Directed by: Luc Jacquet
Written by:Luc Jacquet
Starring: Bertille Noel-Bruneau
Released: July 9, 2002
Grade: B+

The number of family orientated movies out at the moment is dreadfully disappointing.  It’s the school holidays, kids are looking for something to do, and yet there is just one major flick on offer to satisfy their tastes – Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs.

Thankfully, we now have a choice with the arrival of The Fox & The Child.  The problem is that this 2007 flick is only receiving a very small release in a handful of cinemas.  It’s worth making the effort though.

It’s the tale of a 10-year-old girl (played by Bertille Noel-Bruneau) and the year-long friendship she strikes up with a curious fox that lives in the woods near her home.  The fox is very wary of the girl at first but over time, the two grow to trust each other.  They go on long adventures – exploring every aspect of the beautiful landscape.  There are moments of excitement and moments of danger.

I have to say that I enjoyed watching an innocent, G-rated flick with some originality.  I’m growing tired of the action packed animated adventures that have emanated from the United States.  This flick is live action and has just a single actor – a curious, red-headed girl.  We never meet her parents… or anyone else for that matter.  The film’s entire focus is on her escapades.

The film is French but you don’t need to worry about subtitles as the young girl’s voice has been dubbed into English.  This helps open the film up to a younger audience but I found it slightly distracting to see the girl’s lips move out of sync with the dialogue.  This version also has an English narrator with the wonderful Kate Winslet doing a great job.

The most striking aspect of The Fox & The Child are the visuals from Luc Jacquet and his team of editors and cinematographers.  There were many scenes which left me in awe.  How did he get the camera so close to these animals?  The imagery is just as good as Jacquet’s acclaimed March Of The Penguins, which won him an Academy Award for best documentary in 2006.

The girl’s naivety is revealed late in the film and valuable lessons are learned.  It was refreshing to see a film which doesn’t shy away from such conflicts.  This is a 10 year old girl who makes silly mistakes, just like a 10 year old girl would.  Not just for kids, The Fox & The Child is the kind of film that will perk you up on a sleepy, Sunday afternoon.