The Fox and the Crow
The Fox and the Crow are a pair of anthropomorphic cartoon characters created by Frank Tashlin for the Screen Gems studio. The characters, the refined but gullible Fauntleroy Fox and the streetwise Crawford Crow, appeared in a series of animated short subjects released by Screen Gems through its parent company, Columbia Pictures, and were Screen Gems' most popular characters.
Tashlin directed the first film in the series, the 1941 Color Rhapsody short "The Fox and the Grapes", a series of blackout gags based around the Aesop fable of that name. Warner Bros. animation director Chuck Jones acknowledges this short, featuring the Fox hell-bent on retrieving a bunch of grapes in the possession of the crow, as one of the inspirations for his popular Road Runner cartoons.
Although Tashlin directed no more films in the series, Screen Gems continued producing Fox and the Crow shorts, many of them directed by Bob Wickersham, until the studio closed in 1946. Screen Gems had acquired enough of a backlog of completed films that the "Fox and Crow" series continued through 1949.
By this time, Columbia had signed a distribution deal with a new animation studio, United Productions of America (UPA), to produce three "Fox and the Crow" shorts, Robin Hoodlum (1948), The Magic Fluke (1949), and Punchy DeLeon (1950). All three UPA Fox and the Crow cartoons were directed by John Hubley. Robin Hoodlum and The Magic Fluke received Academy Award nominations for Animated Short Subject.
An unrelated, six-minute, silent animated short titled "The Fox and the Crow", produced by Fables Studio, was released in 1921.
In other media
The Fox and the Crow starred in comic books, where they starred in several funny animal comics published by DC Comics, from the 1940s well into the 1960s. They starred with other characters in DC's Columbia-licensed funny animal anthology Real Screen Comics (first issue titled Real Screen Funnies) beginning in 1945, then did likewise when DC converted the superhero title Comic Cavalcade to a funny-animal series in 1948.
The duo received its own title, The Fox and the Crow, which ran 108 issues (Jan. 1952 - March 1968). Until the 1954 demise of Comic Cavalcade, Fox and Crow were cover-featured on three DC titles. They continued on the cover of Real Screen Comics through its title change to TV Screen Cartoons from #129-138 (Aug. 1959 - Feb. 1961), the final issue.
The Fox and the Crow itself was renamed Stanley and His Monster beginning with #109 (May 1968), after the back-up feature, begun in #95 (Jan. 1966), that had taken over in popularity. For the last ten years of its existence, The Fox and the Crow was written by Cecil Beard, assisted by his wife, Alpine Harper. The illustrator was Jim Davis (b. 1915), although it was generally unsigned.
Deadshot's daughter mentions wanting a The Fox and the Crow umbrella in The Secret Six #1. The Fox and the Crow were going to have a cameo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit but were dropped for reasons unknown.
- The Big Cartoon Database: "The Fox And The Crow"
- Wallace, Daniel; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1940s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Animated cartoons were big business on movie screens, and lots of publishers hoped that success could translate onto the pages of comic books...DC editor Whitney Ellsworth licensed the characters of Charles Mintz' Screen Gems Studio from their distributor, Columbia. The resulting funny animal anthology, Real Screen Comics, starred the Fox and the Crow."
- The Fox and The Crow #94, May 1966 letters column