Ernest & Celestine co-director Benjamin Renner will direct a half-hour TV special, The Big Bad Fox, based on a comic book that he wrote and illustrated.
The project is being being produced for Canal+ and Studiocanal by Folivari, the new French production company founded by Ernest & Celestine, Secret of Kells, and Triplets of Belleville producer Didier Brunner, who stepped down as president of Parisian animation company Les Armateurs last year. France’s Superights will distribute the specials.
Here is an animation test for the project:
Renner has described Big Bad Fox to Saltlake Magazine as being “about a fox who isn’t strong enough to catch and eat chickens. Instead, he gets beaten by the chickens. So, he has this weird idea where he’s going to steal eggs and he’s going to raise the small chickens, pretending he’s the mother, but one day, he’s going to eat them.”
Two additional spin-offs—A Baby to Deliver and A Perfect Christmas—will be written and designed by Renner, though it is not clear if he will also direct these films. In the former, “an idiot rabbit, a stupid duck, and a grumpy pig” have to deliver a human baby to its parents after the stork delivering the baby breaks its wing, while in the latter, the rabbit and duck attempt to fulfill the role of Santa Claus after becoming convinced that they accidentally killed him.
Renner, who was nominated for an Academy Award alongside his fellow directors for his work on Ernest & Celestine, was also the designer of the feature Yellowbird. Ernest & Celestine itself was based on a series of children’s books by Belgian author and illustrator Gabrielle Vincent.