ErnestandCelestinecoverGrade: B-
Entire family: Yes
2012, 80 min., Color
Rated PG for some scary moments
GKIDS/Cinedigm
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Featured audio: English (dub) DTS-HD MA 5.1
Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Bonus features: C+
Trailer

I’m sure you’ve heard people say, as I have, that they were “ruined” somehow by the relentlessly chipper, happily-ever-after romanticism they absorbed during a steady childhood diet of Disney cartoons and animated features.

Well, there’s a cure for that. Start with a dose of irreverent Warner Bros. classic cartoons, and then be sure to watch occasional animated features from different countries, where you’ll discover a world that’s not so black and white, morally speaking.

That’s certainly the case with Ernest & Celestine, which received a 2014 Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year. Ninety-eight out of 100 critics at Rotten Tomatoes pronounced it “fresh,” and Ernest & Celestine won a number of prizes, including Best Picture at Amsterdam Cinekid Festival, Prix SACD Special Mention at the Cannes Film Festival, Best Animated Film at the César Awards, People’s Choice Award at the Dubai International Film Festival, and Best Film (the first animated feature to win) at the Magritte Awards. In other words, people loved this film.

My family, on the other hand, was not as enamored. Maybe we’re just too Disneyfied. A reviewer for People Magazine called Ernest & Celestine “Fantastic! Delightful! Adorable!” and we’d concede that there were fantastic, delightful, and adorable moments, and that this film had the kind of sweetness and charm that you find in watercolor-illustrated children’s books. But there were also kind of creepy parts, and the wholesome theme of friendship that critics have seized upon is balanced by the not-so-wholesome thieving ways of the two main characters.   More

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