The Foxbusters

Summary

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The Foxbusters is a British animated TV series very loosely based on the Dick King-Smith book The Foxbusters. It was made by Cosgrove Hall, and consists 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 Max Freedman and Alan Gilbey, and occasionally with Joel Jessup as a third writer. It was directed by Jon Doyle. The show itself is laden with gags and action. It also won two major awards in 2000[when?]: a BAFTA for "Best Animated Series" and the British Animation Awards for "Best Children's Series".[citation needed]

The Foxbusters
GenreAnimation
Created byDick King-Smith
Developed byDavid Max Freedman
Alan Gilbey
Written byDavid Max Freedman
Alan Gilbey
Joel Jessup
Directed byJon Doyle
Voices ofWhoopi Goldberg
Joanna Lumley
Jane Horrocks
Jimmy Hibbert
Rob Rackstraw
ComposersKeith Hopwood
Phil Bush
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series2
No. of episodes26
Production
Executive producerBrian Cosgrove
ProducerJon Doyle
Running time11 minutes
Production companiesCosgrove Hall Films
Anglia Television
United Productions
DistributorInternational Television Enterprises Limited
Release
Original networkITV Network (CITV)
Picture format4:3
Audio formatDolby Surround
Original release9 September 1999 (1999-09-09) –
24 November 2000 (2000-11-24)

Despite being a critical success, the show did not obtain the same level of commercial success as some of its competitors, and ended in 2000 after just two series (unlike other animated shows, who utilize seasons). While not seeing much commercial success upon release, in spite of this, the show and the series is still fondly remembered a decade later by fans and has picked up a cult following, particularly in the furry fandom.[citation needed]

PlotEdit

The show is primarily set on Foxearth Farm, a fictional farm based in the English countryside in the West Midlands, 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.

CharactersEdit

The FoxbustersEdit

  • 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. Unlike her British-accented sisters, she speaks in an African accent, due to her voice actress' unique accent.
  • Sims - The oldest, thinnest, and smartest of the three sisters, Sims organizes the ways the Foxbusters co-ordinate their defenses 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. She is voiced by Joanna Lumley.
  • Jeffries - Jeffries, being the largest and 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 vigor as her sisters when required. She is even friendly with Todd, one of the foxes (who is also ironically on the outside) as shown in Winging It. She is voiced by Jane Horrocks.

The FoxesEdit

  • King Voracious - The leader of the foxes and main antagonist of the series, Voracious is a large, handsome, and charismatic red fox who is a somewhat unstable and sadistic 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. Despite being a fox, his appearance and model is more similar to that of a wolf.
  • 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 often depicted as Voracious' second-in-command. He has occasionally shown a more lighthearted and more playful side. 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. Like Attila, she is cunning and mean spirited, but is also incredibly resourceful. 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 the undoing of them.
  • Queen 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 hard to entertain.
  • Volpone - One of the oldest foxes in the forest and Voracious' father. Once the leader of the foxes before being succeeded by his son, he is now occasionally left with the unpopular task of babysitting his grandson Ghengis. Like Voracious, he looks different from the other foxes. Though unlike him, his appearance is of a brown coyote. He believes the simplest ways are the best, as opposed to the more creative and elaborate schemes the other foxes seem to favor.

RecurringEdit

  • Rotter - A devious and unnaturally terrestrial otter who is a recurring character in some of the episodes, serving as a middle man between the foxes and the farmyard animals. Rotter craves for chicken eggs instead of fish and small mammals like a real-world otter. He believes that he is a skilled egg thief and has even tried plotting on 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 leads to him 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 the leader of the farm by a landslide (his opponents were Ransome and Sims respectively), but soon resigned when he realized he could not fulfill 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.

CastEdit

EpisodesEdit

on the beginning of the Foxbusters Pilot, it was to be set during the Second World War as evident in the 1997 Pilot, but this idea was phased out: as evident in some episodes, the series is clearly set during the present day.[dubious ]

Series 1 (1999)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleOriginal air date
11"Hen Night"9 September 1999 (9 September 1999)
12 March 2000 (Super RTL)
At a party, Sims finds the charming Cockrel Wilby who lures her to the treacherous foxes. Ransome rescues Sims and the Foxbusters repel the fox invasion.
22"Where Egos Dare"16 September 1999 (16 September 1999)
12 March 2000 (Super RTL)
After a lot of showing off, Ransome lands herself right into the foxes, then her comrades get caught. The Foxbusters escape after they cause the foxes to squabble.
33"Winging It"23 September 1999 (23 September 1999)
19 March 2000 (Super RTL)
Todd accidentally flies on a glider, which impresses the foxes and catches the Foxbusters by surprise. On his third flight, Jeffries rescues him from the jealous King Voracious.
44"Icky's Sticky Situation"30 September 1999 (30 September 1999)
19 March 2000 (Super RTL)
Icky feels jealous of his sisters and gets himself into a challenge with the foxes. With discrete help from his sisters, Icky is convinced he beat the fox pack.
55"A Fete Worse Than Death"7 October 1999 (7 October 1999)
26 March 2000 (Super RTL)
The Farmer gets a new hen called Blue, who is very snooty and conceited. A capture from the foxes followed by a Foxbuster rescue teaches Blue a lesson.
66"Follow My Leader"14 October 1999 (14 October 1999)
26 March 2000 (Super RTL)
The sheep become in awe of Ransome for saving a lamb. Voracious uses this ruse to turn the sheep against the Foxbusters, but Dog takes care of that and gets back his job.
77"The Ring Cycle"21 October 1999 (21 October 1999)
2 April 2000 (Super RTL)
Fabio's nose ring is swiped by a magpie. As the Foxbusters pursue the magpie, the ring is tossed all around the forest going from one person to another until Fabio reclaims it.
88"The Trojan Chicken"28 October 1999 (28 October 1999)
2 April 2000 (Super RTL)
Rotter gives the foxes failed passages to the barnyard via a Trojan Chicken, whilst tipping the Foxbusters in return for some eggs. When both sides see they've been duped, they deliver payback to Rotter.
99"Going Underground"4 November 1999 (4 November 1999)
9 April 2000 (Super RTL)
The foxes have been kidnapping rabbits and forcing them to dig a tunnel to the farmyard. Sims seems to be acting a bit odd as the Foxbusters go down the tunnel. The girls gets trapped in one of the tunnels and it's revealed that Sims has Claustrophobia. Moleier soon comes to rescues them along with a young rabbit called Billy and they all thwart the foxes' scheme.
1010"See The Dog, See The Dog Run"11 November 1999 (11 November 1999)
9 April 2000 (Super RTL)
A long democratic campaign battle ends up with Dog winning the leadership of the Foxbusters, which backfires when the foxes come for their gain. The Foxbusters regain their positions and fight off the fox invasion.
1111"The Long Walk Home"18 November 1999 (18 November 1999)
16 April 2000 (Super RTL)
During a night mission, Sims breaks her wing. To reinforce the team spirit of the Foxbusters, Ransome and Jeffries agree to walk back to the farm with her - not knowing what dangers await them.
1212"Three Hens And A Baby"25 November 1999 (25 November 1999)
16 April 2000 (Super RTL)
The little fox cub Genghis strays from the pack and ends up at the farmyard and regards Sims as his mother. After the foxes pay a ridiculous Ransome, Sims reluctantly hands back Genghis.
1313"Passing The Buck"02 December 1999 (02 December 1999)
23 April 2000 (Super RTL)
When David Deer comes to live on the farm to avoid being bullied by the foxes, the chickens end up shuffling the animals around the farm to avoid any conflicts.

Series 2 (2000)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleOriginal air date
141"Ackluckalypse Now"1 September 2000 (1 September 2000)
23 April 2000 (Super RTL)
A secret mission to find a legendary chicken goes wrong.
152"Big Trouble"8 September 2000 (8 September 2000)
30 April 2000 (Super RTL)
Sims' new invention accidentally makes King Voracious huge and Ransome tiny, until they end up in outer space. After an escalating growth battle between Sims, Jeffries and Voracious and Ransome coming face-to-face with a ant, a spider, two gems and some atoms, they grow the earth to fit their scale.
163"Day Of The Hunter"15 September 2000 (15 September 2000)
30 April 2000 (Super RTL)
Hunter Hawk is about to have the Foxbusters grounded, but they thwart his attempt. Ransome seems to have taking a liking to Hunter until she realised he's been used by the foxes. They then have to rescue Hunter's wife and child from the foxes.
174"Fear Of Flying"22 September 2000 (22 September 2000)
7 May 2000 (Super RTL)
Sims and Jeffries are confused when Ransome starts acting strangely, and discover that the reason behind her behavior is that she has been hypnotized.
185"The Not So Great Escape"29 September 2000 (29 September 2000)
7 May 2000 (Super RTL
Todd gets taken by accident into the farm. He has no luck escaping and ends up being staying there mistaken for a chicken.
196"Love Bites"6 October 2000 (6 October 2000)
14 May 2000 (Super RTL)
The Foxbusters get all foxes and vixens to fall in love to create a ceasefire, but it only improves their efforts against the chickens. The Foxbusters get the couples to break up.
207"Eggs, Lies And Videotape"13 October 2000 (13 October 2000)
14 May 2000 (Super RTL
A zoologist is astounded by the flying Foxbuster hens. The Foxbusters try to avoid a flying pose for the zoologist's camera until they give him "Flying Foxes" to film.
218"Of Mice And Hen"20 October 2000 (20 October 2000)
21 May 2000 (Super RTL)
Jeffries is starting to feel overlooked. She goes on a freelance mission to rescue field mice from an owl. After she rescues them, they all rescue Sims and Ransome from the foxes.
229"Some Like It Otter"27 October 2000 (27 October 2000)
21 May 2000 (Super RTL)
Carlotta is through with Rotter and moves in with the Foxbusters. Rotter uses this as an opportunity to grab some eggs. Then Carlotta double crosses everybody.
2310"The PrisHener"3 November 2000 (3 November 2000)
28 May 2000 (Super RTL)
Ransome has been taken away to an automatic farm, which acts like a prison. While there she befriends a chicken named Five. All Ransome's attempts to escape fail until she makes the systems go haywire.
2411"Peace"10 November 2000 (10 November 2000)
28 May 2000 (Super RTL)
King Voracious has had enough of chicken fighting and declares peace with the Foxbusters, but both Sims and Volpone break it all up.
2512"One Paw In The Grave"17 November 2000 (17 November 2000)
5 June 2000 (Super RTL)
The foxes hatch another scheme to catch the Foxbusters, while old Volpone is left with the unpopular task of babysitting Ghengis. Insisting that 'the old ways are best', Volpone sets off with Ghengis to prove it.
2613"In The Beak-ginning"24 November 2000 (24 November 2000)
5 June 2000 (Super RTL)
Sims tells an ugly duckling story of how she and her sisters were raised by traditionalist parents and became a disgrace to the farmyard due to their flying talent, but gained their placed after rescuing the hens from the fox pack and gained the title as Foxbusters.

International broadcastsEdit

Country Network
  Australia Nickelodeon
ABC
ABC Kids
  Republic of Ireland RTÉ Two (The Den)
  South Africa K-T.V. World
  New Zealand TV2
TV3
  Italy Toon Disney
Italia 1
  Singapore Kids Central
  Israel Arutz HaYeladim
  Germany BFBS (Room 785)
  France France 3 (Les Minikeums)
  Serbia Happy TV

Home video releasesEdit

On January 13, 2003, Cinema Club and Granada Media released 2 DVDs and videos of The Foxbusters worldwide, one with episodes 1–6 of the first series, and one with episodes 7-13.[citation needed]

External linksEdit

  • Official website (archived)
  • Foxbusters at IMDb
  • Toonhound's entry on The Foxbusters