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Bouts en Train — Emile Sengelin, 2005

This line-drawn animation from France in 2005 depicts a typical SNCF train journey with passengers lost in their own worlds. As the train suddenly grinds to a halt, events take an unexpected musical turn…

In French without subtitles.

Modern Languages teachers will find a bespoke set of lesson ideas for this film here.

Classroom Activities

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  • What do you think ‘Bouts en Train’ means?
  • For the first 18 seconds how does the camera tell the story? What other ways does the camera move throughout the film? Use our Spot the Shots worksheet to record this.
  • Watch the first 35 seconds. How are people on the train feeling? How do we know this?
  • When are bright colours introduced into the film? How does the use of colour change the mood of the film?
  • What different feelings are the characters feeling when the train stops?
  • How does music change the feel of the film?
  • What different types of music/singing are used in the film to show how the characters are feeling? Which is your favourite and why?
  • Watch with English subtitles. Stop the film at 2:28. What do you predict the controller will say?
  • Complete a ‘Tell Me’ Grid Analysis of the film.
  • Do you like the use of line-drawn animation in this film? Why or why not?


  • What is a strike? Why do people strike? Are there any strikes going on around the world now?
  • Why is everyone so relieved when it is announced ‘all your connections are assured’? What may have happened to people if they missed their connections or were late?
  • Musicals have been used to tell important stories for many years. Have you seen any musicals? Research/watch some of the famous ones.
  • Travel – are there any more environmentally friendly ways that people can travel rather than train? What is your carbon footprint and how can we reduce it?
  • Safety – How can you keep yourself and others safe on a train? You may want to create a safety poster.



  • Why did the train stop on the tracks? Make it as unusual as possible.
  • Choose one of the characters and create a back story (why they were on the train?) or a follow-up story for them (what happens to them when they get off the train?)


  • Prepare vocabulary relating to train travel. What words would you expect to hear at the station and on the train?
  • What does SNCF stand for?
  • Make a quiz for some of the French words you have been learning.


  • What simple events could you make musical? For example, can you sing about making breakfast, getting dressed or your school day. Why not record a class performance?


  • Add another character to the train. What would they look like? Use line drawing as in the film.


  • Act out being on a train that suddenly had to stop on the tracks. How would the character you have been given react? Think about your body language and what you would say/sing.


  • Can you build a moving train? What material would you use? What would power the train?
  • Plan a trip to France using trains as much as possible. Where would you go and why? How long would it take you to get there? How much would it cost?

Clip Details

Year of Production 2005
Genre Comedy, Musical, Animation
Curriculum Areas Expressive Arts, Modern Languages, Literacy and English
Director Emile Sengelin
Country of Origin France
Medium / Content 2D Animation, Fiction, Colour, Sound
Themes Relationships, Culture / Society, Communication
Clip Length 03:34
Clip Length 03:34
Age Group P5-P7, S1-S3