Children's animated films, like just about everything else these days, are mostly created by a couple of mega-corporations. Some days it seems like the only animations out there are digitally rendered, hyperactive "Pix-ney" flicks filled with pop-culture wisecracks and supported by a $100 million budget. There are plenty of fun films that fall within that category, but parents who think their kids deserve variety in their cinematic diet will be pleased to find there are other options this summer.

Highly recommended is "Ernest & Celestine," based on the best-selling children's books by Belgian author Gabrielle Vincent, and made with a beautiful blend of hand-drawn animation and CGI.

The simplest compliment I can give this film is to say that while so many children's films nowadays feel like feature-length video games, "Ernest & Celestine" is like an illustrated children's book come to life, its thin line drawings and watercolor landscapes perched somewhere between Beatrix Potter and Studio Ghibli.