Watch an exclusive first look behind the scenes of Mascha Halberstad's latest film, "The Fox and the Hare: Save the Forests.

Mascha Halberstad's "Oink" is one of our favorite animated feature films of 2022, and we are thrilled that her next film, "Fox and Hare Save the Forest," is just around the corner.

Today, its producers pitched the feature film in production at Cartoon Movie, one of Europe's most important pitching and co-production events. For those who couldn't make it to the French event in person, we have exclusive access to several clips from the film and first-look footage of Halberstad discussing its origins and key themes.

The film's screenplay was adapted by Faby Halbstad from the "Vos en Haas en de Bosbaas" series by writer Sylvia Vandenheed and illustrator Thee Thong-John-King. Halbersted and the Dutch production company Submarine have previously animated the show in 2018. After recording the voice actors' performances for that show, they felt the characters were so well-developed that a film had to be made.

Fox and Hare Save the Forest is a three-country co-production between Submarine Animation of the Netherlands, Doghouse Films of Luxembourg, and Walking the Dog of Belgium. Urban Distribution International is handling worldwide distribution.

In the production of the film, Submarine was responsible for half of the design, storyboarding, backgrounds, modeling, and animation; Doghouse was responsible for rigging, prop modeling, layout, and the other half of the animation; Walking The Dog was responsible for lighting, rendering, compositing lighting, rendering, and compositing.

To get the right look, clay models of each character, as seen in Halberstad's video, were designed and scanned into CG assets that could be rigged and animated. Using Maya for modeling and animation and Unreal for lighting and rendering, the crew was able to achieve the stop-motion feel of the film.

In the film, the fox and rabbit are distressed when they realize that their friend the owl is missing. Along with a group of woodland creatures, they set off to track down the missing bird, but instead find that their forest has been flooded by a huge lake that was not there the day before. Unsure if the owl's disappearance and the flooding are somehow connected, the animals must embark on a crazy adventure to find their friends before the rising waters overtake the forest.

Fox and Hare Save the Forest is targeted at children ages 4-7, but its engaging visual style and light-hearted humor will surely appeal to a wider audience. Production is in the final stages, with the team aiming for a late 2023 release.