Ernest & Celestine

Based on a series of Belgian children’s books, this pleasant 2012 animation feature (a French-Belgian-Luxembourgian coproduction) looks as if it were created in colored pencil and watercolors; the images have a soft, inviting quality that befits the storybook narrative. The title characters are, respectively, a bear and mouse who become friends after teaming up to break into a candy store. Barring a few suspenseful sequences, the storytelling is leisurely and the tone gentle, which makes this a welcome alternative to the bombast of such recent U.S. animations as How to Train Your Dragon. Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar, best known for the cult TV series A Town Called Panic and its movie spin-off, directed with Benjamin Renner.