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Wild At Heart - Ernest and Celestine movie review

Wild Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog

Wild At Heart

In recent years a number of international animated films have been getting recognized by the Academy Awards such as "The Triplets of Belleville", "The Secret Of Kells", "A Cat In Paris" and "Chico And Rita". These films allow for some much needed diversity showing that quality animated films are more than Disney films (or DreamWorks, Universal, Pixar, etc). Nothing against films like "Frozen", etc but animation can be so much more as films like last years nominees "The Wind Rises" or "Ernest And Celestine" show. This films might not do well here in the states but have strong followings overseas.

If you kids have already seen "Frozen" for the 18th time or "The Lego Movie", this is a great opportunity to broaden their horizon and expose them to an amazing little French animated film. "Ernest And Celestine" opens today at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak and tells a story about friendship. The young mouse Celestine lives in a rodent society beneath the streets at an orphanage whose kids grow up hearing stories about the evil and scary bears up above. However, young Celestine is a dreamer and doesn't feel that all bears are bad much to the horror or the adults.

The main job of the mice is to go topside and collect teeth (much like the tooth fairy) to help replace worth teeth from adult mice from all their gnawing and chewing. On one topside mission, Celestine gets noticed and in her attempt to hide comes into contact with a destitute and hungry street performing bear named Ernest. While he tries to eat her, Celestine uses her brains to get Ernest help her steal some teeth from a bear's dentist office in exchange for access for him to a sweet shop. Things don't go perfectly and they end up going on the run together to escape the cops of both worlds.

During this time they develop a strong connection and when they get caught by the rival animals, they let their amazing friendship for each other show the way to freedom and forging a unprecedented bond between the society of the mice and bears. This is a truly moving film that should appeal to both kids and adults. The animation is subtle and simply beautiful. Don't let the fact that is doesn't look like a Disney or Universal animated film influence you to miss one of the best animated films of the year. I always hope that film audiences can open their minds to their animation styles and here is a great opportunity to see a film that is entertaining yet carries a deep message about friendship between different races in a way that is not preachy.

This film gets a A- from me.