Thinking on some of my personal favorite movies recently, I noticed a few seem to have a running theme. Foxes. This morning I woke up to a random photo of a fox in the snow laughing at me, and I knew I needed to write about some of my favorite movie foxes.
Significance of the Fox
What do you think about when you think of the fox? What is it’s nature? Foxes tend to be mischievous, curious, intelligent, sly, and quick. Sometimes a fox’s curiosity will get them into trouble but they always seem to be able to wiggle their way out of many situations due to their smaller size and wits. Many times stories portray the fox as a sly trickster as well. Let’s take a look at some movies with foxes as characters. How do movies portray the fox, its characteristics, and significance?
Mr. Fox in Fantastic Mr. Fox
Mr. Fox moves into a tree and discovers he’s living by three infamously scary farmers. Fox is rather bored just living his routine life and hatches a plan to take advantage of the wealth of resources in chicken, cider, ducks, and geese the farmers are sitting on. Things start to go awry when the farmers decide to go on the offensive against Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox’s family and neighbors of various species are forced underground. The group has to find a way to work together and survive.
In Fantastic Mr. Fox, Fox is mischievous and grows bored easily. His intelligence aids him in hatching a plan to bring him out of his boredom and find ways to sneak into the farms and steal chickens and cider. Mr. Fox’s intelligence also helps them save his tail from the farmers, save his friends and family, and survive. So while the fox’s intelligence may be seen as a negative trait as it gets him into trouble, it is likewise a positive trait because the fox’s intelligence finds strategies around obstacles.
Nick Wilde in Zootopia
Judy Hopps becomes the first bunny on the force and makes it to the big diverse city of Zootopia where she meets a fox named Nick Wilde while working as an officer. Nick Wilde is a sneaky con artist just trying to make it in Zootopia. Nick Wilde ends up becoming friends with Judy as they begin working on a case about a missing otter. Nick’s quick wits and smarts are a constant companion in their adventures and he helps Judy solve the case and avoid her own demise. Nick forgives Judy in the end after she suggests biological reasons for the behavior of the missing predators and these two remain friends. After being a partner on the case, Nick becomes a police officer and works with his friend.
In Zootopia, at first, Nick is represented as a dishonest sly con artist taking advantage of an elephant’s ice cream shop in order to make money selling it to the smaller creatures in smaller sizes. Nick’s wit is represented as something to distrust due to the deception. His deception is about survival in Zootopia due to how foxes are treated. As the movie moves forward, Nick becomes the hero who’s intelligence gets Judy and him out of several sticky situations and helps to solve their case. Once again, like Fantastic Mr. Fox, Zootopia’s portrayal of the fox is about instinct, survival, and the duality of intelligence and curiosity. Nick Wilde easily starts as a protagonist but quickly becomes a hero alongside his bunny friend, Judy Hopps.
The Fox in The Little Prince
A little girl meets her neighbor, an old aviator. The aviator tells the little girl the story of a little prince. In this story about a prince, he meets The Fox. Though The Fox, is only in the movie for a short amount of time (unless you count the stuffed fox companion of the little girl), he teaches The Little Prince a very important lesson. The Fox tells the prince he must tame him and establish ties in order to get to know the fox and become more important to each other. The Fox and The Little Prince become fast friends and become important to each other. The Fox also helps The Little Prince to understand he created a special connection with his rose similarly. The Fox wisely states, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
In The Little Prince, The Fox at first seems to be shy of the little boy and maybe a bit sneaky. The prince is interested in this pretty looking creature who he knows nothing about, but they create bonds and form a friendship. Time goes by until one day The Little Prince finds a bush full of roses and he appears to be saddened that his rose is just like all the other roses, just a common rose. The Fox’s intelligence and wisdom guide The Little Prince to go back to his rose. While The Fox looks to be a handsome creature, it isn’t the appearance which makes one special to another, it’s in the individuality which one only knows through the building of a bond. The Fox’s intelligence leads the prince to understand why his rose is so special to him.
Robin Hood in Walt Disney’s Robin Hood
Robin Hood is a fox who steals money from Prince John and the sheriff because of the high taxes which have impoverished those who live in Nottingham. Robin has to disguise himself and hideout because his wily ways of stealing money and giving it to the peasants have made him a wanted criminal. In order to see the love of his life, Maid Marian, Robin disguises himself so he can participate in an archery tournament being held by Prince John. Although Robin is discovered at the tournament, in the end by his wits and keen abilities he manages to save Friar Tuck and others from prison. Even after Robin jumps out a window while being pursued by the sheriff, he manages to survive and is rewarded in the end when King Richard returns.
In Robin Hood, the fox is portrayed in the movie as a cunning thief by Prince John and the sheriff but a hero by the folks of Nottingham. Robin is constantly using his intelligence and ability to take risks for the people of Nottingham and for Maid Marian, but at the same time he uses his quick-wittedness for disguises and even routes out of the trouble he tends to find himself in. While Robin may find himself wanted by the law, he uses his intelligence to support his friends of Nottingham.
Foxes are intelligent and can outwit just about anyone. Perhaps foxes get a bad rap for their cunning but most of the fox characters in the movies listed above have their hearts in the right place. Foxes do not carry the strength of a larger animal like a bear, but their curiosity gives them a willingness to go for something despite risks, and it’s that same intelligence that seems to help them adapt and survive.
Looking back on my list of movie foxes, there is another fox I remember from my childhood but I couldn’t remember enough to confidently list. Tod is a fox from Walt Disney’s The Fox and the Hound who becomes friends with a hound named Copper. I wonder how the fox is represented in this 1981 classic. Do you remember Tod in The Fox and the Hound?
What are your thoughts about the fox in movies? What movies did I miss with fox characters? Also, what are your favorite anthropomorphic characters? Please put your Geeky Talk in the comments below and feel free to geek out about your favorite characters. Thank you for reading. 🙂