The Triplets of Belleville Movie Poster Image

The Triplets of Belleville



Astonishing, outlandish, and full of laughs.
Parents recommend
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 80 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Brief crude humor.


Some violence. Characters in peril.


Some bare, cartoonish breasts shown in a beginning dancing sequence.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie's rating comes from brief crude humor and some violence.

What's the story?

The astonishing, outlandish, and singular originality of THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE defeats any attempt to describe or explain it. But it also makes it a lot of fun to watch. I can only tell you that it begins with a black and white segment with the title characters scat singing in a swanky 1930's nightclub. It turns out that this is being watched on television in the 1960's by a young boy with his grandmother and their dog. Then we see the boy years later, grown up and a Tour de France competitor with formidably muscular legs. He is kidnapped and his club-footed grandmother and aging dog, aided by the now-elderly triplets, go to the rescue.

Is it any good?


Each scene in this film is cheerily stuffed with arresting graphic effects, vertiginous angles, witty visual puns, and imaginative flights of fancy. The semblance of a plot is barely relevant to this movie; if it's about anything, it's about vision and imagination.

Everything looks both familiar and strange at the same time, with quirky combinations of old and new Paris and New York, all deliriously and deliciously loony. The triplets throw explosives into the water to catch the frogs they eat for dinner. The bad guys look like a big black wall. And Bruno the dog has a dream that is only slightly more surreal than everything else.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the assortment of sources and inspirations for the movie and compare it to other styles of animated films, including the Disney classics and Japanese anime.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 26, 2003
DVD/Streaming release date:May 4, 2004
Cast:Beatrice Bonifassi, Jean-Paul Donda, Michele Caucheteux
Director:Sylvain Chomet
Studio:Sony Pictures
Run time:80 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:images involving sensuality, violence and crude humor

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Parent Written bymarvistamom April 9, 2008

Better for Adults

There are so many obscure cultural references, this movie surely goes over most children's heads. Plus there are some rather grotesque scenes showing topless dancing and women of ill repute. I was not comfortable watching this with my 11 year old daughter.
Parent Written bywestcoastbohemian May 12, 2012


In the first 5 minutes, the movie starts with smoking cartoon characters, a topless dancing woman wearing only, well, either bananas or leaves around her waist, and a bunch of tiny people come onstage and pull them off her. It started out excessively mocking of obese people, which had no relevance to the story, and then became sad and bizarre. Matter of fact, that entire scene had no purpose, as best as we could tell. As many "weird" movies I've enjoyed, both foreign and not, I can't understand how anyone could enjoy this. I only watched it because of the good review from this website, but neither my daughter nor I found it fun nor cheery. It was astonishing, but not in a good way. I'm just baffled at the recommendation from this site. But for anyone still wanting to watch it, don't be fooled by this site's review stating "The astonishing, outlandish, and singular originality of THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE defeats any attempt to describe or explain it." That's nonsense. It's a sad boy living with his grandmother and an increasingly overweight dog, with dead parents and a love of bicycles, who grows up to become an apparently professional cyclist, who is kidnapped by gangsters. Grandma and the dog get help and save the day. It's really not that complicated.
Educator Written bydfwems March 6, 2016

Beautiful alternative to American animation; with one important scene to be aware of.

The quality of animation is great and its in a style that you won't see coming from an American studio. No need for knowledge of French; or English for that matter. There is no dialogue, just pantomime. Young children might not be used to a film without dialogue; but they will eventually realize that they can understand just as much of the story by watching the images. There is one scene at the start of the film which is in black and white and is meant to be the singing triplets in their prime in the 1920/30s. This includes a character who is Josephine Baker (the beautiful African-American chanteusse who charmed Paris in the late 20s.) True to the French attitude about history, the Baker-like character briefly dances onto the stage, animated in a "piccaninny style" which early Disney films were known for. In current copies of Disney's Fantasia and others, these characters have been edited out because of how they reinforce early 20th Century racial caricatures. The French attitude about such things is different from the American and it is probably right to see this brief scene as a tribute to Baker and a mocking parody of Disney. However, children may not understand this (or even recognize the racial overtones.) A gentle explanation will suffice if it becomes an issue. The other scene which American audiences will react to quite differently from the French would be a scene of quasi-nude dancers. Lets be clear, these are still animated characters and the French just don't share American attitudes about nudity. Honestly, I sincerely doubt that children would even notice. Finally, the old triplets do smoke on occasion; but the effect is highly stylized and it is not represented as a glamorous activity - quite the contrary.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking