Ernest & Celestine (Ernest Et Celestine)


(out of 5)

Sweet, gentle fable that takes place in a world where bears live the productive life above while mice are hard at work keeping their own affluent society going on below.  The two species live in fear and hatred of each other, the little mice always afraid of being eaten, while the bears know the mice come to steal their teeth to use in their burrowing.  From both of these worlds come sweet little Celestine, a mouse who is apprenticing as a dentist but wants to be an artist, and Ernest, a bear who doesn’t take to the responsibility of owning a shop or working as a policeman but wanders the streets playing music for change.  Their friendship begins when he finds her sleeping in a garbage can and almost devours her, but it leads to them becoming roommates in their own little cabin in the woods.  They seem to be rewriting the rules on friendship and harmony, but a delightful sequence involving a runaway truck exposes them to both mouse and bear authorities and puts them on trial for the crime of perverting “nature”.   Lovely animation and voice work that feel like a storybook come to life, with a moral lesson that never feels hammered home.

La Parti Productions, Les Armateurs, Maybe Movies, Mélusine Productions, StudioCanal

France/Belgium/Luxembourg, 2012

Directed by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner

Scenario and dialogue by Daniel Pennac, based on the albums by Gabrielle Vincent

Produced by Eric Beckman, Didier Brunner, David Jesteadt, Henri Magalon, Stephan Roelants, Michael Sinterniklaas, Vincent Tavier

Music by Vincent Courtois

Production Design by Zaza, Zyk

Film Editing by Fabienne Alvarez-Giro

Academy Awards: 2013

Toronto International Film Festival: 2012


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