T-LAB – T-McBee’s Top 5 French Animated Films


L-L-Legit! It’s time for more fun and writing on the Legit Animation Blog!

In this new list for T-LAB, I’ll be talking about French Animated Films. Western and Japanese animated films do get a lot of praise from viewers in North America, which is all fine and dandy in my books. However, what about animated films in European countries like Spain, France or Italy? Many people believe that Anime styled films are under the radar for most people in US and Canada. For me personally, I believe French animated films are even more underrated than Japanese animated movies; and I’m going to express my love for French animated films for this quick Frame By Frame Countdown.

This is T-McBee here listing down my Top 5 French Animated Films. Here are the rules:

1. France has to be the main country that was part of making these movies. I’ll accept films that had more countries to produce the movie itself, just as long as France was one of them.

2. Once again, these are just my personal picks. Please keep in mind that they’re my choices and not yours, nor the best ones.

Well without ado, let’s show the appreciation of these French animated movies by going through this “le fantastique” countdown. Ici nous allons! Ahem…That’s French for “Here we go!”.

5. Les Triplettes de Belleville (2003)

“The Triplets of Belleville”


This was another French film that I spoke of in my Top 2o Animated Films of All Time so I’ll just summarize this movie very briefly. The Triplets of Belleville is about Madame Souza and her dog Bruno that raised Souza’s only grandson. One day, the grandson was kidnaped by shady characters during a bike race marathon and now Madame Souza and Bruno team up with the famous Belleville Sisters to save her grandson.

This is a simple rescue tale with barely any dialogue used in the movie. If you love surreal art styles, stylized charactures, some intense scenes and no dialogued used in your preference of animated movies, then The Triplets of Belleville is your kind of movie.

I bet you all were expecting this movie to be higher on the list. However as the days, months and years goes on, there are other French animated films that I appreciate a lot more.

Yeah! Rock that Jam Ladies!

4. Le Roi et L’Oiseaux (1980)

“The King and the Mockingbird”


From 1952 – 1980, the late Paul Grimault’s film The King and the Mockingbird was the movie that Grimault wanted to have for his interpretation on one of Hans Christian Anderson fairytale tale. 30 years later, the movie was done the way Grimault wanted that flowed surprisingly well throughout. Thank goodness it didn’t turn out as another Thief and the Cobbler!

I know I have talked about this movie a lot on I.T.T., as well in my Top 20 Animated Films of All Time. Not to mention that this was the first movie that got me to appreciate French animated films. Though with other French films that I’ve seen lately, I don’t think I would place The King and the Mockingbird so high on my list right now. As beautiful the movie looks and sounds, it can fall into dull sequences for very low brow viewers.

The animations are really well done, the environments are engaging, and the 1980s version of this movie is clean and expressive compare to the original 1952 version, The Curios Adventures of Mr.Wonderbird. I suggest you to avoid the original at all costs and do what you can to find the 1980s version instead. Even though it’s really hard to find that version online these days.

Engaging…Truly engaging. After all, this was the film that inspired Haoyo Miyazaki to make animated films.

3. Le Jour des Corneilles (2012)

“Day of the Crows”


I’ve recently checked out this nature theme movie called “Le Jours du Cornilles” or “Day of the Crows” this year. You’ll notice that the visual tone is inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s films, though the movie has these contemporary character designs that reminds me of a show that’s right off an action packed Nickelodeon show. Even the main child character reminds me of a pre-teen Tommy Pickels from Rugrats.

Day of the Crows is a tale about a giant father and his wild son that have lived in the forest for years. When the father got critically injured one day, the boy takes his father to town for help and goes outside the forest for the first time. The boy slowly discovers the lifestyle of the towns people as well as building a close relationship with a young girl named Manon. However, the father doesn’t want him nor his son to be involved with the villagers at all.

Day of the Crows contains really mind blowing themes and moments that I wasn’t expecting to see in this movie, such as Jean Reno (leading actor of Leon the Professionals) voicing the father, a deep father and son relationship, beautiful sceneries and some content not suitable for the kiddies.This is one hand drawn animated movie that art and animation lovers will truly appreciate, despite the lack of crows in the film.

OMG! Crow! I want to keep you!

2. Ernest and Celestine (2012)

“Ernest and Celestine”


A simply touching tale of a bear and mouse that bonds an odd friendship that the other bears and rats don’t understand. I managed to watch this movie early this year without any subtitles. I loved it the first time and re-watching it again with English subtitles made me loved it even more. The characters, the timing, the comedy, the art style, the animations– Everything in Ernest and Celestine is a tale that the whole family could enjoy.

Sometimes you need a movie that doesn’t need to be too complicated nor too edgy. Sometimes a cozy feeling movie like Ernest and Celestine is what you need to enjoy watching an animated film. It’s simply one of the most adorable films I’ve seen with its children’s illustration appearance, yet a story of two individuals who become the best of friends with artistic and performing talents that makes them feel out of placed in their town. For those who aren’t familiar with the Ernest and Celestine books would find this movie a nice introduction to the series.

As amazing Ernest and Celestine was with the film being done in flash and its amazing colour rendering that looks like watercolour, it does hold some scenes that are quite too kiddie for adults. However! I will definitely recommend this film to those who wants to see a family animated films that relies on charm, themes and friendships rather than forced pop culture references and immature humour.

She’s got a point. You don’t eat things out of the trash. It’ll make you sick.

 1. Persepolis (2007)


Of course you would expect me to put Persepolis to be mention on here since Persepolis is one of my favourite animated films and movies of all time.

This film is based on a graphic novel written and done by Marjane Sarapi that shows her younger days during the Iranian War in the 1980s and 1990s. This film is certainly a coming to age kind of story with the unique black and white art style that is exactly like the graphic novel version. Persepolis execution of dramatic and comedic scenes for an adult audience are really well done and doesn’t feel completely dry and boring throughout.

Persepolis has a very intriguing tale about this one  young female that went through rough and dark times that really happened. The film haven’t told everything that was shown the graphic novel version, though the film was done carefully to tell the most highlighted events that are important for the viewers. It’s absolutely an instant recommend in my books, and to those who are running out of ideas to watch films should really check Persepolis out.

Here’s a quite well known scene from Persepolis. Jichael Mackson!


And that was a list of my Top 5 French Animated Films for T-LAB. Did you agree with my list? Are there other French animated movies that deserved to be on the list? Well, you’re welcome to mention your favourite French animated movies by leaving a comment below or at the forums at itstailtime. Thank you all for reading! More Legit articles will come by whenever I got the time to make more of.


Explore posts in the same categories: Animation/Cartoon/Comics

One Comment on “T-LAB – T-McBee’s Top 5 French Animated Films”

  1. thehande Says:

    To my shame I haven’t even seen that many French animated films. I think I’m more familiar with French produced TV cartoons. The only of these I’ve seen is Persepolis which was really impressive. Ernest and Celestine seems really interesting, gotta check that one out. =D

    I have seen The Illusionist from the same director as the Triplets of Belleville, it’s a very interesting style. My favourite French animated films are probably the mid-80s Asterix films: Asterix vs. Caesar and Asterix in Britain (Asterix and the Big Fight might also be French, the ones after that were made internationally).

    Good list, gotta look out for some of these. =)

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