Ernest & Celestine
In our contemporary culture where great family-friendly films that are accessible to all ages are hard to come by these days, "Ernest & Celestine," the latest film from Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner, is a genuine delight; an animated picture that's as heartwarming, inventive and visceral as anything you're bound to see this year, whether it's in the comfort of your home or in the general vicinity of your local multiplex.
Set within a fantastical world where a society of mice lives underground beneath an equally governed democracy of bears, the film tells the story of a mouse named Celestine, an artistic outcast amongst her group of peers who befriends a lonely, but equally affectionate bear named Ernest, resulting in the two of them forming an affectionate bond under the most unlikely of circumstances.
While they have been taught to fear the other species if they were ever to come face-to-face with one another, Ernest and Celestine come to sympathize with each of their supposed enemy's dilemmas, ultimately seeking compassion for one another and finding solace in their extraordinary friendship despite their genealogical differences.
It's a beautifully illustrated fable that's as magically transportive for kids as it is adults, with richly drawn animation and an old-fashioned, upliftingly rendered story that draws comparison to the imaginative masterpieces of the films distributed by Studio Ghibli, founded by the legendary auteurs Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata.
The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack includes an English-dubbed version of the film featuring the voice-work of Forrest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall and Paul Giamatti among others, as well as the original French audio track with English subtitles. Other extra features include an hour-long making-of featurette, a feature-length animatic, a fifteen-minute interview with co-director Benjamin Renner, the theatrical trailer for the film, and promos of other animated features from GKids studios.
"Ernest & Celestine"
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack