'Le Grand Méchant Renard'.

Benjamin Renner is a French animator,director and comic artist, also known under his pen name "Reineke". He is known for his funny animal comic books 'Un Bébé à Livrer' ("Baby Delivery", 2011) and 'Le Grand Méchant Renard' ("The Big Bad Fox", 2015), which gained much praise for their loose drawing style and clever comical timing. Both were adapted by the author into the anthology film 'Le Grand Méchant Renard et autres contes...' (2017).

Early life
Born in 1983, Benjamin Renner grew up in La Queue-les-Yvelines, a town in the Yvelines department. The Renner family spent their summer holidays in the South of France, near the Lot river. There, young Benjamin enjoyed playing on the neighbour's farm, where he was fascinated by chicks coming out of their eggs. His father told him that the peepers consider the first thing they see as their mother. A frightening thought, to the young boy, which nonetheless stirred his imagination. Because what if the first thing the chicks saw was a dog or a fox? The seed for Renner's breakthrough comic book was planted.

In high school, Renner attended a preparatory class for art schools, and then enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Angoulême, graduating with a degree in Comics. He subsequently studied animation at the Cartoucherie de Bourg-lès-Valence, where he made his first short animated films. One of them was his graduation project, 'La Queue de la Souris' ("The Mouse's Tail", 2007), in which a mouse is captured by a lion and must convince him to leave her alive.


'Un Bébé à Livrer'.

Animation career
His first professional job was working for producer Didier Brunner on 'Ernest & Celestine', an animated feature film based on the Belgian children's book series by Gabrielle Vincent about a big tender bear and an orphaned little mouse. Starting out as art director, Renner was quickly promoted to co-director, sharing this duty with Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier. The film received worldwide critical acclaim, and became the first animated film to win the Magritte Award for Best Film. It was screened on major film festivals around the world, and was Oscar-nominated in the category "Best Animated Feature", but lost to Disney's 'Frozen'.

Un Bébé à Livrer
In addition to his dayjob, Benjamin Renner began posting comic strips on his weblog in 2008, using the pseudonym Reineke. His humoristic comic strips about a group of hilarious farm animals were selected for the Révélation blog prize in the following year. Renner's comics stand out for their originality, freestyle drawings in watercolors and perfect comedy timing. The indie comics imprint Vraoum! released the first book collection in 2011: 'Un Bébé à Livrer' ("Baby Delivery"). It tells the story of three highly incapable animals - a duck, a rabbit and a pig - to fill in for an injured stork and deliver a baby human to its parents.

Le Grand Méchant Renard
Renner's next comic was inspired by his childhood experience at the chicken farm. In 'Le Grand Méchant Renard' ("The Big Bad Fox"), a not-so-sly fox is constantly put in his place by a brave mother hen whenever he tries to steal one of her tender chicks for dinner. His mentor - a big, bad wolf - urges the fox to steal eggs instead, then fatten the chicks and enjoy a festive meal. But when the sweet baby peepers start calling the fox "mommy", his paternal instincts take over...

After serialization on the Reineke blog, Renner's modern fairy tale was picked up by the publishing house Delcourt and released in Lewis Trondheim's Shampooing collection in 2015. The book received with unanimous praise, and was awarded at the 2016 comics festivals of Angoulême and Tours, at the cultural event 'Du Vent dans les BD' and by the readers of Le Journal de Mickey. It also won the 2016 Fnac Comics Prize (Prix de la BD Fnac). A Dutch translation followed in 2018.

Adaptations
Benjamin Renner subsequently experimented with an interactive semi-animation of his strip, used as a promo for the book on the Delcourt website. Both 'Un Bébé à Livrer' and 'Le Grand Méchant Renard' were adapted into the animated anthology film 'Le Grand Méchant Renard et autres contes...' (2017). Renner himself produced the main installment, about the unlucky fox, while Patrick Imbert took charge of 'Un Bébé à Livrer' and a new story with the farm animals, 'Il faut Sauver Noël' ("We Must Save Christmas"). The film premiered at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on 15 June 2017, won both the 2018 Lumières Award and César for "Best Animated Film" and was nominated in three categories at the 2018 Annie Awards.

www.reineke.fr

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