie was released in the UK as ‘Belleville Rendezvous’
I’d love to see the Dali and Disney movie! Sounds like a rare treat! I’m contemplating moving to Winnemucca … glad to see there are people with similar interests! My fiance has an interview this week … maybe we’ll be on our way … I hope I won’t miss AZ too much …
I was also wondering why it’s Belleville Rendezvous over here – p’raps re-named in the USA to appease (to use a rather in-vogue, err, I mean in-fashion, word) anti-French audiences?
Great film, although watching it as I did on TV late on Christmas Eve I perhaps didn’t take in its full glory.