the big bad fox illustration book trailer motion design farm story youth

the big
bad fox

book trailer


The trailer is introduced as a strategy of choice in making contact with the viewer. It is common in the film industry but also applies to other areas such as the book market.

A trailer usually develops in a short format. The goal is to go to the basics and communicate a seductive universe in a few shots. This brief introduction separates the reader in his or her purchasing decision.

This project explores the problem of transcribing a child's universe in terms of the relationship between parent and child. But also how to arouse the curiosity of the future reader without distorting the work and revealing the story.


Author: Benjamin RENNER

Graphics: Trait pour Trait, Lewis TRONDHEIM & Benjamin RENNER

Publishing: Delcourt

Collection: Shampooing

Directed and animated by Thomas CHARIER & Christopher CUGINI


PARIS ~ 2016



Benjamin RENNER is a French animator and director of animated films. He is the designer of The Big Bad Fox. He recently worked on the adaptation of this comic strip in animated film. He is also writing a feature film, and is engaged in "turbomedia" projects a mix of comics, cartoons, and video games. The Big Bad Fox is the first album of the co-director of the movie Ernest and Celestine.

This hijacking of an animal tale contains a humanistic and modern account of a parental relationship between a fox and his three chicks. This book evokes Tex Avery, the Looney Tunes but also Pixar's animated films. Indeed Benjamin RENNER is above all an animator and director.

The Big Bad Fox is an affordable work for kids and their parents. The general tone of the story is humorous and keeps a playful aspect.

  • ~ if you can not catch the chickens, steal the eggs! ~



The Big Bad Fox is an intergenerational book that uses the visual strategies of the cartoon youth book.

The trailer draws its inspiration from childhood stories, especially that of the big bad wolf and the fabulous universe that emerges from it.


The introduction plays on a suspense effect by creating a narrative lure. This expectation develops around a mysterious main character finally revealed in a humorous rebound.

The big bad fox is staged in the form of a stealthy and threatening shadow. This shadow maintains a climax effect and hints at a deadly predator.


The outcome is an unexpected graphic break. The colors appear, the actions reveal the awkward and tormented side of the fox. The narration ends in a funny situation.

In this trailer the dialogues are not transcribed contrary to the original work. This process gives way to mimics and facial expressions specific to the cartoon genre.

The character design of the animal cast makes endearing characters that delight young and old in a comic staging.


The illustrations are done in watercolor. The youth book is defined by a very colorful universe with often bright colors. The composition is airy and understandable for younger readers.

The contrast of values remains soft, unlike the adult comic book, which uses dark light in crime novels.


The characters are simplified to the maximum, allowing to be sketched in one go. Ideal for setting up an animation. The traditional animation in 12 frames per second gives life to the characters and respects the character traits of the main character.


The graphic aesthetic of this trailer is similar to that of the book. It remains consistent with the flat colors and watercolor texture present in the original work. This aesthetic is also translated by an escalation of movements characteristic of the universe of the cartoon.

The originality of the concept lies in the creation of a narrative summary, which establishes the relationship between the main character and the secondary characters, without revealing the original story.



Different cut plans emphasize the stealthy side of the mysterious character. A succession of different plan value reveals the monster's movements through the clearing to the barnyard.

The camera moves subtly while remaining in the theme of comics. Each plan is a new animated box. The use of the existing decorations and the framing by vignette allows coherence between the book and the trailer.



The scene settles in the forest where we discover an evil shadow that ripples through the foliage. The shadow of the creature sneaks into the decor, it expands, stretches to disappear in the scenery.

The atmosphere is dark, the scene takes place in the moonlight accompanied by howling wolf. We find ourselves inside a henhouse where calm reigns but where the monster is about to crack down. The features of the shadow are defined little by little as the different plan values. We discover his claws, his terrifying jaw and his imposing build.

The silhouette takes on all its grandeur when suddenly the light comes on and lets the harmless fox appear in an incongruous position in the middle of the hen house. We change the plan to finish on an overall plan of the hen house where we suggest a general chaos.

The trailer ends with a scenario of the book in the middle of the clearing, the book appears diegetically.



The use of existing graphic content has significantly accelerated the production of the animation. The sets have been corrected to leave the field open to a new narrative.

The constraint of the character design of the fox was bypassed by the staging of his shadow. This trick keeps its image intact and leaves free the possibilities animation.

The movements of chickens and fox are transcribed through a scholarly montage of key poses recovered in the original work.



The difficulty of the literary trailer is to show without replacing the readers' imagination. A booktrailer is a creative appropriation and contributes to the representation of the narrative by pursuing the author's intentions.

The booktrailer is indissoluble from the work it presents and represents, it only seeks to serve it.