Ernest & Celestine (2012)

ernest and celestine poster 2013 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great animation, good characters


Movie Info

Movie Name:  Ernest & Celestine

Studio:  La Parti Productions

Genre(s):  Animated/Family

Release Date(s):  May 23, 2012 (Cannes Film Festival)/December 12, 2012 (France)/December 19, 2012 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG


In one quick moment, Ernest & Celestine goes from the Feature Film category to Short Film category

Bears hate mice and mice hate bears.  It is the way it has always been and the way it will always be.  When Celestine fails to meet her quota of bear teeth collected as a mouse dentistry understudy, she must resort to desperate measures and ends up teamed up with an unemployed (and hungry) bear named Ernest.  Ernest and Celestine end up becoming fast friends and outlaws…and on the lam from both mice and bears.

Directed by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, and Benjamin Renner, Ernest & Celestine is a Belgium animated film based on the children’s books by Gabrielle Vincent.  The English version featured the voices of Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Jeffrey Wright, and Lauren Bacall in one of her last roles.  The film was met with critical acclaim and nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature (losing to Frozen).


…and suddenly David Lynch takes over the picture

Every year when Oscar nominations come out, there are always surprises.  There are movies that might not make U.S. screens, but due to their nominations, a little buzz generates about them.  In 2012’s Oscar race, Ernest & Celestine was that movie.

The story is very simple, but it has a classic kids’ book feel.  The set-up of the bear town and the mouse town under it feels like a children’s book that you know even if you haven’t read it.  The set-up mixes with the genuinely great chemistry between the grumpy Ernest who eats to live and lives to eat and the clever artist mouse Celestine who wants more out of life than to live underground.


Ernest being “ferocious”

The story becomes a fun buddy movie and a bit of an outlaw film like Badlands with Ernest & Celestine setting up their perfect world in the woods…as the law moves in on them.  The movie has a nice gentle nature to it that makes it very accessible to young and old.

The art for the movie is also fantastic.  The style is a very watercolors-esque looking pallet that gives it a real fantasy look…and looks like book illustrations which adds to the feeling of a kids’ book.  The animation breathes real life into the characters and helps add the laughs.

Ernest & Celestine is one of those great children’s stories.  You can see its children’s book roots in its design and set-up.  The movie feels like the start of something fun and exciting and I could see sequels in the future that easily could be as entertaining.  Ernest & Celestine is nice magical movie that can be enjoyed by children and adults.

Related Links:

The 86th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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