Belleville Rendez-vous (2002)

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Director: Sylvain Chomet
Cast: animated

Synopsis

A devoted grandmother trains her bicycle-besotted grandson to be a Tour de France contender, only to have him snatched by gangsters from across the ocean to take part in some ultra-refined form of gladiatorial entertainment. She follows, along with their faithful bloodhound, and there meets the Triplettes, a trio of aged vaudeville entertainers; together they prove more than a match for the criminal underworld of Belleville.

The Review

Surreal, satirical animation, much of its humour being affectionate debunking of the French, the rest a pretty unflattering picture of New York. There is black comedy a-plenty, with the bloodhound doing service as a spare tyre and cycling machine itself a grimly anthropophagous concept, and generally both style and content make a refreshing change from the safer territory of most animated features.