Skip to content

Directed by Ladislas Starevich, Irene Starevich

France 1929 65 mins.

Russian film pioneer and innovator of stop-motion puppet animation Ladislas Starewitch (1882–1965) was a cinematic magician whose creativity and skills rivaled those of George Melies, Emile Cohl, and arguably anyone from Disney to Burton. His masterpiece is based on the medieval literary classic Le Roman de Renard, an episodic tale following the exploits of a devious fox who outwits his contemporaries—a blackbird, a wolf, and a rabbit—only to be sought by the King for his misdeeds. Rich in detail and entrancing anthropomorphic gestures, the humor and irony is enchanting for adults as much as it is enthralling for young viewers. Preceded by The Mascot (1933, 21 mins., 35mm), one of Starewitch’s short masterpieces, in which a toy dog literally goes through hell in an attempt to get an orange to a sick girl.