Ernest & Celestine

Ernest & Celestine ★★★★

What a charming and sweet little film!

It always warms my heart when a feature length animation embraces a traditional look in this 3D solid model age. It evokes wonder and comfort and warmth .. and memories of storybooks; those told to us, or those we've told to our children.

For me, my thoughts harkened back to Jez Alborough’s ‘Where’s my Teddy’, a book I had read to my son time and time again. What could be more frightening to a child than a great big bear? Just imagine if you were even more diminutive; a tiny mouse.

There were so many great adult themes explored in this wonderful children’s tale, and there’s a cheeky air of disobedience, irreverence, and even a touch of villainy. Not so unlike the cartoons we ( at least I ) grew up with.

Voice acting is pitch perfect from our two leads. Lambert Wilson provides a great grumpy, dumb, yet sage and loyal Ernest, and Pauline Brunner an irreverent, smart, yet un-precocious Celestine. Despite society’s expectations, you know from the first frame that these two same characters from disparate worlds belong together.

I got the biggest smile at the end when the story confirmed that it was but an alternate introduction to an already well loved and established series of books. It made me kind of sad that now I don’t have a son of that age to read them to. AH! My wife and I have a 6 year old Godchild!

While it was a bit perplexing that the Region 2 DVD didn’t have an English track to accommodate young English viewers, a list of well known English speaking actors mysteriously appears in the ‘rest of cast listed alphabetically’ section on IMDB. I have a feeling there will be a big re-release of this wonderful film. Don’t wait for that, though. The voices are marvelous, the story so charming. Throw your adult sensibilities out the window and become a child again, with all the wonder that comes with it, for a wonderful eighty minute vacation.

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