"Friendship Transcends Differences"
Based on a popular French book, ERNEST & CELESTINE is the story of an unbelievable friendship between a bear, Ernest, and a young mouse named Celestine.
Celestine, an aspiring talented artist, is a young orphan who resides in the thriving underground world of mice. At the orphanage where she lives, the warden, commonly referred to as the Gray One, tells terrifying narratives about the malevolent nature of the bears that inhabit the outside world, but Celestine, unlike the other orphans, is highly skeptical about the stories.
Celestine’s passion is to paint, but the authoritative adult figures in her life force her to study dentistry, which is the profession most of the mice practice. In order to prepare for the field of dentistry, she’s required travel to the outside world of the bears to gather bear cubs’ fallen teeth from underneath their pillows.
On one such occasion, a cub’s parents catch Celestine in the act of stealing their cub’s tooth and chase her into a trashcan where she spends the night. The following morning, Ernest, an impoverished and starving musician, finds Celestine and tries to have her for breakfast. She manages to successfully persuade him not to eat her and directs him to a basement full of sweets and goodies. This sparks an unlikely connection between the two. Sadly, Ernest and Celestine will shortly discover that the respective societies where they belong don’t accept their unprecedented friendship.
ERNEST & CELESTINE has a strong moral worldview. That worldview is mainly evident in the unlikely but genuine friendship between Ernest and Celestine. Their friendship teaches that differences in background are irrelevant when the friendship is grounded in mutual love and appreciation. Their friendship also teaches that friends should help each other become better people.
The genuine and loving friendship echoes the relationship between Jesus and his disciples. Like Ernest & Celestine, who were ostracize by their respective societies for having a relationship with each other, Jesus was also ostracized by the religious leaders for being friends with sinners. Matthew 9:9-13 says:
“As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And, he rose and followed him. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And, when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ But, when he heard it, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means. I desire mercy, and not sacrifice. For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.’”
Along with having a positive moral worldview, ERNEST & CELESTINE is a charming animated movie. The animation isn’t your typical cartoonish animation, but rather one that’s very artsy and artistic. The drawings are like early rough draft sketches, which make ERNEST & CELESTINE unique and set it apart from generic animated movies. The color of the animation isn’t flamboyant, but rather light and warm. This contributes to the heartwarming mood the movie successfully creates. The artistic animation, along with the central message, are reasons this movie was nominated for an Academy Award and a serious contender to win the most coveted award.
Overall, ERNEST & CELESTINE is a heartwarming movie that contains a moral worldview, which should inspire Christian moviegoers to develop and continue genuine friendships that imitate the kind of friendship Jesus had with His disciples.
(BB, C, V, MM) Strong moral worldview, with some redemptive elements, extolling bravery, forgiveness, peace, and reconciliation, marred by some unresolved stealing; no foul language, but a characters uses the word “morons” to refer to the bear community; no violence but a bear wants to have a mouse for breakfast; no sexual content; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking or drug use; and, hate but rebuked and several instances where the main characters steal.
ERNEST & CELESTINE is the story of an unbelievable friendship between a bear, Ernest, and a young mouse named Celestine. Ernest is an aspiring musician and Celestine an aspiring artist. Their unlikely friendship begins when Celestine convinces Ernest not to eat her for breakfast. The bear and mouse societies condemn their friendship. In an act of courage to defend their friendship, they become fugitives. Eventually, their unbreakable friendship reconciles the two distinctive societies.
ERNEST & CELESTINE has a strong moral worldview. This is mainly evident in the genuine friendship between Ernest and Celestine. Their friendship teaches that differences in background are irrelevant when friendship is grounded in mutual love and appreciation. Bravery, forgiveness, peace, and reconciliation are also extolled. Much of the movie’s high artistic quality stems from its animation. The animation isn’t your typical cartoonish animation, but very artistic. The drawings are like early rough draft sketches, which make ERNEST & CELESTINE unique and set it apart from generic animated movies. Also, the movie’s use of color is light and warm. This contributes to the heartwarming mood ERNEST & CELESTINE successfully creates.