Ernest & Celestine Learning Resource

Ernest & Celestine: learning about story

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Reflect and analyse

Learn more about story elements and film language.

Script, character and setting

Scripting the story

Gabrielle Vincent never explained how Ernest and Celestine became friends in any of her books.

In writing the script for the film, screenwriter Daniel Pennac decided to imagine how the pair got to know each other and the problems creatures from such different worlds might face.

  • How is Ernest treated in the mouse world?

  • How is Celestine treated in the bear world?

Imagine you are explaining the story to someone who has not seen the film.

  • Write a couple of sentences explaining how Ernest and Celestine meet and become friends.

Film stories typically have:

  1. a beginning where we learn about the characters and the story

  2. a middle where there is a conflict or a problem

  3. an ending where the conflict or problem is resolved

  • Use the Story Design Worksheet (below) to write about or draw what happens in each part of the story.


Ernest and Celestine are unlikely friends. Their unexpected friendship is highlighted by how different they look.

  • Complete the Character Discovery worksheet (below) to:

    • learn more about character design

    • explore the differences between the two characters

  • Visit the Ernest & Celestine website to see some of the behind-the-scenes character design.

    • Notice the simple black lines used to create the characters.

    • Use this as inspiration for your own sketched characters. With either a pencil or charcoal, try to give a sense of character with as few lines and details as possible. ​​​

Setting: the world of the film

The person who creates the look of the world of a film is called a production designer.

  • Describe the underground world where the mice live.

  • What are the differences between the bear world and the mouse world? How are they similar?

  • How is colour used to contrast the bear’s town from Ernest’s house in the country?

  • How is colour used to show the different seasons?

  • The Ernest & Celestine animation was made to look as though it was painted in watercolours like the original books. Create your own watercolour painting based on an image from the film.    

Ernest & Celestine: themes

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