3.5 out of 5 stars (above average)
Family entertainment is harder to find than an honest politician. Most “family” films rely on kid-only humor, leaving their parents waiting anxiously for the credits. Film producer Tammy Williams (through her production company Tammy Dele Films) made her directorial debut with The Chronicles of Ernie and Cerbie, a film that will actually entertain the entire family without crude jokes or pop culture references and balances humor, drama, and spiritual elements to create a unique experience.
The film follows young Ernie (Brogan Hall) and his dog Cerbie (voiced by an energetic Arlen Dewaine Griffin) who come out of a local lake before being taken to a children’s orphanage. However, Ernie is no ordinary boy; he is actually an angel who gave up his life in heaven so he could experience the different kinds of love on Earth, unfortunately losing his memory in the process. It also doesn’t help when bully Leto (John Whitley) begins to pick on Ernie, forcing him to confront his newfound human emotions. All the while, police Detective Meyers (Dominic Pace) attempts to find out who Ernie is.
The Chronicles of Ernie and Cerbie is a sterling directorial debut. Williams’ knowledge and experience with film shines through, as she directs the story with ease and gets some legitimately great performances out of her cast, especially the kids and animals. I’ve seen many a film ruined by a child’s inability to act, but the young cast members possess unexpected range for their ages and hopefully have long careers ahead. Best of all, the film’s message (no spoilers) is one that both parents and kids should connect with. The Chronicles of Ernie and Cerbie is a funny, well-executed blend of genres that proves the family film can actually entertain the entire family. Purchase the DVD on www.ernieandcerbie.com.