Le Roman De Renard is a wonderful stop-motion animated feature made by Iréne and Ladislas Starevich [Władysław Starewicz] and scripted by her as well. The Reynard stories were exceedingly popular across Europe in the Middle Ages and continue to be so (you may see some Reynard references in a Fox Spirit release later this year!). When they ran out of funding for the film in France, Germany came through with funding, so the first version premiered in Berlin. It was only the third animated film to have sound.
The animation is amazing and inventive. Reynard is accused of all kinds of mischief (including eating chickens, of course!). Here’s the corpus delecti. But Reynard is too clever even in the face of such evidence — and with the help of the Badger Barrister.
The poor little chick! There are so many wonderful animated animals — from the troubadour cat to the terribly nervous rabbit who tries to get Reynard punished but quickly loses his nerve. The fox has no shame!
Eventually the king has had enough of the trickster and lays siege to Reynard’s Castle.
But the fox is ready for him and defends his home with the help of his family and a host of very Home Alone-like tricks for the would-be invaders, who end up with bumps on the head or face down in the moat.
Best of all it’s out of copyright and available online for your amusement.
It will leave you with a sunny feeling. Celebrate the Fox Spirit!