London Film Festival 2012: Ernest & Celestine - Review
Review by Rob Carnevale
CHARMING, beautifully illustrated and a treat for all ages, Ernest & Celestine is an animated treasure you ought not to miss.
Based on characters created by Gabrielle Vincent and co-directed by Vincent Patar, Stephanie Aubier and Benjamin Renner, the film takes place in a world inhabited by the bears who live upstairs and the mice who live down below.
The law states that they should remain apart, fearful of each other, until inquisitive mouse Celestine inadvertently meets grumpy bear Ernest and the two become unlikely friends and allies.
At first, they manage to keep their friendship secret but once the authorities find out they are forced to seek refuge together and go on the run from the law.
Boasting a wonderfully subversive sense of humour and a sharp ability to disarm emotionally, Ernest & Celestine is a beautiful piece of work that should be regarded as an instant classic.
Visually, it has a warmth about it that recalls the classic animation of works like The Snowman as well as the more recent likes of Belleville Rendezvous and the films of Miyazaki, while conceptually it owes a lot to the ingenuity and widespread appeal of Pixar (and films like Ratatouille).
The humour, meanwhile, possesses a little more edge than usual (especially when coming from the gruff Ernest) but is nicely offset by the film’s more tender moments that lend it a consistently heart-warming vibe.
What results is a short but captivating experience capable of firing the imaginations of younger and older viewers alike, as every classic animated film should.
Running time: 79mins
UK Release Date: Tbc
London Film Festival Date: Sunday, October 21 (OWE2)