Move over Pixar and Disney, your monopoly be damned. Although I do like some of the Pixar/Dinsey animated movies, it was always the French animated movies that I adored. It was always amusing and entertaining and often adhering to real life nuances than go all aboard with fantasy. From L’illusioniste to Persepolis, the craftsmanship and quality that goes into these movies are impeccable. Often manually animated than using CG, the smooth animation is just mesmerizing, furthermore the narrative and the characters rivets you to your seats. Although these movies might not garner as much attention as an over-rated Hollywood production, they’ve always been highly refined, immensely engrossing.
Based on the kids’ book by Belgian author and illustrator Gabrielle Vincent, Ernest et Célestine is the sweet sweet story of Célestine an orphan mouse who befriends a poor Bear, Ernest. In a society where the two factions are prohibited The story isn’t something to write home about but it has all the essential elements to entertain you till end. I saw the French version and it seems like there is also an English dubbed version voiced over by some AAA actors like Forest Whitaker, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy. The movie is warmly visual and wouldn’t be an issue for the young ones to get hold of whats happening on screen.
Its simplicity is what made me love it so much. You are drawn into the spellbinding art and animation and its almost like a water-colored fairytale book come to life in front of you. It works a bit like a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip sans the philosophical quandaries. Instead Ernest et Célestine digs subtly into the political and societal undertones. Having seen both Frozen and Ernest et Célestine, I couldn’t even fathom why Frozen won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
In an industry where even animated movies are filled with shades of debauchery, you’d be a victim of a slew of questions from your young ones that you’d be too embarrassed to answer. Thankfully, Ernest et Célestine is a movie so innocent and pure at heart, that it can be watched with kids of all ages. Let them soak in the brilliant and colorful art direction and Ernest et Célestine’s beautiful friendship. There’s a lot that could be learnt from these two adorable critters.