Ernest and Celestine.
Adding a teensy drop of darkness to its tale of interspecies friendship between a mouse and a bear, Euro co-production "Ernest and Celestine" is a charming animated feature inspired by Belgium writer-illustrator Gabrielle Vincent's wholesome children's books of the same name. Helmed by newcomer Benjamin Renner along with Vincent Patar and Stephane Aubier, who directed stop-motion toon "A Town Called Panic," the pic looks completely different from "Panic" with its 2D, aquarelle-style graphics, and feels less anarchic and more skewed toward younger ands. Rugrats in Francophone territories will eat this up, but further-afield prospects will be trickier.
CREDITS: Directed by Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar, Stephane Aubier. Screenplay, Daniel Pennac, based on books by Gabrielle Vincent. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Directors' Fortnight), May 23, 2012. Running time: 79 MIN.
With: Lambert Wilson, Pauline Brunner.