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Fox Pop

A classic Warner Brothers Cartoon. A fox steals a radio and begins to destroy it. Two birds ask him why he's doing it and the fox begins to tell his story.

Fox Pop is a Merrie Melodies color cartoon short directed by Chuck Jones. It was released by Warner Bros. on September 5, 1942 and stars an unnamed fox (his one and only appearance) who misinterprets the purpose of a fox farm.

As an old man is relaxing in his home while listening to his radio, a red fox is on the prowl just outside. Soon, the animal acts by quickly entering into the house, but instead of attacking the man, he steals the radio and runs off with it. Once he's some distance away, he pulls out an ax and destroys the machine. Watching the entire thing from up on a tree branch, two confused crows ask the fox what he's doing. The fox stops and informs them via a flashback.
The fox inspects the trap he's about to place himself in. Animation by Robert Cannon.
As the fox is looking for food in some trash cans, he hears a commercial on a radio inside the nearby house, to which the announcer states "This is the year for Foxes" and "wherever you see smartly-dressed people, you'll see foxes this season". Misinterpreting the message and believing that sounds to be a better life than what he has now, the fox heads to the Sterling Silver Fox Farm in order to get captured. There, he finds a fox trap (which looks more like a bear trap) and gently gets himself caught in it. When the trapper discovers him, however, he boots him out of there while proclaiming they are only looking for a silver fox. Annoyed by the rejection, he accidentally stumbles upon a can of silver paint, believing that's his ticket inside the farm. Painting himself up and then placing himself back in the trap, the trapper becomes stunned by a fox with such a magnificent fur coat. He takes the fox back with him to the farm, all the while saying he's "Practically sold already".
Now inside, the now-painted fox begins a conversation with an actual silver fox in the cage next to his. The silver fox tells him all the others plan on busting out at nine o'clock, and then asks if he's with them. Laughing at the prospect, the painted fox tells him he just got here and happily proclaims he wants to stay. The silver fox finds his words ridiculous, telling him that they're all busting out of there or he's a dead man (implying the last part by running his finger across his throat). The painted fox misinterprets this yet again, believing the silver fox will kill him if he doesn't comply with their plan. Nervous and looking for an excuse to stay, he then states that the door is locked and there's no way out. Biting down hard on the nail file he had in his hand, the silver fox makes a perfect replica of the cell key they need. He then restates the hour they plan to escape.
The painted-silver fox (left) and his next-door cell mate (right) make their escape. Animation by Rudy Larriva.
Once the clock hits nine, all of the foxes initiate their plan of escape. The silver fox opens the painted fox's cage and tells him to hurry, to which he obeys with fake joy. As they are running, a large group of foxes pass them and the two get lost in the crowd, to which the painted fox uses this as a distraction to purposely fall behind so he can run back to his cage and lock the door. Though he's relieved he was able to get away from the others, his celebration is short lived as he finally discovers the tag attached to his cage. He reads it, discovering it says "This skin reserved for 'Silver Fox Cape for Mrs. Van Dough'". He now finally realizes it's not foxes that people want, but rather their fur coat. Frightened, he wonders just how they'll get it off of him, to which he then hears the trapper sharpening his ax. At that point, he realizes the true meaning of what the silver fox meant earlier, which throws him into a panic. With his ax sharpened, the trapper heads towards the painted fox's cage, who quickly uses the key the silver fox made to escape. Angered, the trapper sends his hunting dogs after him. After a long chase, the painted fox jumps into a lake and makes his away to the other side...but once he emerges, he notices the paint on his fur has washed away. Believing this to be his ticket to safety, he stops the dogs and informs them he shouldn't be chased any longer as he's not really a silver fox. All the dogs inform him that despite not being silver, he's still a fox and they still want to beat him up anyway, to which they proceed in doing so.
With his flashback over, the fox concludes that's why he's destroying the radio, as it was what started that whole mess in the first place. Amazed by his tale, the crows take the ax from the fox's hand and proceed to destroy the rest of the radio for him.
Release
Fox Pop was released on September 5, 1942. It was later reissued as a Blue Ribbon release on September 28, 1946. It has since been made available to the public domain after years of copyright neglect.[2]
Though Fox Pop has yet to make its way onto any official Looney Tunes / Merrie Melodies Collection DVD's, the short was released on The Golden Age of Looney Tunes Volume 4 LaserDisc, released July 14, 1993

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