The Big Bad Fox And Other Tales

***1/2

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

The Big Bad Fox And Other Tales
"This simple yet charming film is perfect for young children."

For small children not yet used to the experience, going to the cinema is a big event. They're looking forward to a show. Welcome, then, to this slightly haphazard but ebullient production by a fox, a wolf, a rabbit, a pig, a stork, some ducks and some chickens. They are here to entertain and they do so by presenting three stories about life in and around the farmyard.

In the first of these stories, the laziness of a stork, who feigns injury, means that three inexperienced animals are charged with delivering a baby to a family on the other side of France. In the second, a fox's plan to steal some eggs and grow his own food supply goes awry when the chicks who emerge decide he is their mother. And in the third, the animals are called upon to save Christmas - but not in the way you might expect.

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Directed by Patrick Imbert and Ernest And CĂ©lestine's Benjamin Renner, who created the comics where its characters originated, this simple yet charming film is perfect for young children (as long as they can speak French, read, or have an adult prepared to read the subtitles to them). The animation is full of personality, the characters fresh and engaging, and there's plenty of gentle yet irreverant humour. Where there are bad guys (notably the Big Bad Wolf), their dangerousness is conveyed without too many scary bits, and the stories encourage viewers to be brave and have faith in their ability to take on new challenges - though some activities, like being fired from a giant catapult, are gently discouraged.

Although they're targeted at children, there's enough substance to these stories to keep adult viewers from getting bored, along with meta-narrative jokes aimed over the heads of the little ones. Overall this is a sweet film which, though it never quite captures the magic of Renner's previous hit, may well become a family favourite.

Reviewed on: 04 Dec 2017
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The Big Bad Fox And Other Tales packshot
A triptych of animated adventures.

Director: Patrick Imbert, Benjamin Renner

Writer: Jean Regnaud, Benjamin Renner

Year: 2017

Runtime: 79 minutes

Country: France

Festivals:

London 2017

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