The Little Fox, or as the whole of Hungary knows and loves him, Vuk, is celebrating his 40th birthday this year. The basis of the character is provided by a book, which was written by István Fekete in 1965 and which is still one of the most popular books in the country, perfect for all ages. However, the series adaptation released in 1981 made Vuk truly famous and loved.
The story of one of Hungary’s favourite cartoon characters is about a little fox, Vuk, who loses his parents when a hunter dog finds their foxhole. He is then raised by his uncle. The story follows his life, adventures, and character development.
The director of the movie, Attila Dargay, said in an interview that putting this story on screen was one of his dearest cartoon works.
“I read the book and I was enchanted. I almost saw the characters in front of me, they only needed to be drawn to come alive,” he said.
He had a tough job drawing a fox’s personality as it is rather a negative character in most of the stories, and previously, it had not been a frequent visitor in cartoons, especially not as a cub. To make Vuk seem more real, Dargay chose a living model, writes sokszinuvidek.24.hu.
He was visiting newly born fox cubs in the Budapest Zoo on many occasions to study their movements and habits. Many people see a similarity between the international successes of Vuk and the Little Mole, a Czech animated series, although the backgrounds on the birth of these characters are very different. One thing is for sure, both of these little animals are still beloved in their countries and abroad.
Vuk became a real hit adored by children, parents, and grandparents when he showed up on the screen of the Hungarian Television in 1981. Even its creators were surprised by the hundreds of thousands of people who headed to the cinemas that December when the movie version of the series was released.
Attila Dargay was awarded the prize of the best director for Vuk at the 14th Hungarian Film Week, and in 1984, he won “The Best Foreign Film” title in Moscow.
“In the past 4 decades, the character created by Attila Dargay became one of the most favourite cartoon heroes of Hungarians. The genius of creating this beloved character shines through the example of today’s kids who approach Vuk with the same excitement as their parents did so many years ago. Even the smallest ones love all the books, colouring books, and everything related to Vuk. Hungarian illustrations of children’s books and cartoon movie productions have been world-class works ever since the beginning, and today we still do not have anything to complain about. At the publishing company, Móra, we work with countless talented artists among whom many are involved in international projects and have won numerous prizes. I believe that in the upcoming 40 years, our grandchildren will happily welcome into their fantasy kingdoms not only Vuk but also characters and creations of contemporary artists,” said Zoltán Lonovics, the art director of Móra Kiadó, a publishing company.
For the 40th birthday of the iconic cartoon movie character, Móra Kiadó is planning on publishing several new Vuk publications. They are also organising online events all around the country together with the Hungarian National Film Fund.
Have you ever seen the movie? If not, here is your chance to do so, and in English nonetheless.