Film Review: Ernest and Celestine
Ernest and Celestine is an award-winning children's film from Belgium.
At home it has picked up a Belgian Best Picture prize (a first for an animated film), and it has been greeted with standing ovations at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals.
And, it is easy to see why the film has attracted such acclaim. Ernest and Celestine are a bear and a mouse. Ernest is a curmudgeon who wants nothing more than to eat his fill after a long hibernation and then play his beloved piano.
Meanwhile, Celestine wants to escape the orphanage which is her home, and live life to her own rules.
So Ernest and Celestine is a classic odd-couple comedy, played out in whimsical fashion in some quite gorgeous hand-drawn illustration.
After the latest Disney and Pixar offerings, Ernest and Celestine is a long, cool drink of watercolour. The pace is relaxed, the palette is muted and the characters are pleasantly unsophisticated. All of which means it may well be perfect for your little darlings.
Or - and I think this is more likely - Ernest and Celestine might be one of those ''children's films'' that the film critics adore, but which most eight-year-olds won't have the patience for, not even for 80 minutes.
Ernest and Celestine (G) 80 minutes
Directed by Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner.