VOD film review: Ernest and Celestine
Ivan Radford | On 17, Aug 2013
Directors: Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner
Cast: Lambert Wilson, Pauline Brunner
Watch Ernest and Celestine online in the UK: Amazon Prime / Apple TV (iTunes) / Prime Video (Buy/Rent)
Bears and mice can’t be friends. Everyone knows that. Foxes and hounds. Men and women. Harold and Maude. All of those are socially acceptable. But bears and mice? That’s a no-no. So when Ernest (Wilson) – a bear – and Celestine (Brunner) – a mouse – become mates, the whole of society runs them out of town. Not just one town: bear town and mice town.
That’s the whole plot of Ernest and Celestine, a French animation from directors Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubie, but the pure simplicity of it is delightful. A tale of love and rebellion, it impresses with craft as much as character: the hand-drawn frames are packed with tiny brushstrokes and frequent, funny slapstick. It’s put together with so much heartfelt attention to detail that the oddly surreal action, which runs from collapsing cities to car chases, feel absolutely real. Of course there’s a mouse city underneath a bear city where everyone speaks French. Why wouldn’t there be?
The result is a magical little film that will charm your socks off. Yes, the film requires subtitles but like A Town Called Panic, the universal humour and emotion is so easy to follow that everyone from five year olds to fifty year olds can enjoy it.
So to recap: Ernest. Celestine. Bear. Mouse. Stream it for your kids now. Or forget the kids altogether and watch it yourself.
Ernest & Celestine is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription.