When I started researching my review of The Fox Busters I discovered a cartoon TV series was made between 1999 and 2000. I was thirteen years old when the show was on the air so it passed me by but as I have recently reviewed the book, what better time to look at the TV series, mainly the first three episodes, which are:
Hen Night – At a party, Sims finds the charming cockrel Wilby who lures her to the treacherous foxes. Ransome rescues Sims and the Fox Busters repel the fox invasion.
Where Egos Dare– After a lot of showing off, Ransome lands herself right into the foxes, then her comrades get caught. The Fox Busters escape after they cause the foxes to squabble.
Winging It– Todd accidentally flies on a glider which impresses the foxes and catches the Fox Busters by surprise. On his third flight Jeffries rescues him from the jealous King Voracious.
For those who have checked out my What I Have Written page recently will have noticed two things recently:
I’ve done a lot of TV reviews for TV Jam on a wide range of programmes, and
The links for these reviews no longer work
Dealing with point two first, this is because TV Jam has recently changed its name to Culture Jam so it can now review a wider range of cultural things, from music to comedy via books and of course TV. As you will have already seen from this very website I will be posting more than TV Reviews with them shortly. Once the gremlins have been chased out of the new site I’ll fix the links so you can read all my reviews again.
When you include the four un-named foxes you get a group of nine main characters. Now the amazing thing is that two thirds of the main characters are female – the four foxes split equally into dog-foxes and vixens. While the gender choice of the hens are forced upon Dick King-Smith by biology, their characterisations are not.
Throughout the book the female characters are very much in charge and come up with the majority of the plans, for both sides as well. The only time that the traditional gender positions is used is for comic effect with the reader seeing how Spillers is using her husband to think through her plan to check for any kinks.
Much like The Mouse Butcher, The Fox Busters is equally as good and isn’t a children’s book you need nostalgia goggles to read. It is also filled with a number of quite mature themes. The opening chapter is like the start of a horror movie, a group of innocent chickens are playing in the farm yard before going to a trough for a drink. Beneath the murky waters hides a fox. You can guess what happens next (an even bigger hint is at the bottom of this post!).
This blood thristy opening sets up the conflict for the rest of the book between between chickens of Foxearth Farm and foxes who hunt there reaches its climax. Therefore the rest of the book feels like a chicken version of the Battle of Britain from our three heroes names’ Ransome, Sims and Jefferies to how the chickens win the war. It also helps that they are super smart and can fly. You can guess what happens next from the title of the book!
According to Mark Lawson, one of the recent victims of this concern was Ben Elton‘s painfully unfunny show The Wright Way. I saw about five minutes of the show when I was channel hopping one night. During my time with the show I don’t remember laughing – quite bad for a thirty minute comedy. It was made worse by the fact I started spotting actors who had starred in Ben Elton‘s, far funnier, comedy The Thin Blue Line reminding me how good Elton had once been.
Originally published on the 11th of February 2008 on my now deleted Bebo Account.
The Mouse Butcher by Dick King-Smith is one of my favourite childhood stories. I use to rent it out from Linlithgow library on cassette all the time. I wish I could remember who read it now.
Well I recently purchased a copy of the book (51p off the net!) cos I wanted to read it again. Now as everyone knows, re-reading books from your childhood – like watching your favourite childhood movie – is a dangerous business. Certainly, ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe‘ no longer holds the magic it once had. When I re-read it the other Christmas, i found it patronising and simple. There is little to no description – perhaps why I loved it as a child. I had complete control over what Narina looked like. However, as J.K. Rowling showed, a level of depth in a book doesn’t limit one’s imagination.
After the response I got to my story A Mother’s Love? I thought I would share another one of my pieces. Fogged is a different kind of short story because it is only 49 words long:
The two women sat opposite each other, hidden from the street by a fogged window. One does all the talking, husband, children. She says nothing important, nothing that will help the other form the words she has been trying to say since they met. “I think I love you.”