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The Fox and the Child


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fox and the Child (DVD)

Amazon.com

It's no surprise that the director of March of the Penguins should follow up that Oscar-winning effort with another film brimming with breathtaking footage of animals and their environment. But Luc Jacquet's The Fox and the Child (Le renard et l'enfant in its original French) is considerably more than a nature documentary; it's also a fantasy, a fairy tale, a family film, and perhaps even a comment about the relationship between humans and the animal world. Jacquet also wrote the script, which tells the story of a girl of perhaps 10 (played by Bertille Noël-Bruneau, with Kate Winslet supplying the voice-over narration) who's wandering through the forest near her home in mountainous eastern France when she encounters a fox and impulsively decides to "tame" it. The process whereby she earns the animal's trust is sweet (and very gradual, as we pass through several seasons en route), but what really distinguishes these sequences is the astonishing cinematography, with a seemingly endless parade of breathtaking vistas and brilliant colors, along with an impressive array of local fauna (lynx, bear, hedgehog, deer, wolves… you name it). 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

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: Luc Jacquet
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 2, 2009
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001RXDM36
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,680 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Fox and the Child" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Both of my kids (ages 3 and 4) LOVE this movie.
nreich
The definition of what family entertainment is all about - a lovable story, absolutely stunning scenery, and perfect photography - that is meant for everyone.
Daniel G. Lebryk
Just wish it could have ended on a more positive note.
Floraine Hallgren

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By old mom on March 5, 2010
Format: DVD
Spoiler alert -but if you have very young children you might want to know...This is a difficult movie to rate. Unquestionably the photography is 5 stars, and the story telling is fine but I don't expect a G rated film to have such a bloody scene for a major character (the fox). I watched this with my 4yr old and I definitely was not prepared for such a dark ending (although at the very end the fox does appear to be recovered -but at that point recovery seemed a bit implausible and I wondered if the movie maker had tacked it on). The girl gets the fox in her room and in a panic it crashes through the (apparently very weak) window into a bloody heap on the driveway below. The ending also seemed to undo much of the message of the rest of the movie. They had been "friends" but now the narrator says humans and foxes "could never be friends" -so was all the joy and wonder earlier in the movie an illusion? And why does she say "foxes understand love" ? In what way? The messages for a child were very mixed. All her involvement with nature was great -but then maybe it was all wrong. People hunt foxes (bad), wolves go after foxes (and child) -exciting adventure.
Also while the fox is clearly not safe in her world she apparently was safe in his (10 yr olds alone in the woods can escape bears and wolves and never really get lost). I don't mind those things working in a movie but then why not let the whole fox friendship thing work? It is the picking and choosing where to be realistic and where to be fantastic that ultimately didn't leave me wanting to watch the film again -at least not all the way through. Maybe just enjoy the photography and forget the story and the last 10 minutes.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Daniel G. Lebryk TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 14, 2009
Format: DVD
The definition of what family entertainment is all about - a lovable story, absolutely stunning scenery, and perfect photography - that is meant for everyone. The film is narrated wonderfully by Kate Winslet. She has a special wonderful sweet voice, that is never sappy.

This is the story of a girl who befriends a fox. It's the slow getting to know eachother, the dance where they both mistrust each other, build to trust, and then a realization that this is a wild animal that should fear humans. Almost the classic love story.

The synopsis really misses out on the spectacular scenery, the images of nature, the gorgeous animals, and the incredible sound. From the film credits, most of the locations are in Ain, a small town north of Lyon / East of Macon, France. This is the beginning of the French Alps, the foothills where there is a variety of landscape from fields to fairly high mountains (green all the way to the top though). The forests are green and lush, the snow amazing, the fall colors superb; it's a perfect filming location. The animal scenes are stunning, how they did this filming is frequently impossible to understand - simply amazing they got those shots. The sound was almost another character - birds, rain, thunder, woodpeckers, every sound imaginable in the woods was recorded clearly.

Luc Jacquet (did an outstanding job directing this film. He is best known for March of the Penguins (March of the Penguins (Widescreen Edition)). And this film follows in the same mold, he understands how to tell animal stories, capture them on film, and translate them into a movie. Isabelle Noel-Bruneau is the sweet redheaded star of the movie along side the fox. They make a beautiful couple.

Most will think, G rated nature film, why would I care?
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By SachaSacha on January 17, 2013
Format: DVD
I bought this film on a whim and having read quite a lot of the comments here I feel I have to add my tuppence-worth.

First of all, like everyone else I think the photography is beautiful and the observation of animal behaviour is fascinating. Until the last ten minutes or so the film depicts the growing relationship between fox and girl in a gentle, heart-warming way, but then at the end it takes a more tragic turn. The story is ultimately a moral about not trying to domesticate what is meant to be wild.

Unlike a lot of reviewers here, I don't see a conflicting message in the film. The girl learned that love is about giving and not taking. This what the last line of the film means when Winslet says "Foxes know how to love". The girl overstepped the boundary of love into wanting to possess the fox and have it do what she wanted. She wanted it to behave like a dog instead of a fox and be a pet instead of a wild friend. In the end she has to accept the truth and show her love for the fox by watching it run off back to its own life and throwing away the scarf/leash.

Some reviewers have commented about it spoiling their love of the beauty of nature, but I think this film is realistic in showing that the beauty of nature goes hand in hand with the wildness. A soppy version of this story where everything turned out sweet would have involved overturning the rules of nature and being hypocritical instead of truthful. In fact, if there was any lack of truth it was in not showing the nastier side of foxes. (But then, the nastier, blood-lustier side of foxes really is too gruesome for a children's film).

Also I am surprised by the number of people who seem concerned about the portrayal of the girl's freedom.
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