‘The Simpsons’ Couch Gag by ‘Triplets of Belleville’ Director

Possibly the best recent take on Homer Simpson is in The Simpsons couch gag, by Triplets of Belleville director Sylvain Chomet. Homer is the sort of guy who would probably turn up his nose at “snooty” French stuff, only to discover that escargots can be pretty delicious. So it’s pretty neat to see the French animation director, who also did The Illusionist, taking charge of latest couch gag for The Simpsons.

Chomet pushes the TV family into slightly new territory, but the underlying jokes are all pretty familiar: Homer is fat, Bart is impish, and Lisa likes animals. But it’s a pretty weird take on all that, and very much worth watching. Read More »

Briefly: French animation director Sylvain Chomet is going back in time. His new film will likely be Swing Popa Swing. The subject of the film is linked to Chomet’s breakout success, as it will look back to the youth of three sisters seen in his film The Triplets of Belleville.

Swing Popa Swing is in the financing stage right now, and if things work out it still won’t be released until at least 2014 — more than ten years since The Triplets of Belleville premiered in 2003. As with Triplets, the film will feature plot elements that go beyond the mundane confines of everyday existence. While Swing Popa Swing will reportedly see the girls in their youth as they deal with their father, who hopes they’ll study medicine rather than music, it will also include “sci-fi elements in the subplot involving aliens and a battle between CIA and KGB agents trying to capture their spacecraft.”

Twitch points to the page at the Cartoon Movie convention page that has the art. Click the image above for a bigger version, and peruse that Cartoon Movie page for more great-looking new European animated projects.


Every once in a while, The Simpsons still hits the right notes. A few months ago the show opened with a Banksy-designed sequence that was the most pointed bit of animation seen on the show in years. Now The Simpsons is turning barbs toward the film award season, and is taking easy but amusing shots at Pixar, Aardman Animation, Sylvain Chomet and more. Some of the ideas in here are pretty well-worn (Mixar instead of Pixar?) But there are moments of good stuff that are worth watching to find. Check out the episode after the break. Read More »

Noted hand-drawn animation director Sylvain Chomet made The Triplets of Belleville, had an unsuccessful stint as director of The Tale of Desperaux when the film was in development, and now has his new film, The Illusionist, in theaters. With that latest milestone passed, the question naturally arises: what will the director do for an encore? In a new interview, he says his next film is not likely to be traditional 2D animation, but rather 3D (by which I take he means Pixar-style CG, not stereoscopic 3D) or live-action. Read More »

U.S. Movie Trailer: The Illusionist

In June, we posted the international movie trailer for Sylvain Chomet‘s The Illusionist, which looked amazing. I got a chance to screen the film at the Telluride film festival, and it is a visually stunning testament to the art of 2D animation. The film is set to be released in the states (in limited theaters) beginning on December 25th 2010 (the only real Christmas release this year), and Sony Pictures Classics have finally released a proper U.S. movie trailer. Watch the trailer now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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We’ve shown you quite a good bit of material from Sylvain Chomet‘s The Illusionist, including a Russian trailer. But this UK trailer for the film is the best look yet; it has a lot of new footage, and the quality is much higher than anything we’ve seen so far. We knew from stills that the film would be quite beautiful, but from the footage in this trailer, it looks stunning. Read More »

I didn’t have much doubt that a distributor would quickly move on Sylvain Chomet‘s The Illusionist. (Refer back to our previous articles detailing the film, which has origins in an unproduced screenplay by the great Jacques Tati and features a character very much designed after Tati.) In fact, I didn’t have much doubt that it would be anyone other than Sony Pictures Classics, which also released Chomet’s film The Triplets of Belleville. Hopefully SPC can find an audience for this picture; it looks simply beautiful. Check some previously posted footage below. [Variety]

After the break, a distro deal and some new casting for the promising film The Lincoln Lawyer, starring Matthew McConaughey and Marisa Tomei. Read More »


I’m about as interested as it is possible to be in Sylvain Chomet‘s upcoming The Illusionist. My interest is based on the fact that the film is the intersection of Chomet’s visual sense, somehow both a quaint and fantastic evocation of the everyday as seen in The Triplets of Belleville, and the storytelling impulse of the late Jacques Tati, which not coincidentally could be described in very similar terms.

We’ve seen a brief bit of footage from The Illusionist in the recent past, but now there is a Russian clip that acts as a great little trailer. And it is quite lovely. Read More »

A new YouTube video gives us the first online look at moving footage from Sylvain Chomet‘s The Illusionist, and what we see is simply stunning. The film has premiered this week at the Berlin Film Festival to some wonderfully positive reviews, the most encouraging of which come from those who had doubts about Chomet’s previous feature, Belleville Rendezvous. You can see the video after the break.

This Illusionist is a hand drawn animation, not to be mistaken for Neil Burger’s live action film from a few years back. Chomet was working from an unproduced screenplay by Jacques Tati, intended to be a live action film. Making conjuring magical in a toon – where there doesn’t need to be a trick, anything can be drawn – is no mean feat.

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Creating a ‘traditionally animated’ feature, which is to say a film created by drawing 2D images rather than tweaking 3D models, either physically or virtually, is most definitely a very time consuming exercise (I take issue with the term ‘traditionally animated’ as I’m not sure what’s untraditional about the art of stop-motion). Unsurprising, then, that the last time I saw a new image from Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist was literally years ago. Finally, a batch of gorgeous new images have surfaced, and you can see them all below the break.

Chomet, if you don’t know the name, was the director of The Triplets of Belleville, aka Belleville Rendezvous, a French toon that made something of a splash back in 2003, not least by garnering effusive praise from some big cheeses at Pixar.

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