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Fantastic Mr Fox

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Fantastic Mr Fox is a children's novel written by British author Roald Dahl It was published in 1970, by George Allen & Unwin in the UK and Alfred A Knopf in the US, with illustrations by Donald Chaffin The first UK Puffin paperback, first issued in 1974, featured illustrations by Jill Bennett Later editions have featured illustrations by Tony Ross 1988 and Quentin Blake 1996 The story is about Mr Fox and how he outwits his farmer neighbours to steal their food from right under their noses In 2009, it was adapted into a film by Wes Anderson

Two audio readings were released, one with the author narrating ISBN 0-060-53627-6 and another with Martin Jarvis narrating ISBN 0-141-80787-3

Contents

  • 1 Plot summary
  • 2 Awards
  • 3 Adaptations
    • 31 Film adaptation
    • 32 Stage adaptations
    • 33 Opera
  • 4 References

Plot summary

The story revolves around an anthropomorphic, tricky, clever fox named Mr Fox who lives underground beside a tree with his wife and four children In order to feed his family, he makes nightly visits to farms owned by three wicked, cruel and dim-witted farmers named Boggis, Bunce and Bean and snatches the livestock available on each man's farm Tired of being outsmarted by Mr Fox, the evil farmers devise a plan to ambush him as he leaves his burrow, but they succeed only in shooting off his tail

The farmers then dig up the Foxes' burrow using spades and then excavators The Foxes manage to escape by burrowing further beneath the earth to safety The trio of farmers are ridiculed for their persistence, so they decide to surround Mr Fox's hole and wait until he is hungry enough to come out Cornered by their enemies, Mr Fox and his family, and all the other underground creatures, begin to starve

Mr Fox devises a plot to acquire food He and his children tunnel through the ground and wind up burrowing to one of Boggis' hen and chicken houses Mr Fox kills several chickens and sends his eldest son to carry the food back home to Mrs Fox On the way to their next destination, Mr Fox runs into his friend Badger and asks him to accompany him on his mission, as well as to extend an invitation to the feast to the other burrowing animals to apologize for them being caught up in the farmers' hunt Aided by Badger, the animals tunnel to Bunce's farm for ducks, geese, hams, bacon and vegetables- as noted by one of the small foxes, the rabbits will require carrots- and then to Bean's cider cellar Here, they are nearly caught by the Beans' servant Mabel, but have a narrow escape They carry their loot back home, where Mrs Fox has prepared a great celebratory banquet for the starving underground animals and their families

At the table, Mr Fox invites everyone to live in a secret underground neighbourhood with him and his family, where he will hunt for them daily and none of them will any longer need to worry about the farmers Everyone joyfully cheers for this idea, while Boggis, Bunce, and Bean are left waiting for the fox to emerge from his hole The author concludes "And so far as I know, they are still waiting"

Awards

In 1994 Fantastic Mr Fox was awarded the Read Aloud BILBY Award

Adaptations

Film adaptation

Main article: Fantastic Mr Fox film

The book was adapted into a film by director Wes Anderson It was released in 2009 and features the voices of George Clooney as Mr Fox, Meryl Streep as Mrs Fox, Bill Murray as Badger, Hugo Guinness as Bunce, and Michael Gambon as Bean The movie's plot focuses more on Mr Fox's relationship to Mrs Fox and his son, which is pitted against Mr Fox's desire to steal chickens as a means of feeling like his natural self The movie adds scenes before Mr Fox attacks the three farmers and after their bulldozing of the hill, as well as a slightly altered ending and more background on Mr Fox's past life as a thief of food The Fox's four children are replaced by Ash, a small and insecure fox who seeks his father's approval, and Mr Fox's nephew Kristofferson, who excels in athletics and is a source of jealousy for Ash

Stage adaptations

The book was adapted into a play of the same name by David Wood and was first performed at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry in 2001 The play is licensed in UK only through Casarotto Ramsay Ltd for repertory performances and Samuel French Ltd for amateur performances

A musical adaptation of the book will begin at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton for Christmas 2016 before touring the UK in early 2017

Opera

Main article: Fantastic Mr Fox opera

Tobias Picker adapted the book into an opera the only adaptation with origins in the US which had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Opera performing 9–22 December in 1998 the Opera starred Gerald Finley as Mr Fox and Suzanna Guzman as Mrs Fox A specially commissioned new version of this opera by Opera Holland Park was performed in the gardens and natural scenery of Holland Park in the summer of 2010 staged by Stephen Barlow This version starred Grant Doyle as Mr Fox, Olivia Ray as Mrs Fox, Henry Grant Kerswell, Peter Kent and John Lofthouse as Farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean

References

  • Novels portal
  • Children's literature portal
  • United Kingdom portal
  • 1970s portal
  1. ^ "Previous Winners of the BILBY Awards: 1990 – 96" PDF CBCA – Qld Branch The Children's Book Council of Australia, Queensland Branch Retrieved 4 November 2015 
  2. ^ "Fantastic Mr Fox – Adapted for the stage by David Wood" Davidwoodorguk Retrieved 2011-02-19 
  3. ^ "Fantastic Mr Fox musical to premiere at Southampton's Nuffield | News | The Stage" The Stage 2016-03-07 Retrieved 2016-10-22 
  4. ^ "The Fantastic Mr Fox UK Tour" britishtheatrecom Retrieved 2016-10-22 
  5. ^ a b "Larmore, Domingo to Open LA Opera Season" Los Angeles Times Retrieved 30 May 2012
  6. ^ "The Los Angeles Opera's Fantastic Mr Fox" The Telegraph Retrieved 30 May 2012
  7. ^ Fantastic Mr Fox at Holland Park Theatre Time Out London Retrieved 30 May 2012

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