Film Review: The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales

Patrick Imbert and Benjamin Renner’s The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales is a collection of most amusing stories. The film should please viewers of all ages.

On a farm, a trio of animals are asked to deliver a baby by a stork. A fox attempts to show how frightening he is. Finally, a duck thinks he must impersonate Father Christmas after an unfortunate incident…

Directed by Patrick Imbert and Benjamin Renner (based on two of Renner’s comics), The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (Le Grand Méchant Renard et Autres Contes) comprises of three vignettes, tied together by the framing device of a stage play. Some of the characters appear in the three stories, and all are connected by the farm setting. Each story is a neat length; long enough to feature a decent narrative, but short enough to feel sprightly.

The first of the stories is about animals who must deliver a baby on behalf of a stork. The story balances the energy of a zany cartoon with a protagonist viewers can empathise with. The middle story is rather sweet, despite a premise that might seem humorously macabre. The final tale is a Christmas-set fable about Father Christmas. The second story is the strongest of the set, however all three are enjoyable.

The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales is frequently funny. The humour ranges from slapstick to witty exchanges, but there is something for all ages. Most of the time, the comedy hits the mark. The film also succeeds in eliciting warmth from viewers; the writing is good enough to make audiences care about the characters in each story, despite their brief length. The animation has a style distinct to the big Hollywood studios. It is perhaps more rudimentary, but also feels more personal.

The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales is a very entertaining watch. Children should love it, and adults will also be charmed by the film.

The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017.

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