Surrealist adult animation without all the Disney treacle, The Triplets of Belleville is a unique and playful Parisian fairytale about a club-footed mother’s valiant mission – aided by her trusty dog and the titular trio – to rescue her kidnapped Tour de France-competing bicyclist son from square-bodied mobsters. Written and directed by Sylvain Chomet, the film is a bustling cornucopia of delights, from its opening nostalgic newsreel footage of the triplets – a cabaret group from the ‘50s decked out in matching furs – that comments on the West’s racist exploitation of Africans, to a cinema-loving finale involving bicyclists operating stationary bikes in front of a movie screen. Chomet’s fabulous animation is a swirl of the bulbous and the elongated, and his characters’ sinewy, animalistic physicality – modeled after Jacques Tati’s M. Hulot (a favorite of the triplets) and the distinctive styles of Al Hirschfeld and R. Crumb – gives the film a rubbery vivacity. Chomet’s film features no dialogue, and the director’s mastery of silent-movie storytelling (aided by Benoît Charest and Mathieu Chedid’s bouncy post-war score) is enchanting, even though said charm is slightly marred by the film’s inclusion of gratuitous negative American stereotypes (no shock that the French think we’re fat slobs who love hamburgers). Nonetheless, it’s still last year’s finest animated film not named Finding Nemo.