Jim goes into the vault for the stories behind the French tales of a rooster and a fox.

Did you ever wonder why the Disney Studios made an all-animal version of the legend of Robin Hood with such appealing character designs or where some of the Audio-Animatronics figures like the fancy dressed singing chickens in the America Sings attraction (that were later used in Splash Mountain) originated?

They all came from a 1960 proposed animated feature film that would have recounted the story of two well-known French characters that Walt obtained decades earlier.

Here is that tale of two tails.

In the 1930s, Walt was interested in two French properties, Reynard the Fox and Chanticleer, but both presented story challenges because of generally unsympathetic main characters.

Chanticleer was a 1910 play by Edmond Rostand who also wrote Cyrano de Bergerac and it was meant to be a satirical commentary on society using talking animals as surrogates. It centered on a vain rooster who thought his crowing each morning caused the sun to rise. Walt initially liked the idea of doing a big barnyard comedy with a cast of pretentious roosters and chickens in fancy feathers with lots of gags perhaps as a reminder of his Silly Symphonies series.

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