Ernest and Celestine

France 2012, 79 mins
Directors: Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner

What’s it about?

Bears live upstairs and mice live downstairs and never the twain shall meet. That’s just the way it is. But this delicate balance between the species is blown apart when Ernest, a large, solitary and rather grumpy bear, meets Celestine, a wide-eyed orphan mouse. Eventually he welcomes her into his home, but the authorities have other ideas… This exceptional film brings life to Gabrielle Vincent’s enchanting characters and her beautifully drawn animal world.

Ernest and Celestine

The most important tool mice have is their teeth, and in the realm of mice, the best thing to do is to become a dentist. From an early age, they are encouraged to collect as many milk teeth from bear cubs as they can, and to deliver them to the large mouse tooth clinic.

But Celestine does not want to become a dentist and collect milk teeth, she is an artist and loves to paint – preferably stories that feature a bear. Every night, the boarding school Headmistress tells the little mice horrible stories about a big bad bear, who likes nothing more than eating helpless mice. But Celestine’s curiosity is greater than her fear. She wants to get to know the bear, but he actually does want to eat her when they meet for the first time. Has the boarding school Headmistress been right with her horror stories?

Mythical Creatures: Tooth Fairy and Tooth Mouse

The starting point of the story is the myth about the Tooth Fairy. The custom of leaving lost milk teeth for the Tooth Fairy, who collects them in exchange for a small present or a coin, is picked up in this story. Celestine, the protagonist, is one of those tooth fairies who, in France, as well as in other countries, is embodied by a mouse. The Tooth Fairy will be familiar to many children, perhaps some of them have also exchanged their milk teeth for small gifts.

Directors: Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner
Production Company: La Parti Production
Production Manager: Ivan Rouveure
Screenplay: Daniel Pennac
Based on the books by: Gabrielle Vincent
Music: Goran Bregovich

Voice cast
Lambert Wilson (Ernest)
Pauline Brunner (Célestine)
Anne-Marie Loop
Patrice Melennec (Georges)

France 2012
79 mins

Ernest and Celestine
Sat 1 Aug 12:00; Sat 7 Aug 15:10; Tue 31 Aug 14:15
Earwig and the Witch
Tue 3 – Tue 24 Aug
The Watcher in the Woods
Sun 22 Aug 13:00; Sun 29 Aug 12:40

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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
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