The Fox and the Child Movie Poster Image

The Fox and the Child



Stunning story of friendship shows the magic of patience.
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Though she is learning about nature by being part of it every day, the child does read books about foxes in order to discover more about their behavior and habits.

Positive messages

The child attempts for months to befriend a fox, which exemplifies patient and persistent behavior. However, when she attempts to impose her own human values on the fox, she is taught a lesson about the boundaries of love.

Positive role models

The child is so very patient and curious that she models some ideal behavior. No parents are seen in the movie, though their voices are heard and their care is evident.

Violence & scariness

Wilderness dangers and human predators threaten the fox at times. There is a key scene near the end of the movie that might be shocking and distressing to younger or more sensitive viewers. Spoiler alert: The fox jumps through a second story window and becomes bloodied and seems to die.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this extraordinary family film does something that few movies can do: it takes a modern child and places her in the natural world without losing believability. The child's relationship with the fox does border on obsession, and there are moments where she is in peril, but she learns a valuable lesson that will ring a bell with viewers of all ages. There is a scene near the end of the movie that might be shocking and distressing to younger or more sensitive viewers where the fox is seriously injured. Parents might want to preview this scene before sharing with younger kids.

What's the story?

A familiar voice of a narrator (Kate Winslet) recalls a period of time in her childhood when she befriended a fox. As she explores the spectacular countryside near her home in the mountains, she uncovers a world of mystery and peril right under her nose. In order to even spot the fox, the girl (Bertille Noel-Bruneau) spends days upon days outside exploring and observing. As the months pass, she discovers her fox friend's habitat, its perils, and joys. And just as she gains the fox's trust, she learns a painful lesson about what it means to be a good friend.

Is it any good?


Exploring nature at its breathtaking best, this movie will delight all animal lovers. Shots from inside of a fox's burrow, of hedgehogs playing and otters skulking in the stream, of bears hunting and wolves prowling, will mesmerize kids of all ages. Adults will appreciate the artistry of Luc Jacquet, March of the Penguins' creator, whose skill in capturing the natural world is unparalleled. Not only does the movie succeed in taking the viewer out of the technology traffic jam that is modern life, but it creates a shift in the heart of the audience member. It lets us believe that with enough patience and willingness, we can become so close to nature that we can be part of it again. And that is magic, indeed.

Families can talk about...

  • When was the last time that you were totally immersed in the natural world? Can you spend as much time outdoors as the girl in this movie does? What does she gain by being outside so often? What is she missing?

  • The child feels that she has truly become friends with the fox at one point. Is she fooling herself? Or are there different types of friendship? Do you have friends other than the kids your age? How do these friendships feel?

  • The breathtaking scenery in this film seems so unreal. Why is that? Is there a forest or field or national park near you? When was the last time you visited and just sat in the grass and listened to the sounds around you?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 2, 2007
DVD/Streaming release date:June 2, 2009
Cast:Bertille Noel-Bruneau, Kate Winslet, Thomas Laliberte
Director:Luc Jacquet
Studio:New Line
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Friendship, Wild animals
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:G

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Parent of a 8 and 13 year old Written byReeha December 30, 2014

Ending was so disappointing

Let me start by saying my family LOVED this movie! ... Until the last few minutes. I had read up on the movie to make sure the fox didn't die. I was prepared for the injury scene. But I wasn't prepared for my kids' reactions. I thought as long as it turned out that it was ok, they would be fine. So I didn't prepare them because I didn't want to act as a spoiler, or have them expecting something bad throughout the movie. But, as others have said (I wished I had read ALL of the reviews), the otherwise extremely well-done movie does not resolve the traumatic scene very well before ending rather abruptly. And I found myself telling my girls, age 8 and 13, over and over, that the fox did NOT die! There seemed to be a disconnect in them, and instead of being left with the beautiful overall experience of the movie, they were left with only the devastating images of that one scene. Surprisingly, it was my 13yr old that was most disturbed, and actually in tears when all was said and done. (She does not necessarily cry easily) She does not want to see the movie again and was actually upset with me. If I had it to do over, I would still watch this movie as a family. HOWEVER, I would pause it when the house scene at the end begins, and I would prepare them by telling them what was about to happen, and that the fox was going to be hurt, but would end up being ok, even though it didn't look like it. Then I would suggest that they were welcome to look away if they thought it would bother them. I think, with this interruption and emotional preparation, they probably would have been fine. Just a suggestion for those with fairly sensitive kiddos. As I've said, it was an otherwise beautiful movie. It would have been a 4 or 5 star, had this one scene been less graphic, and had it transitioned better to a satisfying ending. The cinematography was stunning, the little girl was adorable (why on earth does she wear the same outfit all year long, lol?), and the animals and nature was just mesmerizing.
Parent of a 6 year old Written byPairofeyesstari... February 16, 2011

Good themes, better for older viewers

warning - this review tells about the ending we were devasted by the ending and the way the message was portrayed - a little harsh for our 6 year old I think the message of over obsessive friendship couldve been shown with the fox escaping instead of dying in a visually bloody death.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Parent of a 5, 7, and 10 year old Written byFunMommy October 11, 2009

My kids went to bed crying

The nature scenes are pretty but my kids 5, 7, 10 years were in tears at the end. The end is too abrupt and sad with no attempt to ease the transition for the child audience that it's obviously intended for. Don't show it at night; your kids will go to bed crying.