|Fig 1. Film Poster|
Most of the taller characters have really long noses and stretched necks, where as the short characters are on the other end of the extreme with much smaller noises and stubbier bodies.
"To call it weird would be a cowardly evasion. It is creepy, eccentric, eerie, flaky, freaky, funky, grotesque, inscrutable, kinky, kooky, magical, oddball, spooky, uncanny, uncouth and unearthly." (Ebert R, 2003)
You could say that the character's features are truly unusual. However, due to the lack of dialogue this choice of design acts as the verbal communication through out the film. Like silent movies, the film focuses on others ways to tell a story through comedic movement and expression.
"The hand-drawn animation gives the primarily dialogue-free Belleville Rendez-Vous a deliberately antiquated visual style, and Chomet relishes caricaturing the body shapes of his characters - whether it's the overly muscular thighs and protuberant nose of Champion, or the grotesquely obese residents of Belleville." (Dawson, T 2003)
As well as exaggerating the characters features, the directer has enhanced and played upon the "French stereotypes." The Triplets of Belleville invite Madame Souza into their home as a place of rest and shelter until she finds her grandson. Souza is shocked when she discovers that all they eat is frogs. The director manages to poke fun at the french stereotypes that society makes, with out it being offensive. Almost pointing out at how ridiculous these stereotypes are and how these extreme persona's don't really exist.
The film is heavily influenced by the french culture. Audiences outside of this culture may not understand these differences: "There are certain references within The Triplets of Belleville that American audiences may not be receptive to because these references are intended for French audiences. The mania surrounding the Tour de France, for example, may not be ingrained in the American audience’s cultural encyclopedia." (Levine, S 2013)
Although the film seems strange at first it begins to grow on you as you start to understand the directors intentions. It goes from what you think is "weird" to humorous, different and fun.
Ebert R, (2003) The Triplets of Belleville https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-triplets-of-belleville-2003
The Scotsman (2010) Interview: Sylvain Chomet, Direcor of The Illusionist https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/interview-sylvain-chomet-director-of-the-illusionist-1-477687
Dawson, T (2003) Belleville Rendez - Vous (2003) http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2003 /08/06/belleville_rendezvous_2003_review.shtml
Levine, S (2013) Intertextual Rendez-Vous: Viewing The Triplets of Belleville from an American Perspectivehttps://blogs.commons.georgetown.edu/cctp-748-spring2013/2013/03/13/intertextual-rendez-vous-viewing-the-triplets-of-belleville-from-an-american-perspective/
Belleville Rendez - Vous (2003) Film
Figure 1. Film Poster http://www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/dvdboxart/32557/p32557_d_v8_aa.jpg
Figure 2. Film Still https://theanimfilmcritic.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/triplets-of-belleville-french-waiter-youtube.jpg
Figure 3. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/14/31/b8/1431b8e034a2eac498f5f76e6ac45823.jpg
Figure 4. http://www.californiaherps.com/films/filmimages/tripletsofbelleville11.jpg