Art of the Matter

An artistic mouse and a musically talented bear form a special bond in the charming new French animated feature Ernest and Celestine.Mentioning Didier Brunner’s name in international animation circles often evokes a mixture of awe and admiration. The talented and prolific French producer and his Paris-based studio Les Armateurs have been behind some of the best European animated features of the past two decades. The list of his credits includes well-known Oscar-nominated titles such as The Triplets of Belleville (2003) and The Secret of Kells (2009) as well as titles such as The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Bear (2002), Kirikou and The Sorceress (1995) and its sequel Kirikou and the Wild Beasts (2005), which have garnered critical attention in Europe.This year, Brunner and his team are back in the spotlight once again with a charming new 2D animated feature titled Ernest and Celestine. This beautifully drawn family film is based on a series of illustrated books by the late Gabrielle Vincent and is directed by newcomer Benjamin Renner, who rose to fame thanks to his award-winning short A Mouse’s Tale. The feature’s co-directors are none other than the Belgian team of Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar, the duo behind the hilarious 2009 stop-motion adventure A Town Called Panic (Panique au Village).We caught up with Brunner a few days before the movie was set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. The film, which unspools at the Annecy Festival this month, will be released in France on December 12.

Ernest and Celestine Book

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