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Blu-Ray : Recommended
Ranking:
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Release Date: January 16th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 2023

Ernest & Célestine: A Trip to Gibberitia

Overview -

Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia takes the charming duo on a heartwarming yet bittersweet journey to Ernest's homeland, where music has been outlawed. The adventure sees the pair tackle issues of friendship, freedom, and the power of standing up for your beliefs. Beautiful animation combined with a thought-provoking story creates an unforgettable experience. The Blu-ray from Shout! Studios and GKIDS provide an excellent A/V package paired with a slew of bonus features for fans of the adorable duo. Recommended

 

Ernest and Celestine return in this delightful and joyous follow-up to their first Academy Award®-nominated adventure, where the bear and mouse became the unlikeliest of friends. When Celestine accidentally breaks the beloved violin of her grouchy companion, they embark on a journey to Gibberitia, home to the only artist who can repair it as well as Ernest's family. But when the duo arrives, they are shocked to discover that all forms of music have been banned for many years and the land once known for its incredible musicians has fallen silent. It is up to Ernest and Celestine and their new friends, including a mysterious masked outlaw, to bring music and happiness back to the land of bears.

 

From the producers of The Triplets of Belleville, Ernest & Celestine, and The Secret of Kells, the cheerful Ernest & Celestine: A Trip To Gibberitia was co-directed by Julien Chheng (Star Wars: Visions), and Jean-Christophe Roger (New Adventures of Lassie). It has become a fan favorite thanks to its uplifting tale and two characters that everyone can enjoy. 

 

Ernest & Celestine: A Trip To Gibberitia Special Features

  • Making Of
  • Interview with the Directors
  • Interview with the Cast
  • Interview with Producer Didier Brunner
  • How to Draw Ernest & Celestine
  • Trailers

OVERALL:
Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Blu-ray
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p/AVC MPEG-4
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.85:1
Audio Formats:
5.1 DTS-HD MA
Subtitles/Captions:
English, English SDH, Spanish
Special Features:
Making of Featurette (16mins), Director Interview (12mins), Cast Interview (11mins), Producer Interview (11mins), How to Draw Ernest and Celestine (2mins), Trailers (3mins)
Release Date:
January 16th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

“Ok, fine, you win. We’re going to Gibberitia.” 

Ernest & Célestine: A Trip to Gibberitia is a delightful sequel that whisks our beloved bear and mouse duo on an adventure to Ernest's homeland of Gibberitia. When Ernest’s beloved violin is damaged, he must return home to the only repair shop able to fix it. But what awaits them is not a land of joyful songs but a society silenced by a music ban. Ernest learns that when he left home to be a traveling musician, his father enacted a law banning music with more than one note. Now that he has returned, the law could be reversed if Ernest leaves his creative life in exchange for joining his father as a city judge.

This quaint yet exciting tale of self-identity is a heartwarming story meant to inspire. Musical selections are breezy and inviting, sweeping you into the melodies as a musical resistance builds its standing within the feature. Up-tempo beats are catchy, giving the proceedings plenty of momentum as the race is on to save music. Vibrant hand-drawn animation showcases grand mountain landscapes and charming bear villages. 

Despite some heavy themes, the film never loses its heart. Ernest and Celestine's friendship remains the story's anchor, with their contrasting personalities providing humor and warmth even in the face of oppression. They meet a masked musician named Mifasol, who uses a saxophone to rally freedom fighters and strive to rekindle the spark of music in the hearts of the city. Vocal performances are engaging and well-suited to the animated characters on screen. Lambert Wilson (Of Gods and Men) and Pauline Brunner (Paris Follies) return to voice the lead characters, which will certainly delight fans of the original film. Their commitment to expressing Celestine’s boundless ambition and Ernest’s gruff yet heartwarming demeanor isn’t lost in the story's complexities.   

In 2012’s Ernest & Celestine, the two find their lives blossoming once they escape the hatred from their respective worlds and embrace their shared causes. Here, the roots of their friendship are tested and expressed as Ernest deals with the complexities of his family’s expectations. It isn’t difficult to see that these two outcasts reflect the need we all desire to find friendship, community, and acceptance for who we are inside. 

The film's message about the power of art and the importance of standing up for what you believe in is both timely and inspiring. While some might find the political undertones mature for younger viewers, the overall tone remains hopeful and optimistic. It is a perfect family film that will leave you humming long after the credits roll.

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Ernest and Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of GKIDS and Shout! Studios. The Region A BD-50 disc is housed in a transparent keep case with double-sided artwork. Loading the disc presents the GKIDS logo before landing on the Main Menu screen with scenes from the film playing above typical navigation options. 

Video Review

Ranking:

The musical adventure arrives on Blu-ray in an AVC-encoded 1080p image in the film’s original 1.85:1. Watercolor-style animation with vibrant primaries is presented in soft, gentle strokes. Frames look like picture book images carefully animated to allow for motion and expression but never allow complex movements to interfere with the emotional resonance these images produce. Fine detail exists within the image as animation complexities reveal themselves. Small elements of settings within interiors offer plenty to enjoy. Primaries sing with a joyful aplomb, providing a bright and dynamic palette. Ernest and Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia looks fantastic on Blu-ray, giving viewers the sense of flipping through a storybook. 

Audio Review

Ranking:

Gibberitia comes to life with an emotive and warm DTS 5.1 audio track. Musical scores linger throughout the surround channels, enveloping the viewer in joyful noises. Dialogue is clear and clearly recorded in both English and French. Atmospherics and effects elevate the feature through the various channels, breathing a quirky life into the musical selections and filling the quaint settings. French and English audio tracks are available with English, English SDH, and Spanish subtitles.

Special Features

Ranking:

Shout! Studios and GKIDS offer multiple interviews and a lovely behind-the-scenes featurette, allowing us to glimpse the film’s production. There is a lovely drawing tutorial offered, but don’t count on it for your kid’s next art lesson. 

  • Making of (HD 15:51) This brief featurette compiles interviews with producers Damien Brunner and Didier Brunner, co-directors Jean-Christophe Roger and Julien Chheng, and production footage from the animation studios. We’re given an inside look at the team working on the feature, hoping to preserve the legacy of the books while giving excited fans a sequel deserving of the name.
  • Interview with the Directors (HD 12:16) Co-directors Jean-Christophe Roger and Julien Chheng discuss inspirations, their collaboration, and the challenges of bringing the film to life. 
  • Interview with the Cast (HD 11:16) Actors Lambert Wilson and Pauline Brunner speak about the film’s impact on younger audiences and their process of bringing the characters to life through their voices. 
  • Interview with the Producer (HD 10:45) Didier Brunner offers measured responses to questions regarding the film’s underlying messages on tolerance and totalitarian leadership. He speaks joyously about the film’s connection to the source material and his involvement with the project. 
  • How to Draw Ernest & Celestine (HD 1:48) Co-director Jean-Christophe Roger provides a brief art lesson. 
  • Trailers (HD 3:22) An English Dub trailer and the Original French trailer are provided here. 

Final Thoughts

Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia sees the dynamic duo return in a much-anticipated sequel that is a powerful testament to the enduring power of music and the importance of fighting for what you believe in. While some may feel the themes are a bit too mature for younger audiences, the feature is full of hope and optimism. The Blu-ray from Shout! Studios and GKIDS provide an excellent A/V package with beautiful animation and joyful melodies. Special Features are plenty and well-suited for fans of the film. As a wonderful family film, this one comes Recommended.