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The Foxbusters
Genre Animation
Format Traditional animation
Created by Dick King-Smith (Novel)
David Freedman
Alan Gilbey
Written by David Freedman
Alan Gilbey
Joel Jessup
Voices of Whoopi Goldberg
Joanna Lumley
Jane Horrocks
Jimmy Hibbert
Rob Rackstraw
Country of origin United Kingdom
Language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 26
Production
Executive producer(s) Brian Cosgrove
Producer(s) Jon Doyle
Running time 11 min
Production company(s) Cosgrove Hall Films
Anglia Television
Broadcast
Original channel ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original run 9 September 1999 – 2000
Chronology
Related shows Bounty Hamster

The Foxbusters was a British animation very loosely based on the Dick King-Smith book The Fox Busters. It was made by Cosgrove Hall and consisted of two series of thirteen 11-minute episodes each, made between 1999 and 2000. The show was co-written by the animation partnership of David Freedman and Alan Gilbey, and occasionally with Joel Jessup as a third writer. It was directed by Jon Doyle.

The show is primarily set on Foxearth Farm, a fictional farm based in the English countryside which is dominated by a variety of animals, particularly the chickens. The Foxbusters are three chickens, Ransome, Sims and Jeffries, who have the unlikely ability to fly. Each has a different personality; Ransome is the best flyer, Sims is the smartest and Jeffries is the comic relief. The Foxbusters also have the ability to spit grit like machine guns, and drop hard-boiled eggs like they were bombs - and these are used to effect among other methods to keep the hungry pack of foxes in Foxearth Forest at bay.

The arguments and conversations between the chickens makes an effective comedy. The foxes' attempts to get the better of the chickens are often unsuccessful, but they add a lot of humour to the show. The show itself is laden with gags and action, and is of a quality which led to its receiving two major awards in 2000. One was a BAFTA for 'Best Animated Series' and the other was from the British Animation Awards for 'Best Children's Series'.

Despite being a critical success, the show did not enjoy the same level of commercial success as some of its competitors and ended in 2000 after just two series. In spite of this, the series is still fondly remembered by fans.

Contents

List of main characters

The Foxbusters

  • Ransome - The best flyer of the Foxbusters, Ransome is cocky and arrogant; she has the biggest fanbase on the farmyard and is often looking for new ways to impress the other farm animals. She is often seen arguing with her sister Sims, and has a big ego. Voiced by Whoopi Goldberg.
  • Sims - The oldest, thinnest and smartest of the three sisters, Sims organises the ways the Foxbusters co-ordinate their defences on the farmyard against the foxes, and is often conniving new and inventive ways of deferring the foxes from the farm. She is the most serious of the sisters. Voiced by Joanna Lumley.
  • Jeffries - Jeffries, being the least capable flyer, makes her mark as the comedian of the trio. She is typically on the outside and doesn't want to seriously harm the foxes, but still defends the farm with the same vigour as her sisters when she has to. She is even friendly with Todd, one of the foxes (who is also ironically on the outside) as shown in Winging It. Voiced by Jane Horrocks.

The Foxes

  • King Voracious - The leader of the foxes, Voracious is a large, handsome and charismatic fox who is a somewhat unstable character. He sometimes appears to lose authority in the pack of foxes, but at the same time still leads them into constantly (and unsuccessfully) trying to get the better of the chickens. Voiced by Jimmy Hibbert.
  • Attila - A young and ragged fox who notably only has one eye (how he lost his other eye is never explained), Attila is devious and cunning, but is also rather volatile, especially whenever his plans go wrong (as they often do). He is also the most likely of all the other foxes to succeed King Voracious, should Voracious lose influence. He has occasionally shown a more lighthearted and more playful side despite all this. He is usually scheming with his sister, Evita.
  • Evita - A young vixen who is Attila's sister and as such they are often seen working together. She is typically humourless and practical like Attila, but has too the occasional scenes of comic relief. She is in a relationship with a fox called Vlad.
  • Todd - Often working together with Attila and Evita, Todd is nothing like most of the other foxes. He is not very smart and is often accident prone. He also does not seem to understand why the other foxes are trying to capture the chickens and thus acts neutrally, but often is seen helping out in the foxes' plans, and often is the undoing of them.
  • Voracity - Voracious' mate. She is pompous, arrogant and she does not get on with Voracious very well (although the feeling is mutual).
  • Ghengis - A fox cub who is Voracious' and Voracity's son. He rarely speaks, and instead appears to be more interested in biting any living thing that comes near him. Thus the other foxes are very reluctant to babysit him, as he is also very hard to entertain.
  • Volpone - One of the oldest foxes in the forest. Is occasionally left with the unpopular task of babysitting Ghengis.

Other Recurring Characters

  • Rotter - A devious otter who is a recurring character in some of the episodes, serving as a middle man between the foxes and the farmyard animals. Rotter believes he is a master egg thief, who has often plotted in turning the foxes and chickens against each other for his own benefit, but is often found out before he can fulfil his plans. He also has a romantic interest in a female otter, named Carlotta, who occasionally has even outsmarted him.
  • Icky - Ransome, Sims and Jeffries' older brother. Icky is constantly envious of his sisters taking all of the glory for tackling the fox problem on the farm. He is rather clumsy and easily gets carried away. This lead to him into getting into a fight with King Voracious, only for his sisters to rescue him.
  • Dog - The farmer's sheepdog who has a good relationship with all of the farmyard animals, and as such is in command of the farmer's sheep. He is usually seen with the farmer. He was elected to be leader of the farm by a landslide (his opponents were Ransome and Sims respectively), but soon resigned when he realised he could not fulfil the promises he made, and subsequently handed the role of leader back to the Foxbusters.
  • Farmer Farmer - The constantly cheerful owner of Foxearth Farm, Farmer Farmer is totally oblivious to the fox problem in the nearby forest and the fact that three of his chickens can fly. He spends most of his time with his dog, lazing about and eating picnics in the nearby fields, but is occasionally seen doing farmwork.

List of Voice actors

List Of Episodes

Complete list of episodes in Series 1 (1999)

  • Hen Night
  • Where Egos Dare
  • Winging It
  • Icky's Sticky Situation
  • A Fete Worse Than Death
  • Follow My Leader
  • The Ring Cycle
  • The Trojan Chicken
  • Going Underground
  • See The Dog, See The Dog Run
  • The Long Walk Home
  • Three Hens And A Baby
  • Passing The Buck

Partial list of episodes in Series 2 (2000)

  • Ackluckalypse Now
  • Big Trouble
  • Fear Of Flying
  • The Not So Great Escape
  • Love Bites
  • Eggs, Lies And Videotape
  • Of Mice And Hen
  • Some Like It Otter
  • The Prishener
  • Peace

DVD Release

In 2003 the first series was released in the UK on DVD. The second series has currently not been released.

External links


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