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TIFF Review: Big Bad Fox & Other Tales

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Out in the French countryside a fox, pig, rabbit, and a duck experience a series of funny and lighthearted misadventures.

A group of animals put together a stage play which is presented as three separate stories: a stork passing off the delivery of a baby to the pig, rabbit and duck which involves an aerial rescue and a catapult, a fox attempting to prove that he is to be feared has a case of mistaken identity with a couple of chicks, and a duck after thinking that he has killed Santa Claus attempts to impersonate him.

Benjamin Renner co-directs the adaptation of his comic book The Big Bad Fox with the help of co-director Patrick Imbert.  The prevailing tone is of a lighthearted faerie tale that captures the spirit of Looney Tunes cartoons as well as the physical slapstick of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin.  The water coloured, and simply designed animals and backgrounds create the impression that a series of illustrations of come to life.

The idea of having three stories tied together with a stage play introduction for each was a smart move by Renner and Imbert rather than attempt to turn one of them into a feature length version.  The short film approach allows for the gags to play out to greater effect.  The vocal performances are comical and the physical nuances of the characters contribute to them being endearing.  The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales is the type of animated feature that makes for a fun family outing.

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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