The Tale of the Fox (Le Roman de Renard) (1930) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Tale of the Fox (Le Roman de Renard) (1930)





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Movie Info

The film for this rare full-length animated feature was fully developed and shot by 1930 - just when sound was beginning to be heard in movies. It was made by the nearly legendary animator Ladislas Starevich, a Russian-born Pole who worked almost exclusively in France; this was his only full-length feature. The original plan was for it to be shown with a coordinated soundtrack played on records, but technology outpaced those plans, and the film was put in storage until several years later. In 1939, the cartoon characters were given voices by well-known French actors, a musical score was composed, and the film was released in Paris in the winter of 1940-41. The master prints of this witty cartoon, which is amusing both for the young and for adults (who are the only ones who will get many of the jokes) were retrieved from the animator's estate and restored for re-release in 1990. In the story, Renard the fox is a charming creature who is so very clever that he often outsmarts even himself. Practically every animal in the kingdom has some complaint about being bamboozled by him, but when he flim-flams the king himself, something must be done. The king attacks Renard's castle, which is ingeniously (if ineffectively) defended. Once Renard is captured the king can't bring himself to harshly punish the errant rogue, and instead makes him his prime minister. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi
Action & Adventure , Animation , Art House & International , Comedy
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Critic Reviews for The Tale of the Fox (Le Roman de Renard)

All Critics (1)

One of the greatest animated films ever created.

Full Review… | October 1, 2010
Goatdog's Movies

Audience Reviews for The Tale of the Fox (Le Roman de Renard)

The characters are not particularly well developed and the narrative feels a bit episodic in the first half, but The Tale of the Fox has astonishing technical aspects - the soundtrack is solid, the art direction and set design are splendid and the animation is advanced; the story is also very involving, the slapstick quite good and even though it hasn't aged quite as well as that year's other classic animated film Snow White, it still holds up pretty well and is a hidden gem from the early days of feature animation.

David Lazovic
David Lazovic

this was starewicz's only feature, a stop-motion masterpiece based on the medieval tales of reynard. brilliant, beautiful, on youtube...

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

It's not so much one tale as a bunch of short tales strung together to make a feature. This was in fact the only feature from Starewicz, the early master of stop-motion animation. Very episodic but extremely clever, and a remarkable technical achievement that set the bar for stop-motion for many years. It's also rather cynical, showing how the devious, cheating fox always manages to get out of every situation and never loses his control over all the other animals. Very unjustly overlooked. Hopefully the homage paid to it by the recent Fantastic Mr. Fox (it owes an awful lot to Starewicz) will get more people to notice this one, but somehow I doubt this will get the recognition it deserves.

Harry E
Harry E

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