Helen The Baby Fox Puppet Pack (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2
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YesAsia Editorial Description
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 will soon find 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 invovled in his own mother's stuggle to make ends meet for the both of them. Based on a true story of 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!
|Helen The Baby Fox Puppet Pack (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version) 子狐物語 Puppet Pack (初回限定生產) (日本版) 子狐物语 Puppet Pack (初回限定生产) (日本版) 子ぎつねヘレン パペットパック Helen The Baby Fox Puppet Pack (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version)
|Osawa Takao | Matsuyuki Yasuko | Abe Sadao | Fujimura Shunji | Kobayashi Ryoko 大澤隆夫 | 松雪泰子 | 阿部貞夫 | 藤村俊二 | 小林涼子 大泽隆夫 | 松雪泰子 | 阿部贞夫 | 藤村俊二 | 小林凉子 大沢たかお | 松雪泰子 | 阿部サダヲ | 藤村俊二 | 小林涼子 Osawa Takao | Matsuyuki Yasuko | Abe Sadao | Fujimura Shunji | Kobayashi Ryoko
|Publisher Product Code:
|Place of Origin:
|NTSC What is it?
|2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
|Shochiku Home Video
|4 What is it?
|YesAsia Catalog No.:
河野圭太 (監督) / 大沢たかお / 松雪泰子 / 深澤嵐
製作国 : 日本 (Japan)
公開年 : 2006
Other Versions of "Helen The Baby Fox Puppet Pack (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version)"
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "Helen The Baby Fox Puppet Pack (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version)"
This professional review refers to Helen The Baby Fox (Hong Kong Version)
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
Customer Review of "Helen The Baby Fox Puppet Pack (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version)"
See all my reviews
January 11, 2008
This customer review refers to Helen The Baby Fox (Hong Kong Version)
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.