GKids has acquired U.S. distribution rights from Studiocanal for the animated feature “Ernest and Celestine” and plans to dub the film into English for release in fall 2013.

“Ernest and Celestine” world preemed at Cannes, where it won special mention at Directors’ Fortnight, and will make its North American premiere next month at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival. French release is set for Dec. 12.

Film, based on the children’s book series by author and illustrator Gabrielle Vincent, is animated in hand-painted watercolor design and tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a bear, Ernest, and a young mouse named Celestine.

Production was spearheaded by Didier Brunner and Les Armateurs (“Triplets of Belleville,” “The Secret of Kells”) with the participation of Studiocanal, Maybe Movies, La Parti Prods., Melusine Prods. and France 3 Cinema. Studiocanal manages all rights as well as the international sales.

GKids titles “A Cat in Paris” and “Chico and Rita” received Oscar nominations this year. The company has recently announced acquisitions of “From Up on Poppy Hill” (Studio Ghibli, Japan), “Zarafa” (Pathe, France), “The Rabbi’s Cat” (TF1, France), “A Letter to Momo” (Production I.G., Japan), “Le Tableau” (Rezo, France) and “Wrinkles” (Six Sales, Spain).