In the kingdom of animals, Master Fox is used to trick and fool everyone. So the King Lion receives complaints about him. He orders that Master Fox is arrested and brought to him. This is one of the first animation film with puppets. The story is taken from a French medieval fable.Written by
No offense to the Disney or Pixar classics, but undeniably one of the greatest animated features
It is not officially available in the US, but you can sometimes get copies of the adapted European release through ebay and other online sources. Certainly, it deserves a full class presentation. This is one of those films you'll most likely re-watch several times, if you're a fan of stop-motion animation.
The German version was released in April 1937, thereby qualifying "Tale Of The Fox" as one of the Pre-"Snow White" Six of cartoon features. As far as puppetoon "epics" go, I guess it runs a tie with Alexsandr Ptushko's "New Gulliver" as first, since the bulk of the production was completed before 1931 (though there was certainly more tinkering done in the mid-thirties). However, apart from the impressionistic black and white photography, there's little that "dates" this classic. Starewicz's technique is so flawless and the facial expressions of his humanized furry stars so expressive, that it is hard to imagine anyone today mastering this type of animation without some digital help. As wonderful as "King Kong" is, it still looks more primitive in comparison.
... And speaking of "Kong", the forest set-ups in this one share some of the dreamlike quality of Skull Island, with plenty of soft-focus foliage. Basically, this is a swashbuckler with an all-critter cast, complete with King Lion and Lioness (passing affections to a singing cat), foolish bunnies, easy-to-be-had wolf and bear, dancing mice, workaholic badger and, of course, the wily star who gets the best of everybody. Most spectacular are the battle scenes waged against the fox's castle, but the gentle scoffing of authorities and "organized" religion (rabbits getting drunk in church, the fox's views of Heaven at the bottom of a well, etc.) makes this more avant-garde than the animated films we're used to.
Interestingly, Disney started making an adaptation of this story three decades later, but instead made a fox-version of Robin Hood. Usually, cartoon features don't star an anti-hero like Renart, who lies and cheats his way through life and wins out in the end. Although it boasts a Disneyesque level of production excellence, "Tale Of The Fox" is about as un-Disney like as you can get in thirties animation.
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