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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Animals > French > Ernest and Celestine (2012/Cinedigm Blu-ray w/DVD)

Ernest and Celestine (2012/Cinedigm Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: A/B- Sound: A/B- Extras: B Film: A

The French/Belgian animated film, Vincent Patar's Ernest and Celestine (2012), is a gem of a movie that any fan of animated films should definitely see immediately. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the story focuses on dual worlds comprised of bears and mice. Bears live on the surface and are the most human in terms of the way they dress, act, and how they have built their society, whilst mice live underground, funneling and building their homeland through use of their teeth (and by getting bear teeth surgically implanted in their mouths). Ernest (voiced here by Forest Whitaker) is a struggling bear that lives on the outskirts of town and doesn't quite fit in with all the normal folk. He is a musician of sorts and fends for himself - in many ways he resembles Shrek. Celestine is also a social outcast and a dreamer - who draws pictures in her sketch book when she should be focusing on her studies and teaming up with the other mice children in stealing bear teeth.

The two unlikely friends, Ernest and Celestine, meet towards the end of the first act and are involved in a burglary of bear teeth (so Celestine can meet her quota) and in so doing wreck public property and are on the run - making waves through both societies and ultimately bringing the two together. It could be enjoyed by children but at the same time, adults will pick up on many of the films thematic elements.

The voice cast features Forest Whitaker, MacKenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, and Jeffery Wright. Running time for the film clocks in around 80 minutes.

The animation style is really what sets the film apart. Based on a children's book, the style of the film is very similar to what you would see in terms of color and design of a storybook. There are so many beautiful moments that are captured to the fullest in Blu-ray. This is the really the way to see this film! The 1080p High Definition transfer is unbelievable and partnered with a DTS-HD Master Audio (MA) lossless 5.1 track brings the film to incredible life. The DVD is above average in terms of quality but doesn't come close to the Blu-ray (as expected.)

Special Features include the film in English with bonus original French audio track and English subtitles, Making of Featurette, a fascinating feature length animatic and an interview with Director Benjamin Renner.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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