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Helen The Baby Fox (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Osawa Takao (Actor) | Matsuyuki Yasuko (Actor) | Fukasawa Arashi (Actor) | Abe Sadao
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Helen The Baby Fox (Hong Kong Version)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

YesAsia Editorial Description

From director Kohno Keita comes the heartwarmingly cute tale, Kogitsune Helen! Also popularly known by its alternative English title Helen the Baby Fox, this moving 2006 motion picture revolves around the life of a young, friendless boy who comes to learn some important lessons about life when he adopts an abandoned, physically disabled animal. This breathtaking film takes place in early spring in northern Japan, as seven-year-old Taichi (played by Fukusawa Arashi) finds himself forced to leave his urban home and relocate to a veterinarian's (Osawa Takao) rural Hokkaido household when his camerawoman mother ventures off on a whirlwind photo shoot assignment.

Having just recently arrived from the big city, Taichi soon discovers an adorable fox pup lying near the side of the road. But cute as it may be, the animal is in sad shape, as it is not only deaf and blind, but mute as well. Although a majority of the adults who surround Taichi voice their objections, he resolutely chooses to take care of the pitiful creature and name it "Helen Keller". Feeling a bit neglected himself in his new environment, Taichi soon finds that his newfound guardian role will end up teaching him a great deal about the responsibilities that parents face and open his eyes to the hardships involved in his own mother's stuggle to make ends meet for the both of them. Based on a true story about Taketazu Minoru, who is involved in wildlife conservation in Hokkaido, this hugely charming tale of a boy and his fox is sure to touch the heart of even the most jaded filmgoer!

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Technical Information

Product Title: Helen The Baby Fox (Hong Kong Version) 子狐物語 (香港版) 子狐物语 (香港版) 子ぎつねヘレン (香港版) Helen The Baby Fox (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Osawa Takao (Actor) | Matsuyuki Yasuko (Actor) | Fukasawa Arashi (Actor) | Abe Sadao | Fujimura Shunji | Kobayashi Ryoko 大澤隆夫 (Actor) | 松雪泰子 (Actor) | 深澤嵐 (Actor) | 阿部貞夫 | 藤村俊二 | 小林涼子 大泽隆夫 (Actor) | 松雪泰子 (Actor) | Fukasawa Arashi (Actor) | 阿部贞夫 | 藤村俊二 | 小林凉子 大沢たかお (Actor) | 松雪泰子 (Actor) | 深澤嵐 (Actor) | 阿部サダヲ | 藤村俊二 | 小林涼子 Osawa Takao (Actor) | Matsuyuki Yasuko (Actor) | Fukasawa Arashi (Actor) | Abe Sadao | Fujimura Shunji | Kobayashi Ryoko
Director: Kawano Keita 河野圭太 河野圭太 河野圭太 Kawano Keita
Release Date: 2006-10-28
Language: Cantonese, Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1, Hi-Fi Stereo
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: I
Duration: 104 (mins)
Publisher: Panorama (HK)
Package Weight: 90 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004489538

Product Information

* Screen Format : 16:9 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
* Sound Mix : Dolby Digital 5.1, Stereo

導演︰河野圭太
Director: Keita Kohno

粵語配音:陳奕信、楊采妮、薜凱琪、原島大地

  那一個春天,遇上了一個無可代替的朋友──

  大地回春,久違了的陽光照耀北海道綠油油的土地。一天,小男孩遇上了一隻孤零零的小狐狸。母狐似乎不在附近,小狐狸在馬路旁邊蹲伏不動。小男孩覺得牠好可憐,不禁把牠抱起來。這個小男孩是從東京剛剛搬到這裡來,他的名字叫太一(深澤嵐飾)。

  「森林動物診療所」的獸醫所長矢島(大澤隆夫飾)自喪妻以後,就與正在唸中學的女兒美鈴(小林涼子飾)相依為命,卻想不到大學時代的女友律子會把太一送來讓他照顧。

  這麼一個三人「家庭」已夠麻煩,太一還突然帶來一隻小狐狸。「你有錢給住院費嗎?」矢島雖然語帶厭惡地對太一這麼說,但他長年以來醫治和護理過無數受傷的野生動物,很快就發現小狐狸有點不乎尋常。因為,矢島在小狐狸眼前揚手或拍掌,牠也毫無反應。

  Early spring in Hokkaido, northern Japan.

  Taichi, a young boy who tends to be a dreamer, has just arrived from the big city. He discovers a 'northern fox' puppy crouching near the side of the road and despite the objections of those around him, decides to take care of the charming creature...

  But, somehow the baby fox puppy cannot see, cannot hear and cannot bark. Even when offered milk, it just ignores it. The baby fox, now named 'Helen,' responds to Taichi's devoted efforts to care for her and begins to strive to live.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Helen The Baby Fox (Hong Kong Version)"

August 23, 2006

Helen the Baby Fox is the kind of children's movie that almost defies any sort of conventional film critique. A simple litmus test for whether you might enjoy it is probably the title character herself. Just take one long look at that little fox, and you'll know exactly where you stand. If the mere image of Helen warms you to the core, well, the movie has already won half the battle for your heart. But what's commendable about Helen the Baby Fox is that it isn't content to merely coast on the undeniable "cuteness factor" of its non-human star. Nice performances, beautiful imagery, and a decent time-tested "coming of age" storyline, all contribute to making Helen the Baby Fox a standout family film. Oh, and did I mention the fox is almost unbearably adorable? That helps A LOT.

Based on the book by Minoru Taketazu, Helen the Baby Fox contains a fairly by-the-numbers plot, but it's dressed up and executed in such a way that it feels fresh. On his way home from school, a little boy named Taichi (Arashi Fukusawa) discovers an abandoned baby fox on the side of the road. After playing with the animal for a bit and soon realizing it has no place else to go, he takes it to the local police officer (Sadao Abe) to see if he can locate the fox's mother. Unsure of what to do about the situation, the cop takes Taichi and the fox deep into the woods to meet the local veterinarian, Koji Yajima (Takao Osawa).

The somewhat irascible Koji lives with his feisty daughter Misuzu (Ryoko Kobayashi), and although they won't admit it, they both have a soft spot for taking on "charity cases" - even though the number of animals they're taking care of is starting to eat them out of house and home. Unbeknownst to the cop, the Yajimas and Taichi are already well acquainted, as it turns out that Taichi has been living with them ever since his mother (Yasuko Matsuyuki) dropped him off before embarking on a photo assignment. Of course, Taichi wants to keep the animal, although Koji is a bit frustrated about taking on yet another "freeloader." Eventually, they discover the shocking truth about Helen - she's deaf, blind, and mute. How's that for a triple whammy?

Inspired by the story of Helen Keller, the fox is soon "dubbed" Helen, and Taichi takes on the nickname "Sullivan" (after Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller's tutor). Viewing the abandoned Helen as a kindred spirit of sorts, Taichi assumes a parental role, attempting to nurse the frail young creature back to full strength. In the meantime, Taichi does chores for the veterinarian, and slowly, but surely, a ragtag "family" is born amongst the four of them. But even all the love in the world may not be enough to save Helen. Yeah, it's one of those movies. Get out your hankies.

While adjectives like "heartwarming" and "affecting" may turn off some viewers immediately, Helen the Baby Fox achieves these qualities without coming off as cloying schlock. The film earns its emotional beats, even though I would imagine most adults are well aware of how things are going to play out. As with most family films, Helen The Baby Fox does attempt to communicate the kind of "important life lessons" that we've come to expect from the genre, but again, the presentation of such matters is well-executed.

From a purely visual standpoint, Helen the Baby Fox is a feast for the eyes, especially in the amazingly picturesque outdoor scenes of rural Hokkaido. But it's not all pretty pictures either: the film is well served by its cast members. Young actor Arashi Fukasawa does a fine job in the lead role, while Takao Osawa (so good in Crying Out Love in the Center of the World) anchors the film as the local vet who comes across as half-curmudgeon, half-Good Samaritan. With a cute young star and even cuter title character, Helen the Baby Fox already contains the primary ingredients for an enjoyable children's film, but what makes the whole project all the more digestible is the coming together of likeable performances, eye-catching locales, and solid underlying premise. Under its cutesy veneer, the film deals with serious issues of life and death, and does so successfully. Fans of Old Yeller and The Yearling will not be disappointed. In fact, Helen the Baby Fox may just be a Japanese family classic. Or maybe I'm just smitten by that cute baby fox. Oh well, I'm betting you will be, too.

By Calvin McMillin

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "Helen The Baby Fox (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews


January 11, 2008

Charming family fare Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
While "Helen the Baby Fox" features at its center an adorable little fox, its story really is about the power of a young boy's love and persistence. By focussing the story on the unfortunate little tyke, the movie avoids becoming too syrupy and instead proves to be a sentimental charmer.

Fukusawa Arashi plays Taichi, a little boy whose mother has dumped him with a father he barely knows while she trots off to Australia on a photo shoot. (The boy's mother is a professional photographer; his father is a rather mercurial veterinarian.) Poor, undersized Taichi feels all alone, stuck in a new school in which he gets teased by the other kids.

One day on his way home from school, Taichi finds a baby fox sitting by the side of the road. He decides to adopt it. His father has other ideas, not wanting to foot the bill for a wild animal to be a pet. As it turns out, the little fox is deaf, dumb, and blind. The father is inclined to let the fox die, but Taichi has grown attached to it and persists in caring for it.

The baby fox -- and Taichi's love for it -- then becomes the vehicle for bringing Taichi out of his shell and knitting his oddball family together. Keep your handkerchiefs handy; the film's inevitable ending will bring tears to everyone's eyes.

Director Keita Kohno does a nice job of controlling the film's emotions. The film features beautiful cinematography of Hokkaido, a gorgeous film score (also available on YesAsia) from Nishimura Yukie, and some nice performances by the cast. In particular, Matsuyuki Yasuko does a fine job as Taichi's mother; she is very subtle in showing the woman turn from being astonishingly self-involved to becoming a real caring mother. Miss Matsuyuki also was superb as the jaded dance instructor in "Hula Girls".

"Helen the Baby Fox" is recommended highly for the entire family.
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