The Triplets of Belleville

When you take away the voices from a cartoon, what else happens? Communication on other levels: the way the characters breathe, the sounds their bodies make, gestures and facial expressions. This film turns up the quirk and limits itself by taking language away from the characters. But this limitation opens up many creative possibilities, while also inviting the viewer to be aware of subtleties that aren’t overtly stated (Like a Road Runner cartoon with more complex characterization).

The finale is a joy and a wonder involving an improbable “car chase” that is loaded with triumphs and surprizes. Above all the other inventive elements of this “silent cartoon,” its ability to surprise is what stands out the most to me. I highly recommend it.

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