This is a revisit to a film that I first saw ages ago (probably the year it came out on DVD) and which I found charming and fun. The reasons for re-watching were two-fold: the Book God and I wanted something light for our Sunday-night-at-the-movies, plus Sylvain Chomet has a new film coming out shortly which looks to be equally wonderful.

Oh and of course we are in the middle of the Tour de France which makes a film about a missing cyclist a bit of a must see.

So Madame Souza, fabulous French granny complete with orthopaedic shoe, hairy mole and thick spectacles buys her lonely grandson a bicycle and supports him in his long years of training before he is ready to take part in the Tour. But almost immediately he is kidnapped by mysterious men in black, clearly part of the French mafia, along with two others and taken to Belleville.

Cue Madame Souza and her dog following to effect a rescue.

Things loved = very, very French; the wonderful shape that Champion (the grandson) gets himself into; the dog barking at passing trains; the mad Triplettes, with their odd instruments and their single song; the monolithic  men in black

Things not so loved = this is fabulous stuff, what could possibly wrong with it (though perhaps there is a little too much dwelling on frogs as foodstuff?)

Rating stuff = 12 (contains mild nudity and moderate violence – I clearly missed the former…. or it is indeed very mild)

Tissue count = 0

Safety cushion = not required

This is a genuinely lovely film with a very distinctive style that should appeal to anyone who loves animation, French movies and, of course, cyclists……

UPDATED: and I’ve just remembered it’s Bastille Day so vive la revolution! (and apologies for the lack of proper accents and stuff)

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