Ernest and Celestine

In this 2013 Seattle International Film Festival entry from France (English captions), "Ernest & Celestine" teaches us that the Tooth Fairy is actually a busy bunch of orphaned mice, gathering baby teeth for a clinic that provides implants. Each little mouse has a quota to meet and if you come up short, you will be very, very sorry.

Our industrious little heroine, Celestine, hasn't met her tooth quota, because she is busy writing happy fantasies about animals who get along with one another, like mice and bears. This is in direct contradiction of the proprietress of the orphanage, who frightens her charges with bed- time stories about Big Bad Bears. To disagree is to disobey!

In the meantime, we also join Ernest, a less-than-successful bear who tries to entertain his fellow bears with clowning, juggling and a unicycle. He becomes very hungry; thus begins our story of an unlikely friendship.

This award-winning story isn't Disney-fied and children would probably find it charming; I know many of us did. The biggest problem is language. If children are too young to read the English captions, they had better be in a French class! Which might be a good idea, come to think of it. By the second grade, my nephew was able to watch a foreign film, read the English captions and follow the story with no problem at all, so it will probably depend on the child.

As you can see by the art work in the trailer, the gentle watercolor art- work evokes memories of A.A. Milne and Winnie the Pooh.
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Take a peek at the trailer:
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