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The Fox and the CrowThe 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 The Fox and the Grapes, a series of blackout gags based around the popular Aesop fable. 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 was shut down in 1946. Screen Gems had acquired enough of a backlog of completed films that its final Fox and Crow shorts were not released until 1949. By that time, Columbia had already signed a distribution deal with a new animation studio, United Productions of America (UPA), who were contractially required to produce three Fox and the Crow films, Robin Hoodlum (1948), The Magic Fluke (1949), and Punchy DeLeon (1950), before being allowed to move on to produce films starring characters such as Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing Boing. All three UPA Fox and the Crow cartoons were directed by John Hubley.
The Fox and the Crow fared much better in comic books, where they starred in several funny animal comics published by DC Comics, from the 1940s well into the 1960s.
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