The Fox and the Child

  • Review Date: June 23, 2009
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Stunning story of friendship shows the magic of patience.
  • Review Date: June 23, 2009
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

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
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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 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

This review of The Fox and the Child was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 3, 8, and 10 year old Written byrahrah1 February 10, 2013
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

A HAUNTINGLY BEAUTIFUL FILM- but not for the very young or very sensitive.

We came across this film by accident. I thought it would be a short nature/feel good film- instead it had my children, and us,absolutely mesmerised!!. The cinematography is absolutely stunning and the story enchanting...It will stay in our minds for years. There is a lot of natural violence, which will be upsetting for kids raised on sanitised Disney films, but most of the film is utterly beautiful. The end may be a bit sad, if you want a 'happily ever after', but it makes sense and follows the progression of the film- it tells us we must respect natural boundaries ...too many children view animals as just pets or playthings or 'animations'. We all found this film uplifting and powerful and satisfying. ( ages 8, 10 and 21+?? haha!) It was also very educational- and my children have a renewed fascination with wildlife . There were a few annoying aspects- the narrative was a bit repetitive and could have been more poetic, and we couldn't see why the girl just had to wear the same clothes all the time!!!. A glimpse into her day-to-day life would have helped and given a sense of balance. Overall though, four of us agreed that this film was magical... If your child is sensitive, watch it first and decide.. but do let them see it, sometime....- even when they're 15! PS I don't think the Common Sense rating of age 6 is really appropriate- it's including some reviews that said age 3..but hated it! Age 8 is good- it all depends on the child though ....
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 6 year old Written byPairofeyesstari... February 16, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

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
Teen, 13 years old Written byPuppyluv13 November 4, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Excellent Family film but have a box of tissues with you

This was an excellent movie! A wonderful family film for all ages but the ending is pretty sad and very abrubt, Bottom line: Don't be surprised if your young movie viewer is in tears, the fox doesn't die but it's clear that the girl in the movie will never see the fox again and that's explained in a pretty sad way so I would say that it's age appopriate for kids ages kids ages 8+ and then again only for kids who aren't easily upset by stuff like this.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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