Ernest & Celestine

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Ernest & Celestine
Ernest & Celestine poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stéphane Aubier
Vincent Patar
Benjamin Renner
Produced by Didier Brunner
Henri Magalon
Vincent Tavier
Written by Daniel Pennac
Starring Lambert Wilson
Pauline Brunner
Music by Vincent Courtois
La Parti Productions
Les Armateurs
Distributed by Studio Canal (France & UK)
Cinéart (Belgium)
Release dates
  • 23 May 2012 (2012-05-23) (Cannes)
  • 12 December 2012 (2012-12-12) (France)
  • 19 December 2012 (2012-12-19) (Belgium)
Running time 79 minutes[1]
Country France
Language French
Budget 9.6 million[2]
Box office $6,189,463[2]

Ernest & Celestine (French: Ernest et Célestine) is a 2012 French-Belgian animated comedy-drama film directed by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner. The film is based on a series of children's books of the same name published by the Belgian author and illustrator Gabrielle Vincent.

The film was selected to be screened in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival,[3][4] as part of the TIFF Kids programme at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival[5] and at the 2013 Hong Kong International Film Festival.[6] It was selected for the grand competition at feature film edition of the 2013 World festival of animated film Animafest Zagreb and was screened as the opening film.

The film was released in the United States in 2013 by GKIDS.[7] There is also an English dub that was released on 28 February 2014, with the voices of Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall (in her final film role), Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, and Jeffrey Wright.[8]

The film received widespread critical acclaim, and became the first animated film to win the Magritte Award for Best Film.[9]


Celestine is a young mouse who lives in the underground world of rodents. At the orphanage where she lives, the caretaker known as the Gray One tells scary stories about the evil nature of the bears that live in the outside world, though Celestine doubts the stories are entirely true. She loves to draw but must soon study dentistry, the occupation all rodents hold. In preparation, she must travel above ground to collect bear cubs' lost teeth from underneath pillows. On one such occasion, the cub's family catches Celestine in the act and chase her into a trash can where she spends the night. The next morning, a destitute and starving bear named Ernest discovers Celestine and attempts to eat her. When she convinces him not to and leads the way to a cellar full of food, an unlikely bond forms between the two. But as they soon discover, not everyone - above ground or below - is so accepting of their unprecedented friendship.


  • Lambert Wilson as Ernest, a poor reclusive bear whom Celestine befriends
  • Pauline Brunner as Celestine, a young orphan mouse who befriends Ernest
  • Dominique Maurin as head of the clinic
  • Anne-Marie Loop as The Grise, the mouse guardian of the orphanage.
English dub cast


The film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 98% of critics have given the film a "fresh" rating, based on 46 reviews with an average score of 8.4/10; the general consensus states: "Sweet and visually charming, Ernest & Celestine offers old-fashioned delights for animation lovers of all ages."[10] Metacritic assigns a score of 87 based on 17 critics, indicating "universal acclaim."[11]

Andrew Chan of the Film Critics Circle of Australia writes, "The result is a human story of two unlikely allies, a mouse living in harmony and befriending a bear. It is essentially that simple and it works just fine."[12] Writing on Roger Ebert's website, Glenn Kenny of MSN awarded the film 3½ stars out of 4, praising it for its positive messages of friendship. Kenny wrote: "Ernest and Celestine is the coziest movie you'll likely see all year. Every frame is suffused with a fireplace kind of warmth that, for me at least, cast an immediate spell that didn't let up."[13]


In June 2013, the film won the Award of the Hungarian National Student Jury at the 8th Festival of European Animated Feature Films and TV Specials.[14]

Award Category Recipients and nominees Result
Academy Awards[15][16] Best Animated Feature Benjamin Renner, Didier Brunner Nominated
Amsterdam Cinekid Festival Best Picture Won
Annecy International Animated Film Festival[17] Cristal Award for Best Picture Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner Nominated
Annie Awards[18] Best Animated Feature Nominated
Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production Patrick Imbert Nominated
Directing in an Animated Feature Production Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner Nominated
Production Design in an Animated Feature Production Zaza, Zyk Nominated
Writing in an Animated Feature Production Daniel Pennac Nominated
Editorial in an Animated Feature Production Fabienne Alvarez-Giro Nominated
Belgian Film Critics Association Grand Prix Nominated
Cannes Film Festival[19] Art Cinema Award (Directors' Fortnight) Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner Nominated
Prix SACD (Directors' Fortnight) Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner Nominated
Prix SACD (Directors' Fortnight) - Special Mention Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner Won
César Awards[20] Best Animated Film Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner, Didier Brunner, Henri Magalon Won
Dubai International Film Festival People's Choice Award Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner Won
Galway Film Fleadh Audience Award for Best International Feature Runner-up
Gijón International Film Festival[21] Enfant terrible Prize for Best Feature Film Nominated
International Cinephile Society[22] Best Animated Film Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards[23] Best Animated Feature Won
Magritte Awards[24] Best Film Won
Best Director Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar Won
Best Sound Frédéric Demolder, Emmanuel de Boissieu, Luc Thomas, Franco Piscopo Won
Satellite Awards[25] Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature Nominated
Seattle International Film Festival Youth Jury Award Won
Toronto International Film Festival[5] People's Choice Award for Best Drama Feature Film Nominated


  1. ^ "ERNEST ET CÉLESTINE – ERNEST AND CELESTINE". StudioCanal. British Board of Film Classification. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Ernest & Celestine". jpbox-office. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Leffler, Rebecca. "Cannes 2012: Michel Gondry’s 'The We & The I' to Open Director's Fortnight". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  4. ^ "2012 Selection". Directors' Fortnight. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  5. ^ a b "". Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  6. ^ "HK Neo Reviews". Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  7. ^ GKIDS to distribute Ernest & Celestine
  8. ^ "Trailer for Best Animated Feature Oscar Nominee Ernest & Celestine". Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  9. ^ Engelen, Aurore (3 February 2014). "Ernest and Célestine triumphs at the Magritte Awards". Cineuropa. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Ernest & Celestine". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Ernest & Célestine". Metacritic. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  12. ^ Andrew Chan (29 April 2013). "Ernest & Celestine". [HK Neo Reviews]. 
  13. ^ Kenny, Glenn (14 March 2014). "ERNEST & CELESTINE". Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  14. ^ 11. Kecskeméti Animációs Filmfesztivál 8. Európai Animációs Játékfilm Fesztivál. Kecskeméti Animáció Film Fesztivál. 2013.
  15. ^ Staff (16 January 2014). "2013 Academy Awards Nominations and Winners by Category". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  16. ^ Koch, Dave (16 January 2014). "Animated Film Oscar Nominations". Big Cartoon News. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "Prix et nominations : Festival du Film d'Animation d'Annecy 2012". Allo Ciné (in French). AlloCiné.fre. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "Complete list of 2013 Annie Award nominees for animation". Los Angeles Times. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  19. ^ "Palmarès et nominations du Festival de Cannes". Allo Ciné (in French). AlloCiné.fr. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  20. ^ Amidi, Amid. "Ernest & Célestine wins the Cesar Awards". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  21. ^ "La animación coge fuerza en el FICX". Gijón Film Festival (in Spanish). 5 November 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  22. ^ Joey Magidson (13 January 2014). "International cinephile society nominations". Awardscircuit. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  23. ^ ""Ernest & Célestine" wins LAFCA award". Wallonia. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  24. ^ "Prix et nominations : Les Magritte du cinéma 2014". Allo Ciné (in French). AlloCiné.fr. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  25. ^ International Press Academy (2 December 2013). "The International Press Academy Announces Nominations For The 18th Annual Satellite Awards™". PR Newswire. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 

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