The Fox and the Child
It should come as no surprise that French director Luc Jacquet would follow his Oscar-winning nature film "The March of the Penguins“ with another visually captivating film about animals and their natural environment. However, "The Fox and the Child" is considerably more than a nature documentary, it is also a fairy-tale, fantasy world, children’s film which highlights the relationships between humans and animals.
The narrator (Kate Winslet) tells the story of a girl, Lila (Bertille Noël-Bruneau) who likes to wander the forests in the mountainous French region. One day she meets a wild fox and is immediately fascinated with the beautiful and elegant animal and decides to follow the animal's tracks. Stuck indoors throughout the winter because of an ankle injury, Lila reads and learns all that she can about foxes and becomes somewhat of an expert. In the spring-time, she picks up the foxes trail again and discovers that the fox has had a litter of cubs. Over time she develops a sort of friendship, she earns the animals trust by bringing food and is taken to see it’s den. Together, Lila and her fox companions discover the untouched beauty of the forest but soon Lila comes to realize that the foxes are wild and can not be domesticated.
What really sets this film apart is the astonishing cinematography. An endless parade of breathtaking vistas and vibrant colours, and an impressive exhibition of the native French fauna through the four seasons. The magical friendship between fox and girl captures the imagination of children, and reminds adults of a time when everything was new and waiting to be discovered.
A touching story about how humans interact with nature that demands respect for its quality.
The film was shot on the Plateau de Retord in Ain, which the film director knows well because he spent summers there in his youth, as well as in the Abruzzo in Italy. The foxes in the film were played by six animals: Titus, Sally, Ziza, Scott, Tango and Pitchou.
|Script:||Luc Jacquet, Eric Rognard|
|Production:||Bonne Pioche, France 3 Cinéma|
|Actors:||Bertille Noël-Bruneau, Isabelle Carré, Thomas Laliberté|
|Our age recommendation:||8|
|Language (audio):||German, French, English|
|Language (subtitles):||German, English, Spanish|
|Country of origin:||France|
The film has an overly sweet beginning, but if you can stomach it you can turn your attention to the marvelous landscape and wildlife footage, which are Jacquet’s strengths. The personification of wild animals has its limits, one hopes that Luc Jacquet also learns this lesson. – Berliner Morgenpost
A beautifully narrated fairy tale about a touching friendship between man and beast. Following the success of "March of the Penguins“, Luc Jacquet uses many of the same documentary techniques in this feature film. – Süddeutsche Zeitung
The problematic personification of the animal world, as is known as a stylistic device from countless Disney films, is also a theme for Luc Jacquet. […] Embedded in a kind of fairy-tale, over-styled narrative, the film gradually unfolds its message. And this is about an understanding of nature not based in hierarchy and property, but also demands respect and consideration from humans. To this effect, Jacquet captures great footage from the animal world, which, with enormous effort, is turned into an exciting and coherent story. – General-Anzeiger Bonn
The cautious and withdrawn film concentrates entirely on the triangular relationship between nature, fox and maiden, and uses the narrative voice as an important dramaturgical function. This semi-documentary feature film teaches the importance of freedom for both humans and animals. – Kinotipp der katholischen Filmkritik
This is unquestionably grade A family fare, but while Jacquet manages to convey the child's sense of wonder and curiosity, it is not a kids' film, as there are several genuinely scary moments--the fox, whom the girl names Lily, is in serious jeopardy more than once, and the girl's night in the forest, lost and surrounded by spooky noises, is potentially the stuff of nightmares. And that's not even including the ending, when the child, as people will do when confronted with cute, furry creatures (and the fox is very appealing), considers trying to take Lily out of her own world and into the humans'. That caveat aside, The Fox and the Child is a wondrous piece of entertainment. – Sam Graham
Jacques speaks in images, and only in images. Rarely has the French landscape been depicted so heavenly on the big screen. It is visually and emotionally moving. Jacquet manages to bring nature directly to your eyes without taking a step outside. Contemplative, cheerful and educational - the forest’s appeal is an invitation to escape reality and for reflection. – Première
To say that Jacquet’s audience has been impatiently waiting for the new feature film is a euphemism. They won’t be disappointed. Once again they are invited on an extraordinary adventure. Luc Jacquet has, through years of experience, constructed the intrigue of this moving narrative of simplicity and justice. – Le JDD
A touch of fresh air and pure love. – Le Parisien
More mysterious than "Wilderness" - for this beautiful journey into the heart of nature, Jacquet takes all the necessary time to film. Somewhere between Saint-Exupery and Lewis Carroll, a captivating narrative with morality, truly delightful for all ages. – Télé 7 Jours
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