Ernest and Celestine- English v French?


– Feb 16, 2014- Sara Barton

The Oscar-nominated animated film, “Ernest and Celestine”(2012) opens in theaters February 28, and encores at this years, New York International Children’s Film. The film is being released in both, it’s original French version (with subtitles), as well as in English. The question on parent’s minds, “Which version do I take my child to see?”. Samurai Beat Radio is here to help. Thanks to GKIDS, we’ve had the privilege of viewing both versions. Here’s what we recommend.

The Original- (French with English subtitles):
The original is best recommended for: bi-lingual, fluent to semi-fluent french speakers, just learning French or lovers of French cinema. It’s rare pleasure to watch a French-speaking animated film here in the US. Although several French animated films have debuted at NYICFF, the last French animated film to grace US theaters was The Triplets of Belleville in 2003. While the film does have English subtitles, it’s can be distracting from the gorgeous animation, especially for young children.

The English Version
This is best recommended for: non- french speakers, as well as young children, especially those under the age of 7; who might have a hard time with reading subtitles. Yet, you won’t be missing out when you see the English version. GKIDS has done an outstanding job dubbing the film. It features an all-star voice-cast, with Forest Whitaker, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy and child actress, Mackenzie Foy. Unlike the English translations of most foreign animated films, the French to English translations is 99.9% accurate. However, Mackenzie Foy’s, English Celestine differs from her French counterpart (voiced by Pauline Brunner) she may lose her adorable french sassy style; (it’s a cultural thing that’s very difficult for an American to capture), but nonetheless, she still does a fantastic job. Celestine remains cute and adorable.


Regardless, both versions of Ernest and Celestine are excellent in their own right. Whether it’s in French or English, your family will enjoy the magical experience that the film has to offer.


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