Ernest et Célestine
PRODS Didier Brunner, Henri Magalon, Vincent Tavier
SCR Daniel Pennac
ANIM Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar, Stéphane Aubier
MUS Emmanuel Deletang
PROD CO Les Armateurs / La Parti Productions / Maybe Movies / Studio Canal International / Mélusine Productions
Like-minded Ernest, a busking bear, and Célestine, a boho mouse, forge an interspecies friendship and instantly become a cause célèbre in this thoroughly entertaining and slightly demented adaptation of Gabrielle Vincent’s French children’s books. Living in a subterranean labyrinth with her fellow rodents, artsy Célestine (voiced by Pauline Brunner) is pushed into the stodgy family—well, breed actually—business of dentistry. When making a supply run to the surface one day, she discovers the more liberal lifestyle enjoyed by musician-poet Ernest (voiced by Lambert Wilson). After (platonically) shacking up, the kindred spirits are hauled in front of a kangaroo court to defend their friendship.
Teaming up with co-director Benjamin Renner, A Town Called Panic’s Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier curb their anarchic tendencies in favour of a more restrained brand of lunacy. And while the film’s visuals are constantly inventive—the intricate dentistry practiced by the mice is particularly inspired—its values are timeless, making this an earnest, big-hearted tale that will resonate with viewers of all ages.
"A delightfully old-fashioned kid’s flick with a meaningful message… The screenplay by bestselling French novelist Daniel Pennac keeps things on a believable plain (for a fairy tale), and it’s easy enough to invest in the plights of the duo… Ernest et Célestine gradually becomes a cautionary fable where friendship tries to stand the test of bigotry and intolerance…"—Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter