From Rachel Wagner
Creating an effective animated comedy is a tricky endeavor. Too often studios will lean too heavily on toilet and other juvenile humor they think kids like, or they will try too hard to appeal to adults, making the humor unseemly and awkward. That’s why it is especially neat to get a comedy like The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales, which is fittingly funny for all ages and enchanting to watch.
Big Bad Fox was created by Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert, who made the lovely film Ernest and Celestine, and while this film is not as subversive or effective as that film, it is still a joy to watch. It starts with the feel of an old school vaudeville routine as our title character welcomes us to the theater to see some stories.
The first story is called ‘Baby Delivery’ and features a clever farmer pig, a dumb duck, and a mischievous rabbit that must help deliver a baby to its parents, instead of a stork. The second story, ‘The Big Bad Fox,’ is about when the fox becomes the unwilling mother to 3 baby chicks. And then, finally, ‘Saving Christmas’ features a pig, rabbit, and duck who must find a way to save Christmas for the animals. All 3 are adorable and funny but my favorite is probably ‘Saving Christmas’ because i’m a sucker for holiday films, and it is so sweet, funny, and heart-warming.
As you can tell from the images, the animation style is sketchy and simple but that’s all part of the charm. When we are constantly bombarded by hyperrealistic CGI animation these days, it is so refreshing to see 2D hand-drawn sketchy animation that feels more like a children’s story than something trying to imitate real life.
The only complaint some may about Big Bad Fox and Other Tales is that it doesn’t have a traditional narrative. The only through-line in the film is the play the animals are putting on. Aside from that, it is three short stories but I like short stories so it was fine with me. They were all charming and funny, so the more stories the better!
I also appreciate that Big Bad Fox is strictly G rated fare (it technically has no rating but it would be G). There is nothing unseemly or off-putting, just an entertaining and sweet family film that you should all go out there and support. Your entire family will love it!
From Jonathan North
I didn’t know exactly what to expect when I first started watching The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales. I had seen the trailer, which looked very cute, and I was looking forward to it, but I had also recently watched Birdboy: The Forgotten Children, and afterwards I was left confused and a bit disappointed, compared to my expectations from its trailer, so I wasn’t sure if that was going to happen again. Thankfully I had nothing to worry about.
The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales is, hands down, one of the most effortlessly charming films I have ever seen. It is not like a traditional American film, where you have one story for an hour and a half; this movie is presented more like a series of plays, featuring a cast of characters that go in and out of each other’s stories.
The main setting for these stories is a farm, and the characters are all animals that live on or around the farm. The titular character may be a fox, but the characters with the biggest roles are a trio of animals: a pig, a duck, and a rabbit, who are all very endearing and have a dynamic that reminded me of Rabbit and Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, except that the Pig is more like Rabbit, while both the duck and the rabbit act more like Tigger.
The animation in The Big Bad Fox is all hand-drawn, which, while not as detailed as a traditional Disney feature, still features a unique, adorable style that you can tell is probably based on a specific illustrator’s work. I loved the sketchy feel to the drawings, as well as the minimalist feel to everything else. Sometimes less is more, and I think that was definitely the case here.
There really aren’t enough animated films like this one these days. Not only does this movie feature hand-drawn animation, but it’s family friendly without needing to resort to toilet humor, “for the kiddies,” and it’s funny without resorting to innuendo, “for adults.” The humor came from the characters and the situations they found themselves in, and was written in such a way that children and adults can both watch together and they will both be equally entertained.
All in all, I highly recommend this film. It’s a perfect film to watch with your family, regardless of the ages of anyone. It’s charming, adorable, creative, funny, and unique. I can only hope that it will end up doing well enough to make a sequel, because I just loved it.
Edited by: Kajsa Rain Forden