I’m not used to reviewing books, but this one deserves that I do.
When Disney’s Frozen won the Oscar for Best Feature Film in 2014, a French movie, Ernest & Celestine, showed up to battle against Disney, Universal, DreamWorks and the legendary Hayao Miyazaki. Benjamin Renner, one of the directors of the film, published a comic book in 2015 titled Le Grand Méchant Renard (The Big Bad Fox).
The book was well received, and an animated adaptation was made, titled: Le Grand Méchant Renard Et Autres Contes… (“and other stories”). It debuted on French theaters in June 21.
The animated film has not arrived to this side of the world, but we did get the English and Spanish versions of the book, and that’s precisely what I want to write about.
The English adaptation of cartoonist, animator and filmmaker Renner’s comic, The Big Bad Fox, launched in June 20, thanks to the First Second publisher (I love the name, in fact).
The book contains 188 colorful pages of good quality paper, with a charming story and easily to digest, which can be read in one sitting, and the whole family can enjoy it.
In The Big Bad Fox, the fox dreams to be the terror of a farm, but no one gets intimidated by him, particularly the hens. Every time he fights with one, it’s bad news to him. Even the wolf, the most feared beast of the forest, cannot teach him how to be a decent predator. It all seems like the fox will have to live his life eating turnips. One day, the wolf comes up with the perfect plan: If the fox steals some eggs, he could incubate them and raise the chicks until they grow and become big, fat and juicy for him to eat them. However, the plan fails when three adorable chicks are born and mistake the fox for their mother.
The story talks about compassion, maternity, anxiety, treason, and makes its social criticism within the simplicity of its narrative. The drawing consists of a few traces colored with watercolors.
The humor lies in the personality of the diverse characters, the expressions they do and their zany ideas. With the translation, the story does not seem to lose its comedic aspect, which is one of the greatest risks in translations, and First Second seems to have achieved it with no issues.
I hope the film someday arrives to Puerto Rico, but meanwhile, those who want to read something short and good, can look up The Big Bad Fox at their favorite bookstore.