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The Fox & the Child Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Stunning story of friendship shows the magic of patience.

What 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.

  • 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?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true2

    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.

  • message true4

    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.

  • rolemodels true4

    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.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and 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.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not an issue

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue