Cartoonising The Fox Busters

Fox Busters cartoonWhen 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 

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Fox Busting The Bechdel Test

Fox-BustersIn my review of The Fox Busters  that I posted two days ago I touched upon the main characters in the book. They were:

  • Ransome
  • Sims
  • Jefferies
  • Spillers
  • Massey-Harris

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.

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The Fox Busters

Fox-Busters

This poster includes SPOILERS for the book The Fox Busters.

A couple of days ago I posted a post from one of my old blogs about re-reading The Mouse Butcher by Dick King-Smith, one of my favourite books as a child. This wasn’t his only book I enjoyed as a youngster, I also loved The Fox Busters, his first book written in 1978.

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!

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