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Western Animation / The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales

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Le Grand méchant renard et autres contes (English: The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales) is a 2017 French animated film directed by Benjamin Renner (Ernest et Célestine), adapted from his comic book of the same name. As with Renner's previous film, it employs "tradigital" animation (each shot being drawn frame-by-frame in Adobe Flash) to emulate the look of traditional hand-drawn animation.

The film uses an anthology format, with a group of animals telling three different stories in the form of plays:

  • "A Baby to Deliver" sees a rabbit, duck and pig attempting to deliver a baby human for a stork, only for things to go out of control throughout their journey.
  • "The Big Bad Fox" sees the title character trying to steal chicken eggs to eat, only for his plans to backfire when the eggs hatch and the chicks imprint on him.
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  • "The Perfect Christmas", sees the three characters from the first story preparing for Christmas, only to embark on a wacky present-delivering mission when they mistakenly believe they've killed Santa.

The film received critical acclaim and was commercially successful. It was licensed in the States by GKIDS and was given a British–English dub featuring well-known British talent, including Adrian Edmondson, Celia Imrie, Matthew Goode, Bill Bailey and Phil Jupitus.


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Le grand méchant renard et autres contes provides examples of the following:

  • Animated Actors: The characters are actors in a play. Though it's ambiguous if their normal personalities are similar to what they're representing.
  • Becoming the Mask: Inverted. The fox never meant to imitate these chicks' mother, but with time, he begins to see himself as their adoptive father as much as they view him as one.
  • The Big Bad Wolf: Wolf is the chief antagonist of the second story, and also appears briefly in the first. The Big Bad Fox's name is supposed to invoke this, but he's neither big nor bad, no matter how hard he tries.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The chickens come to save Fox and the Chicks from Wolf.
  • Brainy Pig: A pig is the Only Sane Man who serves as the voice of reason, but is ignored by his dimwitted friends Duck and Rabbit.
  • Bully Bulldog: In the third story, Pig, Rabbit and Duck encounter one of these and his daughter when they accidentally land in a dog pound.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Used several times, most notably in the first segment: First when the trio are lost in the woods at night and see a pair of large yellow eyes looming above them, which turns out to be a small tarsier up on a limb; and the second is when they are in a parcel being loaded on a plane, the rough journey shown only through their eyes reacting to the box being jostled about.
  • Christmas Episode: The entirety of the third play.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The fox set up for the wolf to pretend the latter was a feared creature known as "the big bad fox" in order to discourage the chicks from thinking of him as their mother hen. Instead, it gives the children the mistaken belief that because their "mommy" was the Big Bad Fox, then they are vicious, chick-eating fox kits as well. And they revel in it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The dog.
  • Delivery Stork: The premise of the first play, where Pig, Rabbit and Duck meet a stork who has injured himself while delivering a baby human to her new parents, prompting Rabbit and Duck to finish his mission.
    • Turns out he was lying about the injury thing and just wanted someone to finish the job for him since he's lazy.
  • Eat the Dog: The wolf and fox originally planned on eating the chicks after they'd get fatter and make a decent meal, but the fox gets attached to the chicks and abandons the plan of wanting to eat them.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After everything he goes through with almost every other character, the fox is able to see the chicks he raised every day after school in exchange for helping the chickens with self defense against other foxes and wolves.
  • Escaped Animal Rampage: During the first play, the main characters find a Chinese tarsier escaped from a nearby zoo. After rescuing him from zookeepers, they decide to help him go back home.
  • Evil Egg Eater: Subverted. The titular fox steals chicken eggs to eat, only for the eggs to hatch and the chicks to imprint on him.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: When Pig, Duck and Rabbit find the real Santa Claus, he turns out to be no bigger than they are. When they mime that they expected him to be bigger, Santa explains that it makes it easier to go down chimneys that way.
  • Full Moon Silhouette: In the third story, when Pig, Duck and Rabbit fly in front of the moon on an out-of-control shopping cart.
  • Human Mail: Duck and Rabbit try to mail the baby and the tarsier to Avignon and China, respectively. Unfortunately, they got the addresses mixed up and have to get on the plane to save them.
  • Imprinting: When the baby chicks hatch and see Fox, they instantly assume he's their mother.
  • Kick the Fox: When the Fox begs the Wolf not to eat "[his] children" (the chicks), the Wolf reaches his wit's end at hearing the Fox nearly forgot he stole the chicks for the sole purpose of eating them. He berates him for not being able to do something as simple as devour three naïve little chicks. He then angrily reveals to the Chicks that their "mother" not only meant to eat them, but is also a pathetic creature hardly fit to call "The Big Bad Fox".
  • Mama Bear: Better yet, Mama Hen.
  • Mighty Roar: Fox tries one of these to scare a chicken into handing over her eggs, but fails. It takes Wolf to show him how to do one properly.
  • Only Sane Man: Pig, who has to put up with Rabbit and Duck's crazy antics. Also goes for the Wolf in the second story.
  • Papa Wolf: Or "Papa Fox", as it were. When the Wolf tries to eat the Chicks, the Fox stops him and gives the Chicks an opportunity to escape. And this is despite that the Wolf is a little more than twice his size.
  • Parental Substitute: After originally wanting to fatten the chicks to eat them with the wolf, he gets so attached to them that he abandons the plans and even attacks the wolf when he tries to eat them.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Fox dons one of these when Wolf goes after him and the chicks and they hide out at the farm, forcing Fox to disguise himself as one of the hens.
  • Plank Gag: During the opening scene when Rabbit conks Pig with a prop tree he's carrying. Twice.
  • "Psycho" Strings: In the first play when Pig realizes they got on the back of the butcher's truck.
  • Raised by Wolves: Or foxes in this case for the chicks Fox ends up having to raise.
    • Of course, this comes back to bite him in the butt when they go on the run from Wolf and end up hiding out at the farm, where Fox's chicks try to eat the other chicks, almost blowing Fox's cover.
  • Running Gag:
    • At least once in each play, one character will pull a scary face and say "Time to eat!" ("Dinner time!" in the English dub.)
    • The snail trying to eat leaves in the second story.
    • The front of Pig's house falling off in the third story.
  • Santa Claus: In the third play, after knocking over a Santa statue and thinking they've killed Santa, Duck and Rabbit take it upon themselves to deliver Christmas presents in Santa's place. They later meet the real Santa, who's much smaller in person. He says it's easier for him to climb down chimneys this way.
  • Saving Christmas: The title of the third story, which is also a parody of this trope. Rabbit and Duck think they killed Santa (actually a decoration) and take it on themselves to take his place and deliver all the presents. It gets played for real when they end up saving the actual Santa.
  • Shout-Out: In the third story, Dog picks up a Totoro ornament.
  • Suddenly Bilingual: Rabbit is able to speak Mandarin, to Pig and Duck's surprise, and can understand what the tarsier is saying.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: Even after Pig explains that the Santa Claus they knocked off the roof was actually a plastic decoration, Duck and Rabbit still believe they killed the real Santa and that Pig is in denial.
  • Taking the Bullet: When two hunters aim their weapons on the group, Rabbit stands in front of the baby and gets shot. Fortunately, the "hunters" were zookeepers looking for an escaped tarsier, and Rabbit was shot with a tranquilizer dart, which just makes him act a little loopy for a few minutes.
  • Totem Pole Trench: How Duck and Rabbit disguise themselves while going to the post office to send the baby and the tarsier.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: The chickens get tired of the farm dog's slacking off and take it on themselves to learn how to defend themselves from the fox. In the end, they end up beating up the wolf.
  • Tree Buchet: Rabbit and Duck's first attempt to deliver the baby is to catapult them with a trebuchet. Pig stops them just in time, only to get catapulted himself. In the end of the first story, Pig shows the stork this new "revolutionary" form of travel.

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