After March of the Penguins won an Oscar and became a license to print money, I half expected director Luc Jacquet to announce he’d always wanted to make a massive Hollywood animal movie, like a big-budget remake of The Hellstrom Chronicle. That was obviously just wishful thinking on my part.
Instead, Jacquet has run off to make an art-house version of those live action Disney animal movies from the ’70s. The Fox & The Child is the story of a girl who follows a fox she finds behind her home. It’s a blend of documentary-style fox footage and more straightforward dramatic film, all with a children’s book atmosphere, with locations snagged in France, Italy and Romania. That’s a far-walking fox.
Picturehouse has just picked up the incomplete film, based on 40 minutes of footage. But they’re not quite satisfied with the long-range plan, which involves very little on-screen dialogue. A ‘well known’ actress might be hired to add a unifying voice over before the film hits US theatres. If that sounds like a lame editorial intrusion, consider that the original French version of March of the Penguins featured dialogue meant to be spoken by the penguins; Morgan Freeman’s VO seems like a massive improvement.
France might get this one in December of this year, but the rest of the world will likely have to wait until early 2008.
Meanwhile, what’s a guy got to do to get the friggin’ Hellstrom Chronicle on DVD? Tell me, and I’ll do it.