Posted by : Amrit Rukhaiyaar Saturday, 4 April 2015

The Tale of the fox is a 1930 stop motion animation film by Wladyslaw Starewicz. It is based on the classic stories of  the clever fox which all of us must have read/heard as a kid. It is the story of one such clever fox Reynard who outwits every other animal and make a fool out of them time and again. Almost every other animal in the kingdom became the victim of his Shenanigans. After every new complain,  the king [Lion] sent one of his agents to bring the fox in front of him but when all of them failed to do so, King himself leads an army to attack the fox’s castle.

Starewicz had previously done short animations such as the cameraman’s revenge and the Insect’s Christmas but collaborating with Irene, his daughter, he made his first and only feature length animated film.

Wladyslaw Starewicz was one of the pioneers of animation cinema; he used dead insects to create puppet animation and successfully made “the cameraman’s revenge”. The Tale of the fox was a development in his craft where he made use of extremely expressive puppets, using voiceovers and a soundtrack. There are details which is admirable even after 7 decades. If you liked Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, you would understand the effort and brilliance of this film. 

Starewicz was among the ranks of Walt Disney, his career started a decade earlier than Walt Disney and the influence of his work can be seen in some of the earlier works of Terry Gilliam and Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. Sometimes his puppets looked creepy and insane that resembled the mannerism of Zombies. 

Starewicz did complete justice with the film; he understood the innocence of the story and never made it appear too evil but humorous. The fox is sharp, sly but at the same time adorably entertaining. There is also a twist ending which many of us won’t expect from a fairy tale, but here we have an interesting ending to the story.

It is a pioneer work of animation and it is surprisingly fun to watch. It was only the sixth feature length animation in history. It is a true classic of cinema which didn’t receive its deserving larger audience. 

Movie Geek's Rating: ★★★½

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{ 2 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. I remember making my own stop action movies using a Super-8 movie camera back in the 70s! It was a lot of fun and took a very long time. I certainly have an appreciation for the type types of works!

    Unfortunately, I am unable to view the video here - I see a msg that the video is no longer avaialble.

  2. I was a big fan of The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and it's interesting to hear about what seems to be it's predecessor (if not inspiration). Stop motion animation can still tell some great stories, even in today's world of computer animation.


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