A Completely Original French Bike-Themed Film

This 2003 French film written and directed by Sylvain Chomet is far from your typical modern animation where Shrek-like humor wins you over. Instead, the  mostly silent, deeply touching characters, draw you into their strangely emotional and surreal world—all centered around a young French boy’s love of biking, encouraged by his caretaker grandmother. Les Triplettes de Belleville is a must see for any cyclist touring in France, for any cyclist for that matter. It elegantly and weirdly captures the obsession that cycling becomes to those who pedal. And it does it in an eccentric, musically catchy, curious, sweet, murky and droll way. It is completely original and completely engaging.

This is what Roger Ebert had to say about it:

Most animated features have an almost grotesque desire to be loved. This one doesn’t seem to care. It creates a world of selfishness, cruelty, corruption and futility — but it’s not serious about this world and it doesn’t want to attack it or improve upon it. It simply wants to sweep us up in its dark comic vision.

This film is definitely on our list of French bike-themed films and French films to appreciate…and watch again.