**** out of ****
The American release of France’s Ernest & Celestine is currently in theaters somewhere in this country. This Oscar-nominated hand-drawn animated film from last year is about a friendship between a bear and a mouse. It is creative, silly, heart-warming and it must sound appalling to most families because when it played at Baxter in Louisville KY, Rio 2 buried it.
The color scheme is wonderful. It's filled with the energy and life of a nearly-dead animation style which seems like the best option for replicating the illustration-style of its original children's book source. I understand that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was supposed to be a funny movie but I was very irritated when its trailer debut revealed run-of-the-mill computer rendering with zero resemblance to the beautiful etchings of the original book.
Ernest & Celestine has a flawless English dub and was also made available in original french at a special showtime. I was genuinely delighted by this movie and its alternate storybook universe. Maybe I could say more but I'm too peeved by the lack of support this movie saw in the American Box Office. Just thinking about something sweet, entertaining and positive being given a cold shoulder leaves me in a state of cynicism that is totally compatible with seeing Under the Skin again.