Director: Benjamin Renner, Patrick Imbert
Cast: Guillaume Darnault, Damien Witecka, Kamel Abdessadok, Antoine Schoumsky, Céline Ronté
Watch The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales: Amazon Prime / iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google Play / Sky Store
If you liked Ernest & Celestine, prepare to have your sides split and heart warmed again, as this endlessly funny treat arrives from the same French animators. Director Benjamin Renner is once again at the helm alongside Patrick Imbert, this time adapting two comics (Le Grand Mechant Renard and Un Bebe a Livrer) that he published himself.
Our heroes are a bunch of animals who live around a tiny farm – and they’re a wonderfully dysfunctional bunch, who don’t quite get their place in the food chain. There’s a pig who decides to play postman, a duck who wants to be Santa, chicks who want to be foxes, a fox who wants to be a wolf, and a wolf who couldn’t care less about any of them.
A trio of tales dart between the group, linked by a typically cute vignette set within a theatre – a setting that makes no more sense than the absurd adventures themselves. A Baby To Deliver sees our accident-prone pig, rabbit and duck trying to get a baby, Pauline, to Avignon, after a stork is injured. The Big Bad Fox sees a fox inadvertently wind up raising some adorable baby chicks. And We Must Save Christmas sees the critters trying to rescue Santa.
The festive outing is the weakest of the bunch, but what was originally planned as a series of half-hour TV episodes is instead assembled as a collection of shorts, which means any ups and downs are too brief to register. Instead, you’ll be kept busy giggling throughout, and, in the case of the middle outing, getting emotionally involved in the sweet silliness. Directed and animated with a simple wit and an eye for slapstick calamity, the result is a wise-cracking animated gem, whether you’re reading subtitles or listening to the English dubbed voice cast, which includes Bill Bailey, Celia Imrie and Matthew Goode. An utter delight.
The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription.
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