Lambert Wilson to head ‘Ernest’ voice-cast

Annecy gives warm welcome to work in progress

Lambert Wilson (“The Matrix Reloaded”) will head the voice-cast of Gallic animated feature “Ernest and Celestine,” presented at the Annecy Animated Film Festival’s Work in Progress strand Wednesday,

“Ernest” is produced by two of Europe’s biggest animation forces: Didier Brunner’s Les Armateurs, pic’s lead producer, and StudioCanal, which distributes in France, Germany and U.K., and also sells international rights.

A far cry from his Hollywood Euro villain image of “Catwoman,” “Sahara” and “The Matrix” saga — or his turn as a scholarly Trappist monk in Xavier Beauvois’ arthouse hit “Of Gods and Men” — Wilson voices Ernest, a gruff bear who wants to be an artist, who befriends Celestine, an ingenious mouse.

Belgian stage actress Anne-Marie Loop will play an aged lady mouse and Dominique Collignon (“A Christmas Carol”) will voice a dentist.

Presented by Brunner to a packed audience, “Ernest” received a warm welcome — both for French novelist Daniel Pennac’s explanation of his screenplay and the delicacy of the animation.

First-timer Benjamin Renner directs with Vincent Patar and Stephane Aubier, helmers of “A Town Called Panic.”

Animated mostly in Paris, “Ernest” respects the style of the original illustrations in Gabrielle Vincent’s series of books. For the film, Belgium’s Digital Graphics supplies water color textured graphics.

Film’s partners — which also include Maybe Movies, Belgium’s Le Parti and Stephan Roelants’ Melusine in Luxembourg — have signed a licensing agreement with Europe’s multi-national Copyright Promotions Licensing Group.

Pennac is working on the novel to be published year-end 2012. Book publisher Casterman will re-issue the 19 original novels by Vincent, who died in 2000.

“Ernest” will be ready for delivery April/May 2012 for release early in 2013, Brunner said.One of Europe’s foremost arthouse animation makers, producing Michel Ocelot’s “Kirikou” films, “Triplets of Belleville” and “The Secret of Kells,” Les Armateurs is also partnering with StudioCanal on Ocelot’s “Kirikou and the Men and the Women,” now in production.

More Film

  • NANTUCKET, MA - JUNE 23: (L-R)

    How Long Will TV and Film's Boom Market for Female Stories Last?

    Lambert Wilson (“The Matrix Reloaded”) will head the voice-cast of Gallic animated feature “Ernest and Celestine,” presented at the Annecy Animated Film Festival’s Work in Progress strand Wednesday, “Ernest” is produced by two of Europe’s biggest animation forces: Didier Brunner’s Les Armateurs, pic’s lead producer, and StudioCanal, which distributes in France, Germany and U.K., and […]

  • 'Ideal Home' Review: Steve Coogan, Paul

    Film Review: 'Ideal Home'

    Lambert Wilson (“The Matrix Reloaded”) will head the voice-cast of Gallic animated feature “Ernest and Celestine,” presented at the Annecy Animated Film Festival’s Work in Progress strand Wednesday, “Ernest” is produced by two of Europe’s biggest animation forces: Didier Brunner’s Les Armateurs, pic’s lead producer, and StudioCanal, which distributes in France, Germany and U.K., and […]

  • 'Calibre' Review: A Terrific, Intensely Terrifying

    Edinburgh Film Review: 'Calibre'

    Lambert Wilson (“The Matrix Reloaded”) will head the voice-cast of Gallic animated feature “Ernest and Celestine,” presented at the Annecy Animated Film Festival’s Work in Progress strand Wednesday, “Ernest” is produced by two of Europe’s biggest animation forces: Didier Brunner’s Les Armateurs, pic’s lead producer, and StudioCanal, which distributes in France, Germany and U.K., and […]

  • CHRIS PRATT stars as Owen in

    Box Office: 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Gnaws on $144 Million Debut Weekend

    Lambert Wilson (“The Matrix Reloaded”) will head the voice-cast of Gallic animated feature “Ernest and Celestine,” presented at the Annecy Animated Film Festival’s Work in Progress strand Wednesday, “Ernest” is produced by two of Europe’s biggest animation forces: Didier Brunner’s Les Armateurs, pic’s lead producer, and StudioCanal, which distributes in France, Germany and U.K., and […]

  • Leung Chiu-wai

    Tony Leung Breaks With Wong Kar-wai’s Jettone (Reports)

    Lambert Wilson (“The Matrix Reloaded”) will head the voice-cast of Gallic animated feature “Ernest and Celestine,” presented at the Annecy Animated Film Festival’s Work in Progress strand Wednesday, “Ernest” is produced by two of Europe’s biggest animation forces: Didier Brunner’s Les Armateurs, pic’s lead producer, and StudioCanal, which distributes in France, Germany and U.K., and […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    ‘Jurassic World’ Holds off ‘Incredibles 2’ in China

    Lambert Wilson (“The Matrix Reloaded”) will head the voice-cast of Gallic animated feature “Ernest and Celestine,” presented at the Annecy Animated Film Festival’s Work in Progress strand Wednesday, “Ernest” is produced by two of Europe’s biggest animation forces: Didier Brunner’s Les Armateurs, pic’s lead producer, and StudioCanal, which distributes in France, Germany and U.K., and […]

  • shanghai skyline China Placeholder

    Regulators Keep Chinese Film Industry in Suspense

    Lambert Wilson (“The Matrix Reloaded”) will head the voice-cast of Gallic animated feature “Ernest and Celestine,” presented at the Annecy Animated Film Festival’s Work in Progress strand Wednesday, “Ernest” is produced by two of Europe’s biggest animation forces: Didier Brunner’s Les Armateurs, pic’s lead producer, and StudioCanal, which distributes in France, Germany and U.K., and […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content