Study Guide

Amélie Dominique Bretodeau (Maurice Bénichou)

Dominique Bretodeau (Maurice Bénichou)

Toy Story

If it weren't for Dominique Bretodeau, nothing in Amélie would happen. Forty years ago, when he was just a child, he put a little tin of his treasures—some marbles, a postcard, a bicycle toy—into a hiding place and then… forgot about it. His family moved, the world went on, and no one noticed.

Until Amélie finds the box hidden behind a tile in her bathroom, that is. Most people might just throw it away, but Amélie can recognize and everyday treasure when she sees it, and she decides to find out who this cache once belonged to. Her search leads her to three different Dominique Bredoteaus—a cute man who is too young to be the one she's looking for, a sultry female, and a dead guy. Luckily, she has the name wrong. It's Bretodeau, not Bredoteau.

Amélie leaves the tin in a phone booth and rings the phone when Dominique Bretodeau walks by. He goes into the phone booth and finds his entire childhood waiting there. It changes his life and prompts him to contact his own grandson, whom he's never met. "Life's funny," he says. "To a kid, time always drags. Suddenly you're fifty. All that's left of your childhood fits in a rusty little box." He's determined to not waste any more time, and this good deed done right prompts Amélie to continue doing good deeds for other people.