THE PLOT THUS FAR
Deep below snowy, cobblestone streets, tucked away in networks of winding tunnels, lives a tiny mouse named Celestine. Unlike her fellow mice, Celestine is an artist and a dreamer, and has a hard time fitting in. When he nearly ends up as a breakfast for a grumpy bear named Ernest, the two become fast friends and embark on an adventure that will put a smile on your face and make your heart glow.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“Ernest & Celestine” plays like the French “Spirited Away”. Two fantasy worlds are bound and defined by a strict social decree. Bears live on the top side and have whatever they want. Mice live underground and have to survive on scraps. A lot of the mice are orphans thanks to the bears. But, they do have a career opportunity, as they can steal teeth and learn to become dentists.
I love the fact that French animation is continuing to kick monster ass. The hand drawn aesthetic evokes classic Animation cinema, while the stories are simple yet detailed. If anything comes out of the GKIDS’ recent Oscar push, I hope that it’s an expanded release for films like this. There are so many parallel to the adult world, as the mice control bear propaganda and work to teach their kids to be afraid of the violent other. However, the bears aren’t violent. They are spoiled creatures who act on instinct and they don’t understand a world where they aren’t in charge. Socio-political issues abound, but it’s such a damn cute movie.
The Blu-Ray comes with a featurette, animatic and interview as the special features. The A/V Quality is strong for an animated film in HD. The DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track kicks it into gear for the French original track and English dub. The 1080p transfer also pops for an indie animated flick. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: 06/17/2014