This film is part of Free
Spoiler alert! The fox is always going to outsmart the hounds in this delightful, balletic cartoon that heads from the countryside into 1930s suburbia.
Piff-puff, piff-puff, a hunting we will go! It can be hard to appreciate a film which takes the barbaric practice of chasing foxes with hounds and horses and turns into such an enchanting piece of art. While directors Anthony Gross and Hector Hoppin will always be better known for their French-produced modernist masterpiece Joie De Vivre (1934), this Technicolor follow-up, produced by Alexander Korda’s London Films, also has plenty to admire.
In both the duo's films, Gross’s background in etching, engraving and printmaking brought a distinctive approach to line, but with Fox Hunt it also influenced the use of colour and texture. But it's the way the characters move with an almost dismissive attitude to gravity and realism that's particularly unique, flying in the face of the '12 Principles of Animation' that were bedding in at Disney at the same time. The film certainly reflects the English surroundings in which it was made, moving from the rural stately manor, along the new motorways to the garden city suburbs. But after completing this film Gross and Hoppin returned to France to work on a feature-length adaptation of Jules Verne’s 'Around the World in Eighty Days'. Sadly, the project was never completed, but a section was released by the BFI in 1955 under the title Indian Fantasy.