HKIFF Review: Ernest & Celestine / Ernest et Célestine 花都友奇緣 (2012) – France / Belgium

Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 25th March 2013

Directed by: Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner

Reviewed as part of 37th Hong Kong International Film Festival 2013

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I am big fan of quality animation as I believe that it has the unique ability to transcend human emotions with a hint of childhood fairytale buried within. The “Ernest & Celestine” adaptation to the big screen, offers nothing new, but still remains refreshingly interesting, fun, enjoyable and will likely leave even the harshest of critics with smile on their face. What sets “Ernest & Celestine” apart from the current crop of animations, is that it goes back to the basics of cartoon, with characters carefully drawn in the most natural of manner. 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.

In midst of modern technology, as a member of the audience, we have missed the good old simple cartoon drawings, as animations has become pixels and CGI effects, “Ernest & Celestine” defies conventions and the effects is astounding, showing that there is still live in basic drawings, as long as the story is good. Directors Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner have created something special for all the ages.

All in all, “Ernest & Celestine” is able to bring the audience back into the world of imagination and revokes the memories of our own childhood. It is not the first in any way and is probably a story we have heard countless of time in our own bedtimes, but sometimes, less is more and this film proves perhaps, the simplest stories gives you the biggest joy. This is a nice little gem.

I rated it 8/10

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