Western Animation: Ernest et CÚlestine

Two friends, Ernest & Celestine
Ernest et CÚlestine (English: Ernest & Celestine) is a 2012 tradigitallynote  animated French film, based on a popular series of children's books by Belgian author Gabrielle Vincent. The film focuses on the adventures of a young female mouse named Celestine and the male bear Ernest, who become unlikely friends. Certified fresh by Rotten Tomatoes with 97% fresh, the film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature film and also won a number of major film festival awards, including the Magritte Awards in three categories and the Dubai International Film Festival. The film's DVD release includes a fairly extensive making-of documentary covering everything from initial development to sound production.


Ernest et CÚlestine provides examples of the following:

  • Black Comedy: There are a number of black comedy moments, such as when Celestine waxes about the diseases that Ernest might get if he keeps eating out of garbage.
  • Brick Joke: At the beginning of the film, the caretaker of the orphanage loses a tooth, thus temporarily losing her ability to speak coherently. As a result, most of the children can't interpret what she's saying, to the point where they argue amongst themselves about whether or not it's even possible to actually understand her. With children being children, a pillow fight breaks out. Hilarity Ensues.
    • Much later, Ernest's lawyer loses his tooth while defending his client, an identical argument and an actual fight breaks out amongst the jury in the courtroom.
  • Buddy Picture: About Ernest & Celestine's surprising friendship.
  • Character Title
  • Civilized Animals: The mice generally look rather like mice and the bears rather like bears and they have certain behaviors of each. But they've both set up fairly advanced societies and have human behaviors like working at jobs, holding courts and forming friendships.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: The candy store owner's son is expressly forbidden from eating any candy, so he doesn't have to patronize his mother's dentistry practice.
  • Dreadful Musician: Subverted. When we first see him panhandling for food and money, Ernest is bad at singing and playing the accordion and drums. Turns out, playing the piano is his forte.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!:Lucienne, the bear cub's mother, fits this. However, it's implied that most of the female bear population generally have this attitude towards mice. Or, at the very least, are supposed to act this way.
  • Faceless Masses: The mouse policemen, whenever they group together. Averted in most other scenes, as the residents of both worlds are incredibly diverse in regards to weight, shape, size, and even species, as it's not hard to notice a panda or two in the background.
  • Family Business: When we get a glance into a bear family's dinner, the parents are more than keen on forcing their child into owning BOTH his dad's candy store, and his mother's dentist's office, so that way he can continuously rot out people's teeth with candy, then fix them whenever they need it, just like his parents.
  • Fantastic Racism: The bears don't like the mice and vice versa. The mice live below-ground, the bears above, and the children mice are told scary stories before going to bed about the dangers of bears. Until the end of the film, only Celestine can see past all of this.
  • Kangaroo Court: When Ernest & Celestine are finally arrested, they are whisked away to be respectively tried by judges of the opposite races. Their defense counsel is inept at best, the judges are entirely unsympathetic, and they are offered pretty much no chance to defend themselves. Then the fire burns both courthouses.
  • Mythology Gag: Ernest and Celestine's book retelling of how they met was the actual first book of their series in real life.
  • Police Are Useless: They can't catch either Ernest or Celestine and when they do briefly capture Ernest, he and Celestine have a fairly easy time of it getting away. They then spend months spending hiding out in Ernest's home in the woods, even though it's really not that far from the city and shouldn't be all that hard to find with a joint manhunt issued for the two of them.
    • When the fire engulfs the courthouses, absolutely none of the policemen in both worlds make an attempt to save the judges that remain inside it. Underground, not even the two mouse policemen that are chained to Ernest refuse to help, even when they clearly have nowhere else to run and still assume that the mouse judge would make it out on his own without their help.
  • Sweet Tooth: Ernest, even when he isn't starving for food.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Not quite villains, per se, but both judges do have a breakdown during the trials, with both in too much of a frenzy to even realize the courthouse has caught fire. Celestine was able to calm down the bear judge and coax him into following her out, while the mouse judge had to be bodily carried outside by Ernest before he finally came to his senses.
  • Your Size May Vary: Compared to the mice, Ernest can be anywhere from three times taller to ten times taller depending on the scene.