Here’s that Academy Award-nominated film that nobody in the U.S. really got to see before the award went to Frozen for best animated film. No doubt, this French offering smokes the admittedly likable but far inferior Disney story. The version I have seen is the English-dubbed version, in which Forest Whitaker and Mackenzie Foy are charming as they bring the title characters, a vagabond bear and a wily little mouse, to life. The film is done in what appears to be watercolors and ink drawings, and has a vibe similar to those old Winnie the Pooh Disney cartoons. Based on children’s books by Gabrielle Vincent, the story involves a young, artistic mouse that doesn’t want to be a dentist, and a large, musical bear awakening from hibernation with a major sweet tooth. It’s as loopy as it sounds, and the perfect movie for an afternoon outing with the kids (Parents will love its sometimes dark and goofy vibe, and kids will love how the mice converse with each other and bears). The American voice cast also includes Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, Megan Mullally, William H. Macy and Nick Offerman. This one is a true delight.
Director: Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner
Producer: Eric Beckman, David Jesteadt and Michael Sinterniklaas
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Paul Giamatti, William Macy, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Jeffrey Wright, Lauren Bacall, Susanne Blakeslee, Ashley Boettcher, Ashley Brooke, Marsha Clark and Bob Joles