The Fox's Widow

Original title
Reve-enka
Production year
1962
Lenght
15 min
Negativ
35 mm colour film

The Fox's Widow has almost achieved celebrity status in Norway for its sparkling animation, superb staging, enchanting characters and music by Bjarne Amdahl. Yet the movie was never a commercial success. In fact, none of the fairytale movies were, and Caprino had to fund their production by making commercials.

One of Ivo Caprino's fondest memories later on was his joy at finding the farm used in the opening scenes of the movie. But the movie also presented Caprino with technical challenges. Among other things, he used the single-image system to film the hare's delighted somersault on getting rid of his wicked wife.

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Information

Ivo Caprino's animated classics are finally available on DVD, and include English dialogue and subtitles.

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Plot summary

Peter Christen Asbjørnsen hos Gurine

One fine autumn day, the collector of fairytales, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, is walking up the mountainside. He is headed up to where he knows the dairymaid Gurine is staying at a small stone cabin together with her granddaughter. Gurine is a mine of fairytales and old legends, and along the way, Asbjørnsen is treated to the tale of the Fox's Widow.

A fair widowed vixen once lived deep in the woods with her maid, the feline Korse. Some time after her husband had passed away, suitors began to call.

Ulven

The first to try his luck was the wolf. On the way he met an old woman who had got her long nose caught in a tree stump. She had stood there for a hundred years or more, and now begged the wolf for help. But the wolf didn't care, he had other business for he was going to the Fox's Widow to ask for her hand. Some way on, he met a hare who was so happy because he had got him a wife and a fine house. But the wolf paid no heed, and chased the hare with a mind to eat him.

Harepus

Right in front of the Fox's house, the hare stumbled and begged for his life. The wolf played kind and pretended to help him back on his feet - wanting to make a good impression if the Fox's Widow had seen him. He knocked at the door and Korse the maid opened. The Fox's Widow asked who was knocking at the door. Korse, who had seen the episode outside, didn't care for the wolf at all, and said it was someone she shouldn't trust. So the wolf is rejected and the door slammed in his face.

Bjørnen

The next suitor was the bear, a mighty beast of the forest. He did just like the wolf. He came upon the old woman and the hare and was just as unkind, and when Korse described the suitor to the Fox's Widow, well then he too was shown the door.

Reven, hjalp kjerringa

The last suitor to come a-courting was a poor and humble fox. A kind-hearted soul, he helped the old woman out of the tree stump, and gave her the last of the food from his knapsack. The old woman used her magic to give him a new, gleaming pelt, and poured cream over the end of his tail which then turned white. Along the way he also met the happy hare, and listened kindly to his joyful story.

Så fikk Reve-enka endelig den hun ville ha

Korse was delighted to see the fine figure of a fox arriving. She opened the door and gave him the warmest recommendation. And so finally, the Fox's Widow got the one she wanted. Asbjørnsen thanked the dairymaid for the tale and her hospitality, picked up his knapsack and gun and continued on his travels.