27 February 2003 | Puppetmister
I saw this last night as part of the Exeter animation festival. It was preceded by two great shorts, but nothing prepared me for the Tale of the Fox. You might expect stop-motion animation from 1930 to be stilted, with locked-off camera set-ups and slow, jerky animals with ruffling fur (see King Kong, for instance). Starewitch's (this, according to his grand-daughter's website, is the correct way to spell his name) characters are incredibly expressive, fast moving and dynamic, and he includes crash zooms, whip pans and close-ups to stunning effect. If you've studied animation before, you'll be blown away by the use of motion blur, and the compositing of animated creatures with seemingly flowing water, but for non-nerds there is a fast, very funny story to be enjoyed. The Tale of the Fox might just be the single greatest achievement in animation there has ever been. That includes Willis O'Brien, Ray Harryhausen, Walt Disney and perhaps even Hayao Miyazaki.