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The Tale of the Fox


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Product Details

  • Actors: Claude Dauphin, Romain Bouquet, Laine, Sylvain Itkine, Léon Larive
  • Directors: Irene Starewicz, Wladyslaw Starewicz
  • Producers: The Tale of the Fox ( Le Roman de Renard ), The Tale of the Fox, Le Roman de Renard
  • Format: Import, PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Run Time: 85.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PRFK6M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,347 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

France released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: it WILL NOT play on standard US DVD player. You need multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player to view it in USA/Canada: LANGUAGES: French ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Subtitles ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Biographies, Commentary, Filmographies, Interactive Menu, Production Notes, Short Film, SYNOPSIS: Predating Disney's 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' by a good few years, this was one of the very first animated features, with all the characters performed by stop-motion animated puppets. It tells the story of how the crafty Fox runs rings round all the other animals, and how the Lion (Lion King?) orders his arrest and imprisonment. But the Fox has other ideas... ...The Tale of the Fox ( Le Roman de Renard )

Customer Reviews

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What makes the film - which is in black and white - so wonderful is the vivid, creative puppet and stop animation work.
Gerard D. Launay
The special effects are stunning; for instance, apparently animating characters outdoors in sunlight, and in front of moving water!
xxgrendelxx
Overall, adult animation fans and even non-film historians will be highly entertained by this film decades after its release.
Andre M.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gerard D. Launay on January 4, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
With the introduction in 2009 of the "Fantastic Mr. Fox" based on colorful animal characters, I thought there might be interest in a truly original version of the rogue fox on film...and that would be "Le Roman de Renard." Without exaggeration, I consider it one of the 10 greatest animated films in any language...yet it dates back to 1930 (or 1940 for the expanded French version). Basically, Renard is a likeable villain who plays tricks on all the other citizens (animals) of the kingdom. After endless complaints, he - the Fox - is finally brought before the King to answer for his crimes. Yet, as the perfect rogue, Renard talks himself out of punishment and gets promoted - to boot!

What makes the film - which is in black and white - so wonderful is the vivid, creative puppet and stop animation work. Each animal - whether the royal guards, the lioness queen, or a peasant, has a distinctive visual personality. How the director Ladislas Starevich was able to get so much emotion out of his puppets is the real magic here. If you have ever wondered about the talent of an animator, consider his short "The Cameraman's Revenge" which is a story of "insect infidelity" which was filmed in 1912. It is quite remarkable...still interesting after 100 years of filmmaking progress. (By the way, "that" movie is easily found in a region 1 DVD version). In between these two films is the director's 1926 "The Town Rat and the Country Rat" - a wonderful movie that is available - French subtitles only - on Youtube. Already you can sense how Ladislav Starevich is incorporating interesting personalities into his stop motion puppets.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By xxgrendelxx on September 25, 2010
Format: DVD
First and foremost, the film is sadly only available as a region 2 PAL dvd, not playable onstandard American players.

When seeking back through all the gems that animated cinema has to offer, for the most part, there are few stones left unturned. This is particularly true for American enthusiasts. We all know how amazing and wonderful the old Betty Boop and Popeye cartoons are, the quality of animation in the original Disney efforts, and so forth.

So it makes my mind reel that Ladislav Starewitch 's 1931 (it was produced from 1929 to 1931 but did not see release until almost ten years later, due to issues with the soundtrack) 65 minute long feature film "Le Roman de Renard" (The Tale of the Fox)is practically unknown and unseen. I myself was only turned-on to Starewitch's work in the last decade and it took me a year before I bothered to order this film on DVD from Amazon France. I still can't believe what I've been missing.

This is simply one of the funniest comedies Of The 1930s, if not of all time. The story is far from sweet, being positively savage in its humor at all times.
Mr.Fox engages, enrages, and outwits an entire kingdom of forest animals until the king lion himself is forced to send his army of beasts to capture Fox and his family.

The story, slapstick and the jokes are good enough to have been portrayed by human actors. In fact, for 1930 this movie predates or is at least contemporary with many American efforts at slapstick and is viciously fast paced.

And it's this fast pace that's what makes the animation so startling. For viewers only familiar with puppet animation wherein the characters move leadenly and ponderously you're in for a shock.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paola Ricci on October 5, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
this movie is something to see, a wonderful piece of art. every single detail from clothes to face expressions, from scenery to voices is perfect. unfortunately some parts of the english subtitles are missing and in some parts-especially at the beginning- it is so dark it really get hard to see anything. you can find a couple of bits of the movie on youtube. check and value!
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Format: DVD
Essentially, this is an early Eastern European animated feature telling the story of Reynard the Fox. Reynard, who is better known in Europe than America, was the sly, crafty trickster Fox who was the star of an Ancient European folktale from around the 1100s AD, a rather amoral beast who overcame his enemies through trickery and cunning as well as subtly satirizing the church and politics of that era. In a sense, Reynard is the European cousin of Brer Rabbit and Anancy The Spider. For almost a thousand years, books and cartoons, and plays in Europe have celebrated this character.

As for the film itself, its a wildly entertaining French movie (although originally released in Germany) from the 1930s. Basically, Reynard wreaks havoc among the animals of his kingdom and they go to the lion king to stop Reynard's antics. Reynard then tries to trick his way out of capture by the animal army and from execution. Along the way, we are treated to wild and witty gags, some of which would not have made it past American censors of the time, and a completely unexpected trick ending that has to be seen to be believed. The scene with the simian radio announcer giving a play by play rundown of Reynard's planned execution as well as the animal army's attempt to capture him are real hoots, as well as the rabbit getting drunk in church, and the subplot of the secret affair between the feline minstrel and the lioness queen.

There has often been concern among American viewers of Reynard's complete lack of morals. An objective mind can only say "Come on" to this.
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