The Fox and the Child
- Eddie Harrison
- 7 August 2008
Luc Jacquet’s follow-up to March of the Penguins has a title which sums up the film’s content precisely. The Fox and the Child is the simple story of a giggly eight-year-old French child (Bertille Noël-Bruneau) who strikes up a friendship with a fox she meets on the way home from school. Over the course of the following year, their friendship develops as the child successfully befriends, but fails to domesticate the animal, accompanied by lusciously shot footage of various furry and photogenic forms of nature.
Re-dubbed from a French box-office hit from 2007 and recalling the back-to-nature spirit of Jean-Jacques Annaud’s 1988 film The Bear, Jacquet’s film is an often beguiling account of how mankind and animals can exist in harmony. While environmentally conscious parents should relish a story unadorned by pop-culture references and crude jokes, The Fox and The Child’s sweetness sails perilously close to cloying before its brief time is up. Compared to March of the Penguins, where Jacquet re-interpreted the behaviour of the penguins according to middle class profiling, The Fox and the Child marks a step forward in narrative storytelling, depicting the fox as a wild and uncontrolled force in a non-Disney manner.
Selected release from Fri 8 Aug.