A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The story of the little bear's sneaky candy seller and dentist parents will teach kids to be wary of eating sugar, because it just leads to tooth decay, which only benefits one person: your dentist. The love between Ernest and Celestine will teach kids to look beyond the superficial in starting a friendship.
Powerful message about friendship transcending superficial differences such as what you look like or what community you come from, and it reinforces the idea that unconditional love and friendship should be defended and treasured. Both characters are artists, which their respective societies don't seem to appreciate, but Ernest and Celestine support each other's artistic ventures. Some families may be uncomfortable at the idea that the central characters have broken their society's rules, not to mention steal and run from the police, but overall, this is a celebration of creating family-like bonds where you least expect them.
Positive Role Models
Ernest and Celestine are both brave enough to realize that their communities were wrong about the other. They help and protect each other and defend their right to be friends and stay together. They're also kind and compassionate enough to help those who are trying to hurt them. Ernest has no qualms about breaking into a candy shop and eating everything he can find.
Violence & Scariness
The first scene involves a mean old mouse lady telling a scary story about a hungry bear to her orphan charges. She makes frightening shadows on the wall as she tells the story, Both the mice and the bear communities get angry, scared, and even violent toward Ernest and Celestine for breaking their rules about fraternizing with the enemy. When a family of bears finds a tiny mouse, they immediately try to grab and kill it and then lay dozens of mouse traps to do the job. The rats ready a huge "bear trap" to punish Ernest if he's found guilty. The police angrily stalk and arrest both of them. Both judges are such in a frenzy, they won't stop yelling even after a fire breaks out that nearly kills them.
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Occasional but not common insult language like "moron," "dumb," "stupid," "no good," "big bad bear," and more.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ernest & Celestine is a lovely hand-drawn French animated movie about the unlikely friendship between a mouse and a bear. Dubbed in English, the critically acclaimed Oscar-nominated film is the story of finding friendship where you least expect it and defending that friendship against discrimination and prejudice. There is some occasional insult language ("dumb," "moron") and a few scary moments when the two pals are being followed and then put on trial -- as well as a frightening bedtime story about mice-eating bears. A fire nearly kills a few characters, but they're saved at the last minute. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is an important story about overcoming prejudice and sticking up for your friends -- even if they're unpopular or misunderstood by your community. Ernest & Celestine is a beautifully hand-drawn feature with a watercolor palette. Of course, many young children will just delight in the story of a tiny and adorable little mouse befriending a troubadour bear who's really, really hungry, but it's always good when a kids' movie has meaningful themes.
Academy-Award winning Whitaker has just the ragged, robust voice for Ernest, a broke and hungry bear that can't catch or find any food until Celestine convinces him not eat her but to dip into a greedy candy seller's reserves. Foy, who is best known for playing Edward and Bella's daughter Renesmee in the final Twilight, has the perfect combination of sweetness and spunk to voice Celestine -- the orphan who dreams of a world where the bears above and the mice below don't have to fear and hate each other but can and do become friends. If only people were as sensible as Ernest and Celestine.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.