ANIMATION; 1hr 29min
VOICES BY: Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti
The mouse whisperer: Celestine and Ernest
Adorably drawn with a whimsical exactness that has le style français feathered all over it, Ernest & Celestine — about a contradictory relationship between musical bear Ernest (gruffly voiced by Whitaker) and artistic, orphaned mouse Celestine (Twilight ’s Foy) — was originally Ernest et Célestine. And so it is that while the lively re-voicing of co-directors Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner’s creation is all-American, the mice and bears are extremely well-dressed. Caps, hats and scarves are worn. Capes and coats are à la mode. Red wine is sipped at dinner. A baguette makes an appearance. The animation is a Euro-hoot.
The story is a cracker, too. In their upstairs-downstairs society, hulking candy-lover Ernest and can-do scrap Celestine, a dentist in training whose heart isn’t in it, should never have met, let alone bonded, which they do over his appreciation of her painting. When their taboo-breaching partnership rattles conventional morality, the paradoxical pair is subjected to a mockery of a trial that could only ever have one verdict: friendship in any shape, size (or outfit) is a warm and fuzzy wonder.