Le Roman de Renard (The Tale of the Fox)
7 in x of animated feature film history
Director: Ladislas Starevich
“The first feature film of stop-motion animation pioneer Ladislas Starevich. Le Roman de Renard tells thelegend of a trickster fox, whose antics finally cause the King (a lion) to order Renard to be arrested and brought before the throne.
Born in Moscow in 1882, Starevich first became interested in animation when trying to record the battle of two stag beetles for a museum in 1910. Because live beetles inevitably died due to stage lights, he replaced the beetles’ legs with wire and created articulated insect puppets. This was questionably the first animated puppet film. He went on to make 24 films, as well as 60 live-action films during World War I. He moved to France during the Russian Revolution, arriving in 1920.
Le Roman de Renard was entirely made by Starevich and his daughter,Irène, who had assisted with many of his films in the past starting in 1924. She served as a writer an director, as well as defended her father’s rights. [Note: I’m unsure what that refers to.]
Although the animation for this film was finished in Paris after an 18-month period (1929-1930), there were major problems with adding a soundtrack to the film. Finally, funding was given for a German soundtrack by the National Socialist regime––Goethe had written a classic version of the Renard legend––and this version had its premiere in Berlin in April 1937. The film was released in France with a French soundtrack in 1941.”
Le Roman de Renard is available on Youtube with English subtitles.
[I’m not certain that the woman in the 7th picture is Irène Starevich. It seems likely, however.]