Belleville Rendez-Vous

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Belleville Rendez-Vous
Belleville Rendez-vous

This Altitude DVD release comes with an impressive and informative set of extras, heavily featuring director Sylvain Chomet. There is some repetition within the Making of featurette (15 minutes) and longer unedited interviews with Chomet and production designer Evgeni Tomev (44 minutes in total) but both extras have distinctive virtues. The interviews allow more detail of the production - from the backgrounds, to character inspiration and sound design - while the Making of truncates these but provides strong illustration from the film itself and animatics, so that you can see exactly what each man is talking about.

There are three scenes with commentary, each allowing discussion of a different aspect of production. The first is the 'distressed' opening sequence in Belleville, one of several points in the extras when Chomet talks about the way they made the CGI used in the film, which he says "always looks a bit too clean" a lot grubbier. The second shows Champion eating a meal while Madame Souza balances one of his bike wheels at the dinner table. Here, Chomet and his team talk about the sound design of the movie, why they chose to strip things back and how they achieved various effects. Finally, there is commentary on the scene in which the triplets and Madame Souza play household instruments, with composer Benoit Charest offering insight.

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The package is completed by a quick guide to animation from Chomet, which is quirkily enjoyable and shows how he imagined the triplets as channeling inner African-American basketball players. The original theatrical trailer is also included and everything features HoH subtitles.

It's worth noting that these extras originally appeared on the Tartan DVD release in 2007, so if you already have that edition you won't gain from an upgrade.

Reviewed on: 27 Nov 2015
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Belleville Rendez-Vous packshot
Animated tale of a boy who loves cycling, his supportive Gran and a dog called Bruno.
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Product Code: SPAL059

Region: 0

Ratio: 16:9

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: The Making of Belleville Rendez-Vous, original theatrical trailer, interview with Director Sylvain Chomet and with Art Director Evgeni Tomov, three scenes with commentary, animation lesson

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