“Kina & Yuk”, or the adventures of a couple of foxes separated by the melting ice

Kina and Yuk, a couple of polar foxes, are preparing to welcome a litter of fox cubs. Because the weather is too mild, food is scarce, so Yuk must travel ever greater distances in order to meet Kina’s needs. But one day, oh misfortune!, the ice all around Yuk cracks, revealing the black ocean beneath. And here he is, drifting away on a frozen skiff barely bigger than him! Left alone, Kina will undertake a dangerous journey which will force her to interact with humans. Filmed in — spectacular — live shots, the animal adventure film Kina & Yuk. Ice foxes will delight little ones.

Filmed mainly in Dawson, Yukon, and its snowy surroundings, the work is a co-production between France, Quebec and Italy. French director Guillaume Maidatchevsky is not in this case his first proposal of the genre.

We owe him in particular Living with wolvesabout a lone wolf who, like Kina and Yuk, sees a quest for food turn into a story of survival, as well as Aïlo. An odyssey in Laplandanother survival story, this one dedicated to a young reindeer.

A specialist in wildlife cinema, Guillaume Maidatchevsky co-wrote the screenplay with Quebecer Guillaume Lonergan, the latter “responsible for adapting the texts for the Quebec market”, according to the distributor.

In France, Virgina Efira will narrate the film. Here, it is Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse who has been entrusted with this delicate mandate. The star of the series The countries above fulfills the task with honors, opting for a soft and regular timbre specific to the tale.

Because that’s what it’s all about: Kina & Yuk. Ice foxes is a tale. The tribulations of these charming little creatures are mainly focused on those of the vixen about to give birth. Kina’s urban exile, as dogs hunt her by day and wolves stalk her by night, provides the main driver of dramatic tension. Fortunately, the beautiful white vixen can count on the unexpected help of an old local dog.

That being said, these perils become repetitive after a while. For their part, Yuk’s wanderings are quite limited, but gain urgency once back on dry land.

At vixen height

Nevertheless, everything is very, very nicely photographed by Daniel Meyer. The music of Julien Jaouen turns out to be very evocative.

The environmental, ecological message is brought to the fore, as in Guillaume Maidatchevsky’s previous films. Which has obviously given itself the noble mission of raising awareness among the very young audience to which it is aimed.

However, this manifest desire never hinders the smooth running of the adventure itself. Even when there is repetition, the action remains smoothly carried out. If the director knows how to take advantage of natural settings of immense beauty, he is no less inspired in an urban context, where he films humanity at the height of a vixen.

Regarding the “stars” of the film, these polar foxes are eminently endearing. Now showing just in time for spring break, Kina & Yuk. Ice foxes turns out to be as charming as it is exciting.

Kina & Yuk. Ice foxes

★★★ 1/2

Tale by William Maidatchevsky. Screenplay by Guillaume Maidatchevsky, Guillaume Lonergan. France, Quebec, Italy, 2023, 80 minutes. Indoors.

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