Thursday, October 9, 2014

Movie Review: Ernest and Celestine

In case people didn't see Monday's review, between my library woes getting this silly DVD unlocked and the fact that I spent half of last week helping out at a con I was just too bush-wacked to both watch this movie and come up with a review for it, even if it's rather short. So without further ado, a short little review for a short film!

Ernest and Celestine

In this story-tale-like world ,bears live above ground in a society that rather resembles our own while the mice live below and both sides regard each other with distrust. Celestine the mouse has never understood why mice and bears can't be friends so when she ends up having to work with a bear to solve both of their problems she's almost happy about having a chance to prove it!

As I had hoped, this film is less of a "kiddie film" and more of an all-ages/family friendly film so even though I am way past age 7 I still managed to enjoy the film and didn't feel like any part of the story had been dumbed down to work, it was simple but not stupid. The movie does slow down in the final act however, I didn't really buy it when Earnest suddenly accepts Celestine into his life after trying very hard not to make any personal connections for the entire film and after that part the film just meandered a bit. It's already a short film, only about 80 minutes, but I felt like a number of those scenes were extraneous. I was also surprised that we are never given a reason why Celestine has always been near-obsessed with having a bear for a friend, I felt as if the movie was setting it up that we would learn a secret behind that but it never happens, we're just supposed to accept that on some level Celestine was either the most tolerant or naive little mouse out there. I doubt any of these faults would bother a casual viewer, or at least not as much as they bugged me, and the rest of the film is very solid and on point emotionally which was the most important element of the film.

I don't have much to say on the actual animation of the story which is strange since it certainly looks distinct, like it was done as a series of pen and ink drawings and some water colors were carefully brushed in afterwards. There were a few sequences where something looked off (in the car chase scene the backgrounds just completely vanish and there was another scene where it was just too obvious that the character was animated on a separate layer than the background, the interaction between the two just looked strange) but again I think those things only bothered me because I've been trying to notice the actual animation and art of shows more and more over the past year. And despite my critiscism I did really think this was a nice little movie, I wasn't as captivated as many people were but I certainly didn't think it was a waste of my time and it's distinct enough, in the good way, that I'll surely remember it for some time!

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