Fox and Hare Save the Forest Fox and Hare Save the Forest

Mascha Halberstad’s Oink was one of our favorite animated features from 2022, and we’re thrilled her next film, Fox and Hare Save the Forest, is just around the corner.

Today, its producers pitched their in-production feature at Cartoon Movie, one of Europe’s key pitching and co-production events. For those who couldn’t make it to the French event in person, we’ve got an exclusive first-look video that includes several clips from the film and Halberstad discussing its origins and key themes.

The film’s screenplay was adapted by Fabie Hulsebos from the Vos en Haas en de Bosbaas book series from author Sylvia VandenHeede and illustrator Thé Tjong-Khing. Halbersted and Dutch production company Submarine previously adapted the property as an animated series in 2018. After recording the voice actors’ performances for that show, they felt the characters were so well developed that they had to make a movie as well.

Fox and Hare Save the Forest is a three-country co-production between Submarine Animation in the Netherlands, Doghouse Films in Luxembourg, and Walking the Dog in Belgium. Urban Distribution International is handling global sales.

For the film’s production, Submarine led the design, storyboarding, backgrounds, modeling, and half of the animation, with Doghouse responsible for rigging, prop modeling, layout, and the other half of the animation. Walking The Dog handled lighting, rendering, and compositing.

To get the right look, clay models were designed for each character – seen in Halberstad’s video – and scanned as cg assets that could be rigged and animated. Using Maya for modeling and animation and Unreal for lighting and rendering, the crew was able to achieve the film’s stop-motion feel.

In the film, Fox and Hare become distressed when they find their friend Owl has disappeared. Together with a group of woodland creatures, they set out to track down the missing bird, but instead find that their forest has been flooded by a giant lake that wasn’t there the day before. Unsure if Owl’s disappearance and the floodwaters are somehow related, the animals must embark on a crazy adventure to find their friend before the rising water overtakes the forest.

Fox and Hare Save the Forest is targeted at kids between four and seven, although its appealing visual style and light-hearted humor are sure to appeal to a wider audience. The production is heading into its final stretch, and the team hopes it will be ready for a late 2023 release.

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