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                                FANTASTIC MR. FOX

                                   Written by

                    Roald Dahl, Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach

                                                         March 4, 2007  


          EXT. WOODS. DAY

          An apple tree stands alone at the top of a hill. A handsome
          fox dressed in an Edwardian-style navy velvet suit leans
          against it with his arms folded and his legs crossed, chewing
          on a reed of wild grass. He holds an apple core in his paw.
          He spits out a seed. He looks off across a meadow that
          descends into the valley below.
          A female fox strides briskly up the hill. Her coat is a
          paler, especially beautiful shade of fox-red, and she wears
          men's trousers and a dark tunic. Fox says as she approaches:

          What'd the doctor say?

          MRS. FOX
          Nothing. Supposedly, it's just a twenty-
          four hour bug. He gave me some pills.


          I told you. You probably just ate some
          bad gristle.
          Fox brushes the fur on Mrs. Fox's ears with his paws. They
          walk together along the crest of the hill to a fork in the
          path. Fox points:

          Should we take the short cut or the
          scenic route?

          MRS. FOX
          Let's take the short cut.

          But the scenic route is so much prettier.

          MRS. FOX

          OK, let's take the scenic route.

          Great. It's actually slightly quicker,
          Fox throws his apple core away over his shoulder and dances a
          quick circle around Mrs. Fox, wrapping his arm around her
          waist extravagantly and making her laugh as they start off
          down the scenic route.






          EXT. FARM. DAY

          A rustic cottage surrounded by a small barn, a tin silo, and
          a rickity windmill. There is a sheep in a little pasture. A
          sign on a rail says Berkus Squab. Fox and Mrs. Fox watch from
          the bushes outside a fence.

          MRS. FOX
          What is a squab?

          You know what a squab is. It's like a
          pigeon, I suppose. Anyway, it's a type of
          bird we can eat.
          Fox motions toward the edge of the property.

          Should we go through the hole under the
          horse fence or climb the rail over the
          bridle path?

          MRS. FOX
          Well, I guess the horse fence would be a
          little safer.

          But the bridle path puts us out right
          next to the squab shack.
          Mrs. Fox hesitates. She fiddles with her paws. She nods
          nervously. She shakes slightly. Fox looks at her funny.

          What's wrong? I've never seen you like
          this. You're acting all skittish. Don't
          worry. I've been stealing birds for a
          living since before I could trot.

          MRS. FOX

          OK, let's take the --

          No, we'll do the horse fence. You gave me
          the scenic route already.
          Fox flashes a smile. He says suddenly:

          By the way, you look unbelievably
          beautiful tonight. You're practically
          glowing. Maybe it's the lighting.





          Mrs. Fox is, in fact, glowing, albeit ever so slightly. She
          stares at Fox enigmatically. Fox touches his paw to her
          (NOTE: an alternate version of Mrs. Fox will be used for this
          shot which can be literally lit from within.)
          With the speed, grace, and precision of athletes, Fox and
          Mrs. Fox: dart through a hole under a painted fence; race
          along a thin trail next to a garage; crawl beneath a window
          where a blonde woman serves an early dinner, dealing
          hamburgers like playing cards to three little, blond
          children; creep past a doghouse where a golden retriever
          sleeps with an airline sleeping mask over his eyes; and
          shimmy over a doorway outside a workshop where a blond,
          bearded farmer hacks into a stump with a hatchet, completely
          pulverizing it into sawdust. They arrive in front of a wooden
          shed. Fox whistles sharply with a half-chirp and performs a
          rapid reverse-flip with a flourish.
          Fox lifts a loose board. He looks to Mrs. Fox and puts his
          finger to his lips for her to be quiet. She shrugs
          impatiently. They duck inside.
          They come back out. Each holds a dead, bloody pigeon in
          his/her teeth. They start to run away. Fox looks up above
          them. He stops. He frowns. He takes the pigeon out of his
          mouth and says curiously, pointing toward the sky:

          What's that? I think that's a fox-trap!
          Look at this.

          MRS. FOX
          Get away from there.

          Is it spring-loaded? Yeah...
          (pointing to different spots)
          I guess if you come from over there, and
          you're standing at the door to the squab
          shack, this little gadget probably
          triggers the --
          (gesturing to Mrs. Fox)
          Move out of the way, darling. That's
          right where it's going to land.
          Mrs. Fox runs back to Fox and tugs at his arm.

          MRS. FOX
          Come on! Stop it! Let's go!





          Fox pulls on a little, hanging wire. A chain unrolls rapidly
          from a pulley, and a steel cage falls slap down on top of
          them. A small tag on the base of it says Badoit et Fils. Fox
          and Mrs. Fox stand motionless, side by side, in disbelief.

          No, it just falls straight down right
          here, doesn't it? I guess it's not spring-
          Sounds come from around the farm: the dog barks, doors open,
          voices yell, lights come on. Mrs. Fox turns to Fox and says


          MRS. FOX
          I'm pregnant.
          Fox stares at Mrs. Fox. He is confused but moved.

          Wow. We're going to have a cub. Honey,
          that's great news!

          MRS. FOX
          If we're still alive tomorrow morning, I
          want you to find another line of work.
          Pause. Fox nods.

                         CUT TO:
          A wide shot of the entire valley. There are thick woods,
          green and yellow fields, two ponds, a small village, and a
          river running through the middle.

          2 YEARS LATER ( 12 Fox-Years)

          EXT. HOLE. DAY

          The entrance to a tunnel under a dirt mound covered with
          holly bushes.

          INT. HOLE. DAY

          A small, comfortable kitchen off a living room with two
          bedrooms behind it. Fox sits at the kitchen table reading a
          newspaper called the Gazette. His fur has gone grey at the
          temples, and he now wears a dark, double-breasted, pin-
          striped suit with a conservative necktie. Mrs. Fox stands at
          the counter-top stirring something in a bowl with a whisk.





          She is dressed in a paint-splattered, cream-colored,
          Victorian-style dress.

          A column in the newspaper with Fox's picture at the top of
          it. The caption reads: Fox about Town with Fantastic Mr. Fox.

          Does anybody actually read my column? Do
          your friends ever talk about it?

          MRS. FOX

                         (STILL STIRRING)
          Of course. In fact, Rabbit's ex-
          girlfriend just said to me last week, "I
          should read Foxy's column," but they
          don't get the Gazette.
          (yelling into the next room)
          Ash! Let's get cracking!

          Why would they? It's a rag-sheet.

          I want to say I hate my job, but that
          would make it seem more important to me
          than I want people to think it is.
          Mrs. Fox puts down her bowl and starts slicing a loaf of
          bread. A small, narrow fox cub comes out of one of the
          bedrooms wearing white pants and no shirt. His hair is
          smashed all onto one side sticking up wrong. He is Ash.

          I'm sick.

          MRS. FOX
          You're not sick.

          I have a temperature.
          Mrs. Fox goes quickly over to Ash and puts her paw to his

          MRS. FOX
          You don't have a temperature.
          Ash turns away and says as he goes back into his bedroom:

          I don't want to go.






          MRS. FOX
          Hurry up. You're going to be late.
          Mrs. Fox goes back into the kitchen and starts making toast
          and coffee. Fox whispers to her:

          I love the way you handled that.
          Mrs. Fox looks at Fox sideways. She says loudly to Ash:

          MRS. FOX
          Your cousin Kristofferson's coming first
          thing tomorrow morning. I want you to be
          extra nice to him, because he's going
          through a very hard time right now, OK?
          Ash comes back out of his bedroom. He now wears a white
          cardigan and white socks with his white pants tucked into
          them. He says aggressively:

          Where's he going to sleep?

          MRS. FOX
          We're going to make a bed for him in your
          room tonight.

          I can't spare the space. Put him in Dad's
          Fox says without looking up from his newspaper:

          Dad's study is occupied by Dad.
          Ash goes back into his bedroom. Fox lowers his newspaper. He
          looks around the room. He says to Mrs. Fox:

          I don't want to live in a hole anymore.
          It makes me feel poor.
          Mrs. Fox stops buttering the toast. She looks to Fox and says


          MRS. FOX
          We are poor -- but we're happy.
          Fox twists his paw in the air, indicating:






          Comme-ci, comme-ga. Anyway, the views are
          better above ground.
          Mrs. Fox nods. She brings Fox a plate of toast and a cup of
          coffee. Fox takes her paw and says:

          I'm seven non-fox-years old now. My
          father died at seven and a half. I don't
          want to live in a hole anymore, and I'm
          going to do something about it.
          Fox kisses Mrs. Fox's paw. He suddenly eats three slices of
          toast in a second and a half, savagely but neatly. He stands
          and picks up his cup of coffee.

          Well, I'm off.
          Fox throws back the last of his coffee, kisses Mrs. Fox on
          the back of her neck, grabs his briefcase, tucks his
          newspaper under his arm, and walks to the door. He shouts


          Have a good day, my darlings!
          Ash comes out the bedroom again. He has now added a white
          cape to his ensemble and is in the middle of brushing his
          teeth. There is toothpaste all over his mouth. He waves
          briefly to Fox and goes back into his bedroom. Fox looks

          What's he wearing?
          Mrs. Fox shrugs. She smiles sadly and waves to Fox. Fox waves
          back. He starts to go out but pauses to look down at a folded
          up section of his newspaper.

          A clipping from the real estate section. There is a
          photograph of a wide, sprawling beech tree at the top of a
          hill. A caption below it reads:
          Tree Living, Great Views, Classic Beech

          INT. TREE. DAY

          A door opens into a wide, low space with peeling paint. There
          is an old chair against the wall, a bare light bulb hanging





          from the ceiling, and a layer of dust over everything. A
          skinny weasel in a khaki outfit immediately starts in as Fox
          comes into the living room:

          Obviously, it's first growth, indigenous.
          Original dirt floor, good bark, skipping
          stone hearth --
          Weasel is interrupted by a loud banging clank. He and Fox
          peer into the next room. A heavy-set opossum with a cowlick
          tinkers with some pipes under the kitchen sink. He is Kylie.
          Weasel snaps at him:

          What'd I tell you? I'm showing the
          property. You're not supposed to be here.

          (checking his watch)
          Oh, cuss. What time is it? I'm sorry.
           Weasel sighs. He waves his arm in Kylie's direction and says
          distractedly, slightly annoyed:

           This is Kylie. He's the super.
           (aside to Fix)
          He's a little --
          Weasel makes a fluttering gesture with his paw. Fox nods. He
          points at a bucket on the floor next to Kylie among bolts,
          tools, and washers.

          What's in the bucket, Mr. Kylie?


          Just minnows. You want one?

          Certainly. Thank you.
          Kylie reaches into his bucket and hands Fox a live, wriggling
          minnow. Fox swallows it whole.
          Fox stares out the window at three sprawling poultry
          compounds in the distance. Black smoke pours out of a
          farmhouse chimney on each property. A sign on a water tower
          in the first compound reads Boggis Farms and has a picture of
          a chicken on it. A sign on a silo in the second compound
          reads Bunce Industries and has a picture of a goose on it. A
          sign on a windmill in the third compound reads Bean, inc.





          (since 1976) and has a picture of a turkey with an apple on
          Weasel says pointedly from across the room:

          May I ask what you do for a living, Mr.
          Fox's eyes narrow as he looks out, entranced, with his mouth
          slightly open. He says almost inaudibly:

          I used to steal birds, but now I'm a
          newspaper man.


          Oh, sure. I've seen your by-line.
          Fox snaps out of his reverie and says suddenly:

          Good afternoon, gentlemen.
          Fox shakes hands abruptly with Weasel and starts across the
          room. Weasel is about to ask something when Fox stops in the
          doorway, looks back, and says:

          Oh, and Kylie -- thank you for the
          minnow. It was superb.
          Kylie smiles. Fox exits.

          EXT. RIVER. DAY

          A beaver dam across a bend in a fast stream. A still pond
          sits above it. There is an entrance tunnel tucked beneath a

          INT. BEAVER DAM. DAY

          A large room of twig, stick, and mud construction. A card on
          the door reads Badger, Beaver, and Stoat, L.L.P, Attorneys at
          Law. An anxious badger sits at his desk reviewing some
          documents. Fox paces the floor with his hands clasped behind
          his back.

          Don't buy this tree, Foxy. You're
          borrowing at nine and a half, which
          stinks like cuss, plus moving into the
          most dangerous neighborhood in the







                         BADGER (CONT'D)
          country for someone of your type of

          You're exaggerating, Badger.


          Bull-cuss! I'm sugar-coating it, man!
          This is Boggis, Bunce, and Bean! Three of
          the meanest, nastiest, ugliest farmers in
          the history of this valley!
          An uneasy otter secretary peers in at them from the outer
          office. Fox looks intrigued.

          Really? Tell me about them.
          Silence. Badger sighs. He loosens his tie and settles in.

          All right...

                         CUT TO:
          A fat man with a huge moustache. He wears a tweed suit which
          stretches at the buttons so much that they look like they are
          about to snap off. He holds a carbine rifle. He stands in
          front of his farm, which contains row upon row of chicken
          houses. He has an ugly face. He is Boggis.

          BADGER (V.0.)
          Walter Boggis is a chicken farmer.
          Probably the most successful in the


          Boggis sits at a chopping block tearing into a boiled chicken
          with a fork and a meat cleaver.

          BADGER (V.0.)
          He's unbelievably fat -- which maybe is
          genetic -- but he also eats three boiled
          chickens smothered with dumplings every
          day for breakfast, lunch, supper, and
          dessert. That's twelve in total, per






          Boggis' ear. Furry black and white hairs grow out of it. A
          fly buzzes around, lands on it, and crawls inside. Boggis
          sticks his pinky in after it and scratches.

          BADGER (V.0.)
          He never takes a bath, as a result of
          which his ear holes are clogged with all
          kinds of muck and wax and bits of chewing
          gum and dead flies and so on.

                         CUT TO:
          A short, overweight man with one slightly wandering eye. He
          wears overalls and a cap. He holds a twelve-gauge shotgun. He
          stands in front of his farm, which consists of several long
          buildings in rows like a factory. He has a nasty face. He is

          BADGER (V.0.)
          Nathan Bunce is a duck and goosefarmer.
          He owns about 2 million ducksand 500,000
          geese. You might say he's kind ofa pot-
          bellied dwarf of some kind.


          Bunce stands up to his nose in water. The depth reads 4FT.

          BADGER (V.0.)
          He's so short his chin would probably be
          under water in the shallow end of any
          swimming pool on the planet.


          Bunce sits on two stacked telephone books on a chair. He guts
          a dead goose, cutting out its liver and mashing it with a
          fork. A plate of doughnuts cools on the table.

          BADGER (V.0.)
          He eats only doughnuts with smashed-up
          goose livers injected into them.

                         CUT TO:
          A tall, skinny man in a long trench-coat. He holds a Luger
          pistol. He stands in front of his farm, which is an apple
          orchard that stretches over thousands of acres. He has a mean
          face. He is Bean.

          BADGER (V.0.)
          Franklin Bean is a turkey and apple
          farmer. He keeps his birds in an orchard






          BADGER (V.0.) (cont'd)
          where they run around squawking and
          gobbling, surrounded by apples.
          Bean aims his Luger and shoots a humming bird. Crazy turkeys
          run about among the trees.

          INT. BEAN'S SHED. DAY

          Bean works at a moonshine-type cider still, boiling chemicals
          and sipping from a bottle.

          BADGER (V.0.)
          He's probably anorexic, because he never
          eats anything. He's on a liquid diet of
          strong, alcoholic cider, which he makes
          from his apples. He's as skinny as a
          pencil, as smart as a whip -- and easily
          the biggest cusshole I've ever met in my

                         CUT TO:
          Fox and Badger in Badger's office.

          In summation, I think you just got to not
          do it, man. That's all.

          I understand what you're saying, and your
          comments are valuable, but I'm going to
          ignore your advice.
          Badger leaps out of his chair and slams the office door. He
          points his finger at Fox and screams:

          The cuss you are!


                         (IN DISBELIEF)
          The cuss am I?
          Fox jumps up and points back at Badger, screaming:

          Don't cussing point at me!


          Are you cussing with me?







          Do I look like I'm cussing with you?
          Fox and Badger begin to snarl and snap savagely, knocking
          into the furniture as they circle around the room pointing in
          each other's faces. Suddenly, they calm down all at once,
          sighing deeply. Pause.

          One last thing: something's probably
          about to happen to me at work which I
          can't put my finger on but have a funny
          feeling about. How can I protect myself


          Are you about to get fired?


          Slash quit.

                         CUT TO:
          A door with a frosted glass window. Letters painted on it
          read Gazette, Editor-in-Chief, Phillip Squirrel. Fox's
          silhouette stands across from that of a small squirrel
          sitting at a desk. The squirrel's silhouette says in a

                         GRAVELLY VOICE:

          You're fired.

          Slash I quit. Here's my letter of
          Fox's silhouette throws an envelope onto the squirrel's desk.

          Two muskrats in orange moving company uniforms unloads boxes
          and furniture from a wagon and carries them into the tree.
          Fox holds open the front door and barks orders at them.
          Two muskrats in white painter's uniforms paints the walls of
          the living room and the trim around the windows with rollers
          and brushes. Fox stands on the drop-cloth and barks orders at





          Two muskrats in blue electrician's uniforms work in the
          kitchen. Mrs. Fox watches over their shoulders and barks
          orders at them.
          Fox holds up a pair of flowered curtains in front of a
          window. He looks to Mrs. Fox. She stares at the curtains
          thoughtfully. She raises an eyebrow.
          Fox and Mrs. Fox sit in the windowsill looking out at the
          sunset. Ash stands in-between them. The flowered curtains
          wave in the breeze. Fox puffs on a pipe. Ash blows a soap
          bubble. Mrs. Fox puts out her paw and a butterfly lands on
          it. She smiles at Fox. He puts his arm around her. He raises
          a pair of binoculars to his eyes.

          A binocular shot of an industrial shack with Boggis Chicken
          House #1 stencilled on the front of it.
          Fox lowers the binoculars. His eyes sparkle.

          EXT. TREE. DAY

          Ash stands poised on a high branch over an inflatable
          swimming pool printed with a red-tartan plaid pattern. He
          wears over-sized swim trunks with a pattern of acorns printed
          on them. Fox sits in the grass eating an apple below with
          Mrs. Fox. She is painting at an easel. Ash yells:

          Watch this, Dad!
          Fox looks up. Ash leaps into the air and does a spectacularly
          awkward back-flip during which he appears to have four arms
          and three legs randomly attached to his body, flailing
          wildly. He hits the water by the side of his head and smacks
          into the surface back-first with a pained yelp. Fox grimaces.
          He claps mildly.
          (NOTE: an alternate version of Ash with four arms and three
          legs randomly attached to his body will be used for this

          Good jump, Ash! Remember to keep your
          tail tucked!
          Fox looks at Mrs. Fox's canvas. It is a picture of the pond
          and landscape in severe weather with black clouds and
          lightning bolts. It is signed Felicity Fox. Fox raises an






          Still painting thunderstorms, I see.
          Fox sees a small, Samsonite suitcase on the ground next to a
          pair of yellow sneakers. He frowns.

          Whose suitcase is that?
          A boy's voice shouts from the high tree branch:

          Hello, everyone! Good afternoon!
          Fox, Mrs. Fox, and Ash look up, surprised. A second Fox cub
          stands poised on the edge of the limb. He is taller, leaner,
          sleeker, and it is immediately apparent even by his posture
          infinitely more graceful than Ash. He is Kristofferson. He
          wears a professional Speedo with a patch on it that says Swim
          Team. Fox brightens.

          Kristofferson! Welcome to our little
          tree! I see you brought your swimming
          Kristofferson steps off the branch and performs a reserved
          but perfect jack-knife. He enters the water splashlessly. Fox
          leaps to his feet, applauding with his paws above his head,
          whistling and hollering:

          Look at that! This kid's a natural! I'm
          speechless, Kristofferson!
          Kristofferson smiles modestly and shrugs. Ash stares at him
          stonily. Fox turns to Mrs. Fox.

          Plus, he knows karate.


          Fox sits in his armchair reading the Gazette. Ash sits on a
          braided rug on the floor beside him reading a comic book
          called The Adventures of White Cape. On the cover, there is a
          picture of a ferret leaping off a motorcycle. Mrs. Fox is in
          the kitchen in the background flattening a hunk of dough with
          a rolling pin. Kristofferson is in the next room practicing
          tae-kwon-do. He wears khaki shorts, yellow sneakers, and a
          blue, short-sleeved, button-down shirt.






          Do you think I'm an athlete?

          (without looking up)
          What are you talking about?

          Well, you know, I think I'm an athlete,
          and sometimes I feel like you guys don't
          see me that way.

          What's the sub-text here?
          Ash thinks for a minute. He looks at Kristofferson in the
          next room. Kristofferson is now sitting Indian-style on the
          floor meditating. His paws are turned upward with his thumbs
          touching his index fingers forming a ring. Ash says loudly to
          Mrs. Fox in the kitchen:

          How long is Kristofferson supposed to
          stay with us?

          MRS. FOX
          Until your uncle gets better.

          Right, but roughly how long do we plan to
          give him on that? Double-pneumonia isn't
          even really that big of a deal, is it?
          In the background, Kristofferson stands up again and starts
          practicing violent karate kicks. Mrs. Fox leans into the
          doorway and whispers forcefully:

          MRS. FOX
          As a matter of fact, it is. He's lucky to
          be alive. Now --

          Right, but --
          Kristofferson yells suddenly as he does a spinning double-
          kick with a chop:

          Everyone looks startled. Kristofferson resumes his tae-kwon-
          do practice with an angry, wounded look on his face. Mrs. Fox

                         SAYS COLDLY:






          MRS. FOX
          Lower your voice, Ash.

          EXT. TREE. NIGHT

          Fox and Kylie sit in a porch swing on one of the middle
          branches of Fox's tree. They drink cups of coffee. Crickets

          Kids are crazy, aren't they? You got to
          try it, though. Raising a family.

          Yeah. Sometimes I feel like maybe I

                         MIGHT --

          What do you think of this tree, by the
          way? It's great, huh?


          Yeah. No, I was just saying how some-

                         TIMES --

          I have one last part of what I was about
          to say.

          OK. Go ahead.

          I'm going broke. You want to help me
          steal some chickens?

                         CUT TO:
          Fox's study, the next morning. A map of the valley with notes
          and arrows written all over it is spread across a desk. The
          door is closed with a towel jammed under it. A cricket match
          plays loudly on the radio. Fox sits in his armchair. Kylie
          sits in a creaky rocking chair.

          I used to do this professionally, and I
          was very successful at it. I had to get
          out of it for personal reasons, but I've
          decided to secretly quit my job slash got
          fired to pursue it again. I'm bringing
          you in as my secretary and personal









          This is actually kind of a big deal, so
          don't just say, "OK!"

          OK. Well, thank you.

          (clearing is throat)
           I'm going totape this formyrecords,so
          don't make a lot of sounds --meaning
          stop rocking.


          Well, maybe we ought to turn off the
          radio, then. That's noisier than --

          I don't want people to eavesdrop on us,
          Kylie. Let me just tell this.
          Kylie stops rocking. Fox presses record on a tape recorder.

                         HE BEGINS:

          Master Plan. Phase one. Side A.

                         CUT TO:
          That night. Fox stands on a rock at the edge of the woods
          looking through his binoculars. He lowers them and gives a
          hand-signal. Kylie joins him, and they start out along the
          moonlit ridge. Fox wears a dark car-coat and a black cap.
          Kylie has on a navy ski-hat.

          FOX (V.0.)
          We'll start with Boggis' Chicken House
          #1. His only security is a few old
          hunting beagles and a low stone wall. Now
          a word about beagles: never look a beagle
          directly in the eye. And if --

          KYLIE (V.0.)

          Why not?

                         CUT TO:





          Fox and Kylie in Fox's study earlier that afternoon. Kylie

                         SAYS BLITHELY:

          Beagles aren't so tough.


          Yeah? Well, first of all, one of these
          beagles has chronic rabies, which he's on
          medication for, and if you get bit by him
          you have to get shots in your stomach for
          six months. And, second -- listen, I'm
          not going to justify this to you. Just
          pay attention and stop interrupting me.
          I'm taping this.

          EXT. RAVINE. NIGHT

          Fox and Kylie shimmy down a steep embankment and cross a

          FOX (V.0.)
          I picked some blueberries, butterflied
          them with a scalpel, and laced each one
          with ten milligrams of high-potency
          sleeping powder.

          Fox's paws meticulously sprinkle a powdered mickey into a
          dissected blueberry and stitch it shut with red thread.

           FOX (V.0.)
           Enough to tranquilize a charging gorilla.

                         CUT TO:
          Fox and Kylie in Fox's study earlier that afternoon. They now
          smoke pipes.

          How do we make them eat it?

          (smiling, with utter certainty)
          Beagles love blueberries.

          EXT. RIDGE. NIGHT

          Fox and Kylie push through a bramble and climb to the top of
          an elderberry bush. Fox looks through his binoculars.






          FOX (V.O.)
          If we approach with the wind in our
          faces, we'll smell the chicken livers on
          Boggis' breath from at least fifty yards

          EXT. BARNYARD. DAY

          Seventy-five chickens stand around quietly but anxiously,
          darting wildly nervous looks at one another. They eat bits of
          grain off the ground.

          FOX (V.O.)
          Remember: they aren't very smart, but
          they're incredibly paranoid -- so always
          kill a chicken in one bite.

                         CUT TO:
          Fox and Kylie in Fox's study earlier that afternoon. They now
          drink whiskey sours. Fox repeats:

          One bite, get it?
          Fox waits for Kylie to respond. Kylie does not. Fox frowns.

          Are you listening to me? I look into your
          eyes and I can't tell whether you're
          getting anything I'm saying.
          Kylie stares at Fox vacantly. He shrugs.
          (NOTE: an alternate set of eyeballs will be used for any
          shots indicating Kylie's vacant look.)

          EXT. MEADOW. NIGHT

          Fox and Kylie move swiftly through the tall grass. Fox pauses
          to sniff the air. He nods.

          A few beagles, as we discussed, but we're
          ready for that.
          Fox and Kylie cross a dirt lane and come out of a shallow
          ditch. Fox licks the pinky of his paw and holds it up in the

          You feel that? The wind's in our faces.





          Kylie touches his face with his paw. He nods. Fox and Kylie
          run along the edge of the ditch. Kylie says casually:

          Yeah, back in the old days, didn't they
          used to do a thing where if somebody saw
          a wolf, and --


          What wolf?
          Fox stops in his tracks. His eyes dart about. Kylie looks at
          him curiously.

          Oh, nothing? Never mind.
          Fox and Kylie veer off into shorter grasses. Fox points
          ahead, regaining his composure:

          Here comes the low stone wall. Not a
          Fox and Kylie climb over a low stone wall and find themselves
          at the base of a chain-link fence eleven feet high.

          This is a chain-link fence, I guess. Did
          I not remember this? Maybe it's new.
          Let's pause.

                         (SUDDENLY ANGRY)
          What the cuss? Where'd this giant fence
          come from? We had a master plan!
          Kylie motions to a yellow, plywood lightning bolt posted to
          the fence.

          What's this lightning bolt stand for?

          Give me a second! I said, "Let's pause"!
          Pause. Fox pulls himself together. He turns to look at the
          plywood lightning bolt.

          That, I guess, hypothetically, could mean
          maybe this fence might be electric.






          Well, I just hope it doesn't mean
          thunder. I have a phobia of that.
          Fox and Kylie climb a tree and crouch at the end of one of
          its branches. Fox produces a zip-loc bag filled with
          blueberries with white thread stitched into them.

          Watch this.
          Fox puts a blueberry into the end of a straw and shoots it
          out into the barnyard.

                         CUT TO:
          The blueberry landing on the ground in front of Chicken House
          #1. A beagle approaches it and sniffs at it. He eats it. He
          looks very pleased. He falls over, out cold.

                         CUT TO:
          Fox with an ecstatic expression on his face. He rapidly
          shoots more and more blueberries across the barnyard. Beagles
          eat blueberries and fall over, one after another. Fox and
          Kylie drop down into the barnyard and head for Chicken House
          #1. Fox whispers excitedly as they run:

          Beagles love blueberries! Didn't I tell
          you? The master plan's working again!
          Kylie raises his fist enthusiastically and trips over an
          unconscious beagle. He picks himself up quickly, and they
          weave among the rest of the beagles. They reach the entrance
          to the chicken house, open the door, and duck inside.
          Pause. There is an eruption of crazed squawking, screaming,
          and fighting from inside. The chicken house rumbles. Lights
          jolt on across the compound. An alarm goes off. Voices yell.
          The chicken house door swings open again, and Fox and Kylie
          emerge among a cloud of feathers. Fox carries two dead
          chickens, and Kylie has one live one. Fox yells:

          I said one bite, cuss it!

          I'm trying! I have a different kind of
          teeth from you! I'm an opossum!





          Kylie tries to bite the chicken on the neck. The chicken is
          unharmed. Kylie shrugs. Fox kills the chicken with one quick
          flick of the jaws. Kylie looks horrified.

          That's so grisly! There's blood and


          We're killing chickens! There's going to
          be blood in this story! Follow me!
          Fox and Kylie dash to the electric fence. They stop in front
          of it. Kylie looks to Fox.

          What's the master escape plan?
          Fox hesitates, confused. A gunshot fires from among the
          chicken houses. Fox shouts to Kylie:

          Follow me again!
          Fox and Kylie run back across the barnyard, past the beagles
          as they begin to wake up and stagger around. Farmhands
          appear, loading shotguns and running into the confusion. Fox
          and Kylie race by, unnoticed, among them. They dart into the
          house through a flap in the back door. The lights are out in
          the kitchen. They take a moment, breathing hard in the
          darkness. Kylie shakes his head in disbelief.

          Wow. That was amazing. How did we do
          that? We ran the other way or something.


          What happens now?

          I have no idea.
          Fox opens the door-flap a crack. He looks out and sees Boggis
          opening the front gate to let out his beagles and farmhands,
          barking and shooting, as they search for the intruders. Fox
          shouts to Kylie:






          Holy cuss! They opened the gate! Follow
          me again!
          Lightning quick, Fox and Kylie burst out through the door-
          flap, race across the barnyard, and dart through the open
          gate. Up the road, Boggis screams furiously as he runs with
          his pack of beagles and farmhands. Fox and Kylie fly into the
          bushes. As they race through the underbrush Fox says


          Let's hit the five and dime on the way
          home! We need to make some fake price
          tags and wrap these chickens in wax-paper
          so it looks like we got them at the
          butcher shop!
          Fox and Kylie howl ecstatically.

          A fox's paw lifts a silver dome off a perfectly roasted
          chicken with an apple in its mouth.
          Fox and Mrs. Fox sit at a candle-lit table eating chicken and
          drinking wine. Ash, Kristofferson, and Kylie sit at a
          slightly miniature table eating chicken and drinking milk.
          Fox laughs hysterically as he tells his wife a story. Wine
          comes out of his nose.
          Fox and Kylie dash out the door of Boggis' Chicken House #7
          carrying three more dead chickens. Lights jolt on. Farmhands
          run out firing shotguns. Fox and Kylie escape through a hole
          cut into the electric fence.
          Fox and Kylie dash out the window of Bunce's Poultry Barn C
          carrying two dead ducks and a goose. Alarms ring. Farmhands
          run out firing pistols. Fox and Kylie escape through a hole
          knocked into a brick wall.
          Fox and Kylie dash out the gates of Bean's Apple Orchard XII
          carrying two dead turkeys and a basket of apples. Automatic
          doors close. Farmhands run out firing rifles. Fox and Kylie
          escape through a hole chopped into a burning barricade.
          Fox and Kylie run full-speed through a clover field in the
          dark. The camera zooms in slowly on their faces as they ford
          a stream, leap a fallen hawthorn, and cross into the willow
          glade. They look exhilarated.







          Mrs. Fox studies a crayon price-tag labelled $4 attached to a
          wax-paper-wrapped parcel. She opens the parcel and holds up a
          dead chicken by the leg. There is a small metal clip around
          its ankle. She examines it. She frowns.
          Fox comes in, grabs an apple out of a bowl, and starts back
          out of the room.

          MRS. FOX
          Where'd you get this chicken?


          I picked it up at the Five-and-Dime last
          night on my way back from --

          MRS. FOX
          It's got a Boggis Farms tag around its


          Huh. Must've escaped from there before I
          bought it.


          Ash, Kristofferson, and Kylie sit at the children's table
          eating dinner. Next to Ash, there is a small, slightly beaten-
          up statue of a fox with his front legs raised in the air
          holding a medal above his head. Kylie points at it.

          What's that?

          This? Nothing. Just some old trophy I won
          for being an athlete.
          Fox and Mrs. Fox sit at the adults' table. Fox guzzles down a
          last sip of wine and says with his mouth full of food:

          I'm supposed to cover this book party at
          some animal's nest in a tobacco field
          down the hill, so me and Kylie are going
          to hop over there and give it a whirl.
          Don't wait up.
          Fox pulls his napkin out of his collar, drops it on the
          table, and stands up. Mrs. Fox asks cooly:






          MRS. FOX
          What's the book?


          Some memoir. I'll get him to sign you a
          Fox kisses Mrs. Fox on the cheek. She looks at him

          Dinner was --
           (doing a little gesture)
          -- pitch-perfect.

          EXT. WOODS. NIGHT

           Fox and Kylie walk among the trees. They are dressed in their
          prowling outfits.

          I spotted a couple of broken burglar bars
          underneath the back door to Bean's secret
          cider cellar.

          We're breaking into Bean's house?



          Where he lives?


          Where he keeps the cider.


          Below where he lives.
          Ash, dressed in his own prowling outfit, is walking with Fox
          and Kylie. Fox stops short:

          Where'd you come from? Go back to the
          tree and do your homework!

          I want to help you steal some cider.







          We're going to a book party! And keep
          your mouth shut about any cider, because
          no one ever said that! Get out of here!

          But Dad --

          But nothing! You're going to get me in a
          lot of trouble!
          The three animals stand in silence for a minute. Fox points
          to his tree. Ash turns and starts back home. Fox shakes his

          Where the cuss does that kid get off? Can
          you believe that? How'd he get tipped
          off? You think he's going to tell on us?
          Fox turns to Kylie. Kylie looks back at him vacantly.

          Before we go any further, from now on can
          you give me some kind of signal once in a
          while just so I know any of this is
          getting through to you?
          Pause. Kylie makes a slight motion with his paw. Fox

          Was that it? OK.


          Fox and Kylie dart across the yard and around the back of
          Bean's farmhouse. Kylie whispers as they run:

          One time this wolf --


          What's with all the wolf talk? Can we
          give it a rest, for once?
          Fox climbs onto a garbage pail and pulls open a window
          shutter. He and Kylie shimmy in-between two bent burglar







          A vast, damp, gloomy cellar with hundreds of glass jars
          stacked from floor to ceiling. Each jar is marked Cider. Fox
          and Kylie come inside and quietly drop to the brick floor.

                         KYLIE WHISPERS:

          Look at all this apple juice.


          Apple juice? Apple juice? We didn't come
          here for apple juice. This is some of the
          strongest, finest alcoholic cider money
          can buy -- or that can even be stolen. It
          burns in your throat, boils in your
          stomach, and tastes almost exactly like
          pure, melted gold.

          Let's crack open one these 'shine jars
          and do a shooter.
          A match strikes in the darkness. Fox and Kylie look around
          the room frantically. On the highest shelf, peering out from
          behind a huge jar, they see an enormous rat in a striped
          shirt with a lit match in his claw. He puts the flame in his
          mouth to snuff it out and holds the matchstick in his teeth.
          He is longer than a fox and wiry, but with a small pot-belly.
          He wears a black beret and moves like a beatnik.
          He takes a draw from a small rubber tube inserted in the neck
          of his cider jar. He says with a slightly sinister New

                         ORLEANS ACCENT:

          Y'all are trespassin', now. Illegally.
          'Round these parts, we don't take kindly
          to cider poachers.
          Fox and Rat stare at each other. Fox says, finally:

          You've aged badly, Rat.

          You're gettin' a little long in the
          tooth, yourself, partner.
          Rat spins around and hurls himself scuttling over a shelf,
          down the wall, and through the air onto the brick floor at
          Fox's feet. He flicks open a switchblade and brandishes it.
          He hisses.





          Kylie shrieks and darts into a hole where a brick is missing
          in the wall. Fox takes an old-fashioned boxing stance.

          How's your old lady doin'?
          Kylie peers out from his hole in the wall nervously. Fox and
          Rat circle each other slowly.

          Do you refer to my wife?

          She was the town tart, in her day. Wild
          and foot-loose and pretty as a mink
          stole. She was a creme brulee -- until
          you made an honest woman out of her, Mr.
          Kylie says, intrigued, from his hole:

          Is that true?


          Of course, not. I mean, certainly, she
          lived. We all did. It was a different
          time. Let's not use a double-standard.
          She marched against the --

          But town tart?

          Shut up.
          Rat lunges at Fox with his switchblade. Fox dodges nimbly. He
          cocks an eyebrow and smiles:

          That was close, Rat. Be careful.

          Oh, I'm as careful as a --
          A door at the top of the stairs opens suddenly with a loud
          creak. Rat and Fox look terrified. They both dart away and
          hide behind cider jars.
          A heavy-set, middle-aged housekeeper carrying a rolling pin
          comes down the stairs and walks straight over to the shelf
          where Fox is hiding.






          How many jars should I bring up, ma'am?
          A strong, almost masculine woman's voice answers from


                         MASCULINE VOICE
          I don't know. Two, I guess.
          The housekeeper grabs the two jars directly next to the one
          Fox is hiding behind and tucks them under her arm. Fox tenses
          his body. He shivers slightly. A graze of the red fur of his
          arm sticks out barely from behind his jar. The housekeeper

          He drank three yesterday, ma'am.

                         MASCULINE VOICE
          All right, take three.
          The housekeeper grabs Fox's jar. Fox closes his eyes.

                         MASCULINE VOICE
          No, don't.
          The housekeeper stops with her hand on the neck of Fox's jar.

                         MASCULINE VOICE
          Three's too many. It's unhealthy. He's
          anorexic. Bring two.
          The housekeeper lets go of Fox's jar. Fox relaxes slightly.
          The housekeeper grabs Fox's jar again. Fox tenses up.

          But maybe, just in case --

                         MASCULINE VOICE
          Two's plenty.
          The housekeeper lets go of Fox's jar and walks away. She goes
          back up the stairs and closes the door. Kylie says in the


          Oh, my cuss. That was like a scene out of

                         A --
          The door opens again. An exceptionally tall, powerfully built
          woman in a black dress and Wellingtons, with grey hair pulled-
          back in a bun, bright green eyes, and a meat cleaver tucked
          under her apron strings comes swiftly down the stairs. She





          eyeballs the corners of the room. She is Mrs. Bean. She says
          thickly (in her masculine voice):

          MRS. BEAN
          To whom it may concern: if I catch a rat
          in a black beret drinking Mr. Bean's
          secret cider without his express
          permission, I intend to chop said rat's
          head off, brine it, pickle it, and bake
          it in a vermin casserole. I hope this
          clarifies my position on the matter.
          Sincerely, Evelyn Bean.
          Mrs. Bean turns and goes back up the stairs. She closes the
          door. Pause. Rat's voice says from the shadows:

          Dear Mrs. Bean, your language, while
          somewhat purple, is nevertheless
          impossible to misinterpret. However --
          comma -- given the proximity of said rat
          at the moment of your --
          The door at the top the stairs opens again. Silence.

                         CUT TO:
          Fox and Kylie running away from Bean's farmhouse with two
          jars of cider. They both look badly shaken. A gunshot rings
          out taking us to:


          Bean is standing darkly in his front doorway. Smoke drifts
          from the end of his Luger, pointed at the ceiling. A broken
          light bulb hangs from a wire above his head. Boggis and Bunce
          sit together on the porch in rocking chairs, startled,
          staring at Bean.

          I'm going to give a speech, and at the
          end of it -- I'm going to throw a twist
          into this plot.
          Bean lights a cigarette and begins to walk slowly around the

          First truth: this is the most ambitious
          fox we've ever encountered, bar none.
          Bean spins around and shoots out a second light bulb. Boggis
          and Bunce look uneasy. Bean continues:






          Second truth: the meaning of ambition is
          defined in the dictionary.
          Bean jumps and rolls and shoots out a third light bulb.

          Third truth: the weakness of the
          ambitious man is his Achilles heel --
          Bean quickly shoots out three more light bulbs behind his
          back, over his shoulder, and between his legs. The porch goes
          dark. He flicks on a flashlight and points it in his two
          colleague's faces. They look scared. Bean says urgently:

          -- but I've already figured out where
          this fox lives, and tomorrow night we're
          going to camp in the bushes, wait for him
          to come out of the hole in his tree, and
          shoot the cuss to smithereens. How's that
          grab you, fellas?
          Boggis and Bunce hesitate. They nod and murmur their

          INT. FOX'S TREE. NIGHT

          Fox and Kylie come quietly into the half-lit kitchen dressed
          in their prowling outfits. They walk to the door.

          MRS. FOX
          Another book party?
          Fox and Kylie turn around, startled. Mrs. Fox sits on a stool
          in the darkened pantry.

          Woah! I didn't see you. Sitting in the
          dark over there. Yeah, no. Actually,
          there's a fire. I just got the call. They
          said maybe it's arson? I got to interview
          the marshall and see what's --

          MRS. FOX
          Kylie, is he telling the truth?


                         (FREAKING OUT)
          I don't want to be put in the middle of







          Thanks, Kylie.

          MRS. FOX
          If what I think is happening is

                         HAPPENING --

          -- it better not be.

                         CUT TO:
          Boggis, Bunce, and Bean waiting crouched in the bushes. Bean
          licks his finger and holds it up to test the direction of the
          wind. He nods, points to his nose, and gives a thumbs-up to
          Boggis and Bunce.

          EXT. FOX'S TREE. NIGHT

          Fox pokes his head up out of his hole. He sniffs once. He
          moves an inch forward and stops. He sniffs again. He waits a
          moment and listens. He steps out of the hole and says


          Nice job covering for me. Next time

                         TRY --
          A twig snaps. Fox freezes.

                         CUT TO:
          Boggis, Bunce, and Bean frozen in the bushes.

                         CUT TO:
          The branches of the trees as the wind suddenly changes its

                         CUT TO:
          Fox on high alert. He rapidly sniffs the air three times in a
          row. He turns to a confused Kylie and says, panicking:

          All three!
          Fox and Kylie spin around and dart back into the hole as
          Boggis, Bunce, and Bean open fire wildly from the bushes. A
          barrage of bullets and buckshot rips into the tree-bark.





          Smoke from the three guns floats upward in the night air.
          Boggis, Bunce, and Bean approach the tree. Bean shines his
          flashlight on Fox's hole.
          In the circle of light on the ground lies the tattered, blood-
          stained remains of Fox's tail. Bean picks it up and holds it
          in the air in front of Boggis and Bunce.

          We got the tail, but we missed the fox.
          Pause. Bean takes out his walkie-talkie.

          Petey? You and the boys sober up and get
          out here on the A.S.A.P. Bring eleven
          shovels, three pick-axes, 500 rounds of
          ammunition, and a bottle of apple cider.

          INT. FOX'S TREE. NIGHT

          Mrs. Fox licks the stump of Fox's tail and mends it with
          gauze and medical tape. She looks furious. Kylie and the Fox
          cubs watch, concerned. Ash says uncertainly:

          It'll grow back, won't it?

          (shaking his head)
          Tails don't grow back, except for


          Tails don't grow back. I'm going to be
          tail-less for the rest of my life.


          Well, anyway, it's not half as bad as
          double-pneumonia, right?
          (pointing to Kristofferson)
          His dad's got one foot in the grave and
          one foot on a banana peel. That's a lot
          worse than --
          Kristofferson hurls an acorn violently onto the floor. It
          ricochets off a wall and into a teacup. Everyone falls
          silent. Kristofferson turns away.






          Excuse me, everyone. I'm going to go
          meditate for half an hour.
          Kristofferson walks out of the room. Mrs. Fox looks at Ash
          and says angrily:

          MRS. FOX
          You've got twenty-nine minutes to come up
          with a proper apology.
          Ash crosses his arms in front of his chest and stares
          straight ahead into space grimly. Fox says suddenly:

          What's with the crazy outfit? Why a cape
          and the pants tucked into your socks?
          Ash does not respond. Fox sighs. Mrs. Fox finishes bandaging
          his tail. Fox goes over to the wall and stands with his back
          to the room.

          I got fired slash quit the Gazette and
          started stealing chickens on the sly.

          MRS. FOX

          That tail was the first thing I ever
          noticed about you. It was easily the most
          attractive tail for at least 50 miles in
          every direction. It was probably your
          single best quality -- and now it's gone

                         CUT TO:
          Fox lying in bed staring at the ceiling in the dark next to
          Mrs. Fox.

          Why the cuss didn't I listen my lawyer?
          At this point we'll be lucky if we can
          flip this tree for half of what we've
          already sunk into it.
          Fox flips over onto his stomach.

          I won't be able to sleep on my back for
          six weeks -- and on my stomach I feel
          congested. Why the cuss didn't I listen
          to my lawyer?






          MRS. FOX

          Because you don't listen to anybody.

          (sitting up suddenly)
          What was that?

          MRS. FOX

          What? I said --
           There is a quiet scraping sound from above. Fox jumps out of
          bed. He hollers:

           Wake up! Everybody! They're digging us
          There is a scrunch and then a loud thump from above. Mrs. Fox
          looks at Fox intensely:

          MRS. FOX
          They'll kill the children!


          Over my dead body, they will.

          MRS. FOX

          That's what I'm saying! You'd be dead,
          too, in that scenario!


          Well, I'm arguing against that!

          MRS. FOX

          What are you talking about?


          Why are you yelling at me?


          Stop! Stop! Stop!
          Fox and Mrs. Fox turn quickly to Kylie standing in the
          doorway with a red blanket wrapped around his shoulders. Ash





          and Kristofferson stand behind him. They look terrified.
          Kylie shouts in a pained voice:

          You say one thing, she says another, and
          it all changes back again!
          The point of a shovel pierces the ceiling. Everyone looks up
          and stares in shock. Fox suddenly leaps across the room with
          a wild energy, scrambles halfway up a wall, and throws over
          two chairs.

          I've got it! There's not a moment to
          lose! Why didn't I think of this before?

          MRS. FOX
          Think of what?

          Think of the one thing a fox does quicker
          than a man, quicker than any other animal
          in the world!
          (at the top of his lungs)


                         CUT TO:
          Everyone digging furiously. Dirt flies everywhere. The shot
          booms down into the ground, among the roots of the tree,
          through buried pebbles, layers of soil, and subterranean
          mineral deposits.


                         1 HOUR LATER
          The shot stops at the bottom of a dark hole deep, deep
          underground. Mrs. Fox lies on the floor, breathing heavily,
          with a lit lantern at her side. The cubs are sprawled out
          around her. Kylie leans in the corner with his shirt off tied
          around his waist. Fox stands up and clears his throat.
          Everyone looks at him.

          I think it's time for me to give us a pep
          talk and explain some things.
          (commencing a speech)
          A very long time ago --

          MRS. FOX
          May I have a word with you privately?







          Well, we're in a hole. Where --

          MRS. FOX
          Just on the other side of this mineral
          deposit. Follow me.
          Fox reluctantly follows Mrs. Fox through a crack in the
          bedrock and into a small air-pocket with glittering quartz
          walls. She wheels on Fox:

          MRS. FOX
          I'm going to lose my temper now.



          MRS. FOX
          Right now.


          Well, when --
          Mrs. Fox scratches Fox across the face, slicing a quick
          sliver into his fur. Fox cringes away with his paws up
          protectively. He lowers his paws. His eyes fill with tears.
          (NOTE: the scar in Fox's fur never grows back.)
          Mrs. Fox takes a deep breath. She says:

          MRS. FOX
          Twelve fox-years ago, you made a promise
          to me while we were caged inside that fox-
          trap that, if we survived, you would
          never steal another chicken, goose,
          turkey, duck, or squab, whatever they
          are. I believed you. Why did you lie to


          Because I'm a wild animal.

          MRS. FOX
          You're also a husband and a father.







          I'm trying to tell you the truth about

          MRS. FOX
          I don't care about the truth about
          Fox looks down at the ground. He nods and tries to contain
          his emotions. Mrs. Fox watches him coldly.

          MRS. FOX
          This story is too predictable.


          Predictable? Really? What happens in the

          MRS. FOX

          In the end, we all die -- unless you
          Mrs. Fox walks out of the air-pocket. Fox stands alone in

          EXT. FOX'S TREE. DAY

          The next morning. There is a large hole in the side of the
          hill, under Fox's tree. The ceiling to the living room has
          been completely removed. Boggis, Bunce, and Bean stand half-
          underground with their heads sticking out of the hole,
          breathing hard, with dirty shovels over their shoulders.
          Bunce stands on Fox's tiny club chair.

          These foxes dig like a bunch of
          hyperactive gophers.

          Franklin? You got another twist for this

          Say that again?

          I say you got another --
          Bean whips out his walkie-talkie and twirls it like a six-
          shooter. He presses a button on it and says:






          Petey? Get me the current contact info
          for Earl Malloy on the A.S.A.P.


          Who's Earl Malloy?


          What? You mean over at Malloy
          Consolidated? Oh, he does rentals.


          What does he rent?

                         CUT TO:
          Three yellow and black, murderous, brutal bulldozer digging-
          tractors with Malloy Consolidated painted on the sides of
          them. They make a terrible, high-pitched growling noise and
          spit black grease and smoke.
          Boggis, Bunce, and Bean stand among the tractors nodding
          giddily to each other. They scramble into the drivers' seats
          and begin ripping into the hillside. Bunce sits on a
          dictionary to see over the dashboard.

                         CUT TO:
          Fox, Mrs. Fox, Kylie, Ash, and Kristofferson digging

                         CUT TO:
          The tractors grabbing huge chunks of earth and tossing them
          into the meadow. Boggis, Bunce, and Bean, drunk with digging,
          laugh manically as the controls of their tractors.

          Let's kick some fox cuss!

          I'm cussing loving this!

          Who's hyper-cussing-active now?
          Bean throws his tractor into top gear. The teeth of the giant
          shovels clank against each other, ripping through the tree's






          A temperature gauge with its needle pushing the limits of the

                         CUT TO:
          A grizzled, white-haired man in a greasy yellow and black
          jumpsuit and coke-bottle protective eyeglasses. A patch on
          his pocket says E. Malloy. He watches the farmers digging
          crazily with the tractors. Sparks from the mayhem reflect
          dancing on his lenses.

                         EARL MALLOY
          These machines weren't made to be handled
          like this.

                         DISSOLVE TO:
          The hill with half its earth dug out from under the tree. The
          tree still stands precariously above the wild tractors.

                         DISSOLVE TO:
          The hill now razed with the fallen, old beech tree laying on
          its side as the tractors dig deeper.

                         DISSOLVE TO:
          The tractors almost completely below ground in a deep crater.
          A crowd of neighbors and local press from the town has
          gathered and watches as the tractors stop digging and rumble
          up out of the crater. The motors go quiet. Boggis, Bunce, and
          Bean climb down from their tractors. They look angry and
          tired. They stand among the workers and onlookers.
          A television reporter with an Action 13 camera crew confronts


          Farmer, correct me if I'm misreading the
          data, you've successfully destroyed the
          scenery, but the alleged fox remains at
          large. What will you three prominent
          farmers do now?

          Well, Dan, I can tell you what we're not
          going to do. We're not going to let him






          Are you concerned about the possibility

                         OF --

          I have no further dialogue in this scene.
          Bean turns away from the reporter and pulls Boggis and Bunce
          aside. He addresses them with calm intensity:

          I'm not going home until we smoke this
          son-of-a-cuss out his hole, string him up
          on a clothesline, and fly him like a
          kite. Boggis, how many men have you got
          working on your farm?




           And I've got thirty-seven. That's 108 men
           altogether. Now what do I got here? Two
          quitters -- or are you staying with?

                         CUT TO:
          That night. A helicopter with a Bean, inc. decal on the side
          of it circles the crater scanning the dark terrain with a
          searchlight. There are tents, trucks, and 108 men gathered
          around the perimeter. They sit on bricks and logs and are
          armed with bats, pistols, rifles, shotguns, bows and arrows,
          and hatchets.

          INT. HOLE. NIGHT

          Fox, his family, and Kylie lie exhausted on the floor of
          their deep hole. The walls are covered with knotted roots and
          vines. Fox says to Kylie:

          One of those slovenly farmers is probably
          wearing my tail as a necktie by now.






          You're paranoid, Foxy.

                         CUT TO:
          Mrs. Bean sitting in her kitchen watching television next to
          an extremely skinny, freckled twelve year-old boy. The boy
          points at the screen and laughs to himself:

                         FRECKLED BOY
          Look at Dad's tie.

          The television set. Bean is on-screen with the Action 13
          reporter. He wears a fox-fur necktie.

          EXT. CAMP. NIGHT

          There is a full moon. Lanterns glow in the farmers' tents. A
          group of farmhands sit around a campfire next to the crater.
          One of them cooks a chicken on a spit. Another sits on a log
          playing a banjo. He is Petey. He sings:

          'Bout a handsome little fox
          Let me sing you folks a yarn.
          Hey, diddle-dee, doddle-do, doodle-dum!
          'Twas a splendid little feller
          Full of wit 'n' grace 'n' charm.
          Say, zippy-zee, yappy-yo, google-gum!
          The shot moves past the leathery faces of the other farmhands
          as they listen: amused, moved, hungry, tired, charmed,
          annoyed, whistling, playing a jew's harp, trying to sing
          along but not really knowing the words, etc.

          Like any little critter needin'
          Vittels for his littl'uns,
          Well, he stole, and he cheated,
          And he lied to survive.
          Doodle-dum, diddle-die, doddle-diddle-
          Zippy-zo, zippy-zay, zippy-zappy-
          (this verse is spoken:)
          Let me take a little tick now
          To color in the scene:
          'Cross the valley lived three yokels
          Name of Boggis, Bunce, and Bean.







                         PETEY (CONT'D)
          (back to singing:)
          Now these three crazy jackies
          had our hero on the run.
          Shot the tail off the cuss
          With a fox-shootin' gun.
          But that stylish little fox
          Was as clever as a whip.
          Dug as quick as a gopher
          Who was a hyper-ack-a-tive.
          Now those three farmers sit
          'Twhere there's a hole 'twas once a hill.
          Hey, diddle-dee, doddle-do, doodle-dum!
          And as far as I can reckon
          They're a-settin' up there still.

          Way, zippy-zee, yappy-yo, google --


          What are you singing, Petey?
          Petey stops short. Everyone turns quickly and sees Bean
          standing over them in the darkness with his Luger in one hand
          and a cigarette in the other. Petey looks nervous.

          I don't know. I was just kind of making
          it up as I was going along...
          Petey trails off. Bean shakes his head. He looks highly

          That's just weak song-writing! You wrote
          a bad song, Petey!
          Bean throws his cigarette into the campfire. He storms away.
          Petey turns to the other farmhands. Everyone looks

          3 DAYS LATER (18 Fox-Days)

                         CUT TO:
          Morning in the farmers' camp. The cook flips an egg on a
          skillet. He puts it on a plate with bacon and hands it to
          Petey. Petey asks him:






          How long can a fox go without food or

                         CUT TO:
          The exhausted foxes and Kylie underground. Kylie says


          Well, I can only answer as an opossum,
          but I don't think I can last more than
          another couple of hours before I get
          completely dehydrated and starve to

          What's that?
          Ash points. Everyone looks. A tiny hole appears in the wall
          at the end of the tunnel. Dirt crumbles out of it -- and a
          bit of metal catches a glint. Fox and his family watch,
          frozen. A breath of air blows into the tunnel.
          The flame on Mrs. Fox's lantern flickers once and goes out.

                         ASH STARTS:



                         (WHISPERS SHARPLY)
          Not a sound!
          Silence. There is a sudden, loud scrabbling noise. A match
          strikes. Fox touches it to Mrs. Fox's lantern-wick.
          The tiny hole in the wall has become a large one. Badger
          stands in front of Fox with his law partner Beaver, Beaver's
          overgrown, hulking son, a medium-sized mole, and a grey field
          mouse with a bandana tied in a "do-rag" style around his
          head. Badger has a spoon in his hand. Fox and Badger erupt at
          each other, screaming simultaneously:

          You scared the cuss out of us!

          I told you not to buy at nine and a
          cussing half!






          You don't just bang into somebody's
          cussing tunnel!

          Are you cussing yelling at me!

          You're cussing right I'm cussing yelling!

          We're all cussing starving to death
          because of you, you mangy, cussing,
          little cuss!
          Fox and Badger snarl and scratch at each other, circling
          around the hole. They calm down slightly. Badger continues:

          We've been digging in circles for three
          days. Half the woods've been obliterated.
          Nobody can get out. Right now my wife's
          huddled at the bottom of the flint-mine
          with Mrs. Mole, Mrs. Beaver, Rabbit's ex-
          girlfriend, no food, no water, and twenty-
          seven hungry, whining, starving, little
          animal brats. This is a total cluster-
          cuss for everybody!
          Fox looks around the room at the entire gaunt, dirty,
          emaciated assembly. Everyone stares at him angrily. He
          swallows. The mole says softly.:

          I just want to see a little --

                         (SUDDENLY CRYING)
          -- sunshine.


          But you're nocturnal, Phil. Your eyes
          barely even open, on a good day.


          I'm sick of your double-talk. We have
          Beaver's son looms over Ash and Kristofferson in a muddy
          alcove on the side of the tunnel. He pokes Ash in the chest
          with the finger of his paw.






                         BEAVER'S SON
          We don't like you, and we hate your dad.
          You're too snazzy. You dress like a girl.
          You're creative. Now grab some of that
          mud, chew it in your mouth, and swallow

          (scared and disgusted)
          I'm not going to eat mud!

                         BEAVER'S SON
          Cuss, yeah, you are.
          Beaver's son grabs a handful of mud, smashes it into Ash's
          mouth, and forces his jaws up and down in a chewing motion.
          Ash coughs and splutters. Kristofferson frowns. He takes off
          his shoes with his feet. He says with a quiet ferocity:

          Don't do that.
          Beaver's son looks to Kristofferson. He looks down at
          Kristofferson's feet.

                         BEAVER'S SON
          Why'd you take your shoes off?

          So I don't break your nose when I kick
          Kristofferson kicks Beaver's son in the face, karate chops
          his neck, elbow-jabs him twice in the gut, and flips the
          enormous youth over his shoulder and into the mud. Beaver's
          son gets up, crying, and walks out of the alcove.
          Ash watches blankly with mud all over his mouth as
          Kristofferson puts his shoes back on.

          I can fight my own fights.
          Badger and Fox stand facing each other at the end of the
          tunnel. Badger says aggressively:

          Those farmers aren't going to quit until
          they've got you and every member of your
          family nailed upside-down to a bloody
          stick with your eyes gorged out.







                         (FREAKED OUT)
          This is getting a little too personal.
          Badger waits for Fox to continue. Fox stares into space.

          Give me a minute.
          Fox turns and walks away. He faces the wall of the tunnel. He
          sits down on a rock. Everyone watches him uncertainly. They
          look at each other. Badger starts to say something, but Kylie
          cuts him off sharply:


          Badger falls silent. Fox sits with his chin on his paw, lost
          in concentrated thought. He stands up. He nods repeatedly and
          begins to pace. His eyes dart from one spot to another. His
          paws move abruptly around in the air drawing lines and
          shapes. He freezes and looks straight up at the ceiling of
          the tunnel. He snaps the fingers of his paw and looks to the
          others. He says with a cautious excitement:

          I've got an idea.


          What is it?

          It could be a good one.


          Lay it on us.

          It might save our lives.


          Say the idea!
          Fox looks down at Ash, who stands beside him with mud still
          on his mouth. He nods. He says suddenly:

          All right! Let's try it!





          Fox runs over to Mrs. Fox:

          Go to the flint-mine. Tell Mrs. Badger,
          Rabbit's ex-girlfriend, et al. that help
          is on the way.

          MRS. FOX

          Is help on the way?
          Fox grips Mrs. Fox's paw. He looks into her eyes and says


          I sure as cuss hope so.
          Mrs. Fox detects a special, familiar, inspired light in her
          husband's eyes at this moment. She nods. She hands Ash the
          lantern. She straightens the neck-line of his cape, licks the
          mud off Ash's snout, and scrambles away down Badger's tunnel.
          Ash wants to cry but does not. Fox turns to the others.

          Gentlemen, this time we must dig in a
          very special direction.
          Fox feels the walls with his paws. Everyone watches

          I got to kind of feel out the vibe.
          Fox stops. He points slightly downwards and due south. He
          says with quiet anticipation:

          Everyone starts digging, slowly but intently.

                         CUT TO:
          The diggers one hundred yards later. Fox suddenly whistles
          and raises his fist.
          The diggers stop digging. Fox feels the ceiling with his
          paws. He knocks something hard. It sounds hollow. He looks at
          the others with a funny expression and raises an eyebrow.
          Fox carefully pushes up a floorboard. It creaks loudly. They
          all duck down and wait. Nothing happens. Fox pushes up a
          second floorboard. He cautiously pokes his head up through





          the gap. He lets out a shriek of excitement and whispers
          excitedly down to the others:

          I've done it! I've done it, first time!
          Come up and see where you are, my
          Everyone scrambles up out of the tunnel.

          INT. SHED. NIGHT

          Everyone stands in the middle of Boggis' Chicken House #1.
          The room is teeming with chickens, which stare at them
          nervously. There are black chickens, white chickens, brown
          chickens, and one that combines all three colors. Fox


          I hit it slap in the middle! Do you get
          how incredible this is?
          The others nod. They look dazed and wild. Fox holds up his
          hands and whispers:

          Don't lose your heads, now. Let's do this
          properly. First, everyone have a drink of
          Fox leads the others over to the chickens' drinking trough.
          They all lap up the cool water. Fox dries his mouth.


                         SECOND --
          Fox seizes a black chicken violently.

                         CUT TO:
          Ash and Kristofferson running down the tunnel carrying two
          dead, black chickens. They turn three corners and arrive at
          the mossy hollow. They look inside.

          Fox and the other diggers tunnel under the silo in front of
          Bunce Industries. Cows eat grass in the pasture above.
          Fox and the other diggers comes out of a hole in the floor
          and dance an ecstatic jig in a great storeroom lined to the
          ceiling with plucked ducks and geese. Smoked hams and sides
          of bacon dangle from the rafters.





          Fox and the other diggers tunnel under the windmill in front
          of Bean, inc. Sheep eat clover in the field above.
          Fox and the other diggers comes out of a hole in the floor
          and dance an ecstatic jig in a corrugated plastic and metal
          pen among dozens of gobbling turkeys.
          Fox and the other diggers race dancing ecstatically back
          through the complex network of tunnels carrying dead turkeys,
          geese, bacon, flour, salt, sugar, jars of cider, and a
          portable television set.

          INT. FLINT-MINE. DAY

          The flint-mine is a large but cozy space with stone walls, a
          dirt floor, a small kitchen, and a fireplace. There are rows
          of cots, sleeping bags, boxes, blankets, and suitcases for
          all the refugee animals. All the animals have gathered
          together and drink cider cocktails while small rabbits,
          skunks, and field mice set the table. The room is festooned
          with garlands. A well-dressed mole smoking a pipe plays the
          piano. A bespectacled rabbit leans against it humming a tune.
          Weasel stands in the corner talking with Beaver.

          What am I going to do? I'm going to hold
          him to the terms of the contract. It's
          not my fault they uprooted it.
          Kristofferson serves cranberry punch from a tureen in the
          corner. Ash goes over to him and holds out a mug.

          They say I owe you an apology for some of
          the mean things I said about your
          father's illness. His double-pneumonia or
          whatever they're calling it now.
          Kristofferson ladles Ash a cupful.



          So there it is. I hope we can continue
          our relationship as cousins or family
          members or however you want to define

                         IT --
          (suddenly more intense)
          -- but do me a favor for yourself. The
          next time you have a problem with
          something I've said, come to me as a fox







                         ASH (CONT'D)
          and let's deal with it right then and not
          let it blow up into a whole, huge thing
          involving parents and so on. Agreed?
          Ash drinks his punch in one long sip and holds out the empty
          mug for a refill. Kristofferson nods slowly. He points at Ash
          with his ladle.

          I'm going to teach you karate.
          Badger sits next to the fireplace with Fox and Kylie.

          I can imagine how painful, even just
          emotionally, that must be for you.


          Well, you know, it's not the end of the


                         (MORE ANIMATED)
          Oh, but, Foxy, how humiliating! Having
          your whole tail blown clean off by a --


          Can we drop it?
          Kristofferson starts to refill Ash's mug again. Ash suddenly
          puts his paw over the brim. Kristofferson hesitates. Ash
          raises an eyebrow and says mysterriously:

          Ever tasted one of Mrs. Bean's famous
          nutmeg-ginger-apple snaps?

          EXT. CAMP. DAY

          A large fire truck drives up to the destroyed hill with
          firemen hanging off the back and sides. It parks among the
          tractors and tents. The chief, in a white helmet, goes over
          to Boggis, Bunce, and Bean waiting at the mouth of the pit. A
          patch on his sleeve says O.W.F.R.P.F. Farmhands and firemen
          circle around.

          Who's got me a donation for the old
          Wounded Fireman's Retirement Pension
          Bean pulls a yellow check out of his inside pocket.






          Right here.
          (pointing behind him)
          Let me show you this hole.

          INT. FLINT-MINE. DAY

          Candles glow all around. Everyone is seated at the long
          dining room table, and a magnificent feast with every variety
          of fruit, meat, vegetable, and roasted bird has been laid out
          in front of them. They tear into their meals, eating and
          drinking ferociously. Crumbs, juices, blood, and bones fly
          into the air. Jaws snap and chew. There is no conversation.
          Badger suddenly stands and rings a knife against his cider
          glass. Everyone looks up, taking a breather from the frenzy
          of eating. Badger clears his throat.

          Well, it took a near-catastrophe for all
          of you to finally take me up on my offer
          to have you over to the flint-mine for
          dinner, but I guess we have --


          I'm sorry. Maybe my invitation got lost
          in the mail. Does anybody know what this
          badger's talking about?
          Everyone laughs. Fox sits at the opposite end of the table
          with a crooked smile on his face.

          But Clive's right --

                         (STANDING UP)
          -- in all seriousness --
          (aside, to Badger)
          -- excuse me, B.
          Fox raises his cider glass. Badger reluctantly sits back

          I guess we do have those three ugly,
          cusshole farmers to thank for one thing:
          reminding us to be thankful and aware of
          each other. I'm going to say it again.

                         (GESTURING EXPANSIVELY)
          Badger whispers to his wife:






          Foxy cuss-blocked my toast, man.

                         CUT TO:
          The hole where Fox's tree once stood. The dead tree lies on
          its side. A fireman slides a thick hose deep into the tunnel.
          He looks behind him and nods.

                         FIREMAN #1
          The shot moves backwards along the hose, past seven more
          firemen signalling to each other with: a thumbs-up, a snap, a
          fist in the air, a swirl of the fingers, a peace symbol, an A-
          OK, and a hook-'em Horns. The shot continues past Boggis,
          Bunce, and Bean helping to hold the hose in position. Boggis
          growls. Bunce hisses. Bean snarls. The shot arrives at a pump
          on the side of the fire truck. The chief points:

          Let her rip.
          A fireman cranks a huge wrench on a steel nut. A pressure
          gauge shoots to maximum. The fire truck and hose begin to
          vibrate loudly.

                         CUT TO:
          Ash and Kristofferson crouched under a drain-cover pushed
          just-open next to a refrigerator. They peer out across a
          bright, clean, white kitchen at a plate of perfect, golden
          cookies on a counter-top next to an open window with a step-
          ladder directly in front of it. They look at each other. They
          look around the quiet, empty room. Ash shrugs.
          Ash and Kristofferson dart out, leaving the drain-cover
          propped-up. They race over the linoleum. They climb the step-
          ladder and stop at the plate. Ash swoons and says


          They're still warm.
          Ash and Kristofferson gather more cookies than they can
          possibly carry, eating as they collect them. Crumbs go
          On the other side of the room, the drain-cover falls shut
          with a loud clank. Ash and Kristofferson look up, wildly
          startled. All at once they hear in a simultaneous cacophony:
          the back door bursting open, a boy and two beagles shouting
          and barking, the pantry door slamming, Mrs. Bean and her





          middle-aged housekeeper clanging pots and pans and arguing, a
          timer on the counter-top ringing, and a raven fluttering to
          the windowsill and cawing.
          Ash and Kristofferson panic silently. They drop the cookies
          and fly down the step-ladder.

                         CUT TO:
          Fox in mid-toast:

          I've stepped on some toes and alienated a
          few of you over the past few days -- but
          is it wrong for me to suggest we might've
          done worse than having an incredible
          banquet in a beautiful flint-mine
          surrounded by our favorite animals? Look
          at each other. Here we are. Wow. Now I've
          already had too much to drink, and I'm
          feeling sentimental, but I'm going to say
          something, anyway, which nobody wants to
          admit, but I think is probably true: we
          beat 'em. We beat those farmers, and now
          we're triumphantly eating their roasted
          chicken, their sizzling duck, their
          succulent turkey, their foie gras de --

          Where'd the boys go? Ash? Kristofferson?
          (to Mrs. Fox)
          What am I hearing again, baby? What's
          happening? Am I still paranoid?
          There is a low, distant rumbling which rapidly builds to a
          deafening roar. Everyone waits, frozen. A single drop of
          water drips from the ceiling into Badger's water glass. Fox
          turns to Badger and says:

          Let's pause again.
          A wild deluge smashes into the room flooding the flint-mine
          and tunnels with a blasting current that sweeps everyone and
          everything away chaotically.

                         CUT TO:
          The entire party of well-dressed animals and their plates,
          furniture, chickens, etc. shooting down the tunnel with the
          rushing waters. Fox, helpless, holding his breath, looks to
          the others underwater: Badger shakes his head in disgust;
          Rabbit makes a fierce grimace; Mole bares his teeth
          ferociously; Beaver rants angrily with bubbles coming out off
          his mouth; and Kylie stares ahead vacantly, holding his nose.





          Fox turns sadly to Mrs. Fox. She looks terrified.


          The flood blasts out of a wide pipe rocketing the animals
          into a murky, brick cavern with drainpipes on all sides and
          three inches of black water on its floor. Fox picks himself
          up, dazed and scared, and looks around at his soaked friends
          and their families.

          What the cuss just happened? Something
          with water. That was dangerous. Is anyone


                         (FURIOUS )
          We're all hurt! My entire flint-mine just
          got demolished!

          Let's do a head-count! Everybody pick a
          Each animal turns to his neighbor and establishes their buddy
          relationship. Fox looks wildly agitated as his eyes dart
          about, searching. He shouts:

          Where'd the boys go? Ash? Kristofferson?
          Ash's voice cracks on the other side of the cavern:

          I'm here.
          Everyone turns to see Ash standing at the mouth of a smaller
          pipe. He looks devastated and terrified. Fox points to him.

          Ash! Who's your buddy?

          Kristofferson, but I lost him.

          You lost him? Where were you?

          We went for cookies.
          Everyone turns to Fox. Fox yells desperately:






          Fox sprints around the cavern, splashing, digging, and
          ducking in and out of tunnels as the others join his frantic
          search. His voice sounds pained as he shouts:

          Kristofferson! Kristofferson!

                         CUT TO:
          The three farmers standing next to the fire truck. Bean holds
          a soaked, half-conscious Kristofferson up in the air by the
          tail. Kristofferson is quietly crying.

          Wrap this wet, little mutt in a newspaper
          and put him in a box with some holes
          punched in the top.


          Everyone has gathered together. They are all in a state of
          shock. Fox turns to Mrs. Fox beside him.

          Your brother's going to kill me, if he
          survives his double-pneumonia.
          Beaver runs into the brick cavern out of a drainpipe,


          There's only one way out of this sewer,
          but the manhole cover's closed, and
          there's a station-wagon parked on it --
          which means we're permanently stuck down


          You still think we beat 'em, Foxy?
          Everyone turns to Fox and stares at him coldly. Fox sits down
          on the floor, in the water. He says quietly:

          Somebody take over. I'm not in charge





          Everyone looks around at each other. They don't know what to
          do. Mrs. Fox sits down in the water next to Fox.

          You told me to change, but I can't --

          -- except, possibly, on some level, I
          think I just did.

          MRS. FOX

          Well, then maybe we're not all going to
          Fox looks to Mrs. Fox. He stands up suddenly. He takes Mrs.
          Fox's hand.

          Excuse us, everyone.
          Fox leads Mrs. Fox over to a ledge near a cement waterfall on
          the far side of the brick cavern. He puts his arm around her

          Badger's right. These farmers aren't
          going to quit until they catch me. I
          shouldn't have lied to your face. I
          shouldn't have resigned slash gotten
          fired from the Gazette. I shouldn't have
          pushed these farmers so far and tried to
          embarrass them and cuss with their heads.
          I enjoyed it, but I shouldn't have done
          it -- and now there's only one way out.
          Maybe if I hand myself over and let them
          kill me, stuff me, and hang me over their

                         MANTELPIECE --

          MRS. FOX

          You'll do no such thing.


          Darling, maybe they'll let everyone else
          Mrs. Fox stares at Fox. She says desolately:

          MRS. FOX
          Why'd you have to get us into this, Foxy?






          I don't know, but I have a possible
          theory. I think I have this thing where I
          need everybody to think I'm the greatest
          -- the quote-unquote fantastic Mr. Fox --
          and if they aren't completely knocked-
          out, dazzled, and kind of intimidated by
          me, then I don't feel good about myself.
          Mrs. Fox shakes her head and turns away. Fox continues:

          Foxes traditionally like to court danger,
          hunt prey, and outsmart predators -- and
          that's what I'm actually good at! I
          think, at the end of the day, I'm just --

          MRS. FOX

          We're wild animals.
          Fox smiles sadly and nods. He shrugs.

          I guess we always were. I promise you: if
          I had all this to do over again, I'd have
          never let you down. It was always more
          fun when we did it together, anyway.
          Mrs. Fox has tears all over her face. Fox kisses her. He
          whispers in her ear:

          I love you, Felicity.

          MRS. FOX
          I love you, too, but I shouldn't have
          married you.
          Mrs. Fox turns and walks away. Fox stares after her. He goes
          over to Ash.

          Did I ever tell you about the time I
          learned we were going to have a cub?

          In the fox-trap.

          Right. We were at gun-point, and your

                         MOTHER --






          -- says she's pregnant.

          Let me tell it, OK? I had no idea how we
          were going to get out of this jam, and
          then it hit me: what do foxes do better
          than any other animal?


          You're stepping on my lines.

          Keep telling it.

          So we dug. And the whole time I put paw
          over paw, scooping dirt and pebbles with
          your mother digging like crazy beside me,
          I kept wondering: who is this little boy
          going to be?

          Or girl.

           Or girl, right -- because at that point
           we didn't know.
          Fox grabs Ash by his shoulders and looks him in the eye.

           Ash, I'm so glad he was you.
          Fox hugs Ash tightly, holds him for an instant, then let's
          go. He turns to the group.

          Badger, organize a search party and try
          to find Kristofferson. Maybe he's alive.
          I'm sorry, everyone. I wish --

          Well, good-bye.
          Fox looks across the cavern to Mrs. Fox standing with her
          back to him. She turns to face him. Her eyes are burning. Fox
          smiles sadly. He races away down the drain-pipe. Everyone
          watches him disappear. Badger hesitates. He addresses the

                         GROUP UNCERTAINLY:






          I guess we should probably split into a
          certain number of groups and start doing
          something, right?


          Fox sprints full-speed in the darkness. His claws scratch
          rattling along the iron floor and splash through puddles of
          shallow water.
          Fox stops suddenly. He stands up tall on his hind legs. His
          ears perk up. One pins back. He listens.

                         CUT TO:
          Badger carrying a lantern leading Ash, Mole, and two small
          rabbits down a drainpipe. Badger calls out:

          Kristofferson? Hello? Can you hear us?
          Rat's voice echoes in the darkness:

          Y'all lookin' for somethin'? Nothin' down
          here but rusty bottle-caps and drainin'
          Everyone stops short. Rat drops into the pipe from an
          overhead drain ahead of them. He says ominously:

          They got the boy.


          Who's got him?

          The farmers three. You know who I'm
          talkin' about.


          They've kidnapped him?

          Well-done, Mr. Badger. You're a smart
          man. They want to trade the son for his





          Rat flicks a folded letter through the air. Badger catches
          it. He opens it. Kylie looks over his shoulder. Badger

          Why'd they write this in letters cut out
          of magazines?

          To protect their identities.
          (on second thought)
          Oh, right, but then why'd they sign their
          names? Plus, we already knew who they
          were because they're trying to kill us.

          A ransom note written in letters cut out of magazines and
          pasted onto a piece of paper. Badger reads out loud:
          Mr. Fox, we have your son. If you
          ever want to see him alive again --
          Ash calls out:

          I'm his son.
          Everyone looks at Ash. He stands behind them in silhouette.
          Rat says darkly:

          I can see the resemblance.
          Pause. In an instant, Rat grabs Ash by the tail, picks him up
          off the ground, swings him in the air, and flings him away
          twenty feet down the drainpipe. Badger looks stunned.
          Ash sits in a puddle in a stupor. Rat races toward him down
          the tunnel. He leaps into the air with his claws out and his
          teeth bared. As he is about to seize upon Ash -- he is
          suddenly jerked backwards and spun around.
          Rat is face to face with Fox. Fox strikes his old-fashioned
          boxing stance. He draws back and throws a hard punch, nailing
          Rat square in the jaw. Rat staggers, stunned. He swings his
          switchblade, cutting Fox across the chest.
          Fox touches the wound and looks at the blood on the fingers
          of his paw. He looks to Rat. Rat holds up his wrist and shows
          Fox a child's plastic digital watch with miniature footballs,
          baseballs, and soccer balls on it. He says strangely:






          I've still got it.


          What'd you just say?

          I said I've still got the watch, Mr. Fox.
          She never asked for it back.
          A frozen moment. Fox springs forward and clamps his jaws onto
          Rat's throat. Rat tumbles over backwards. Fox pins him to the
          ground with his teeth in Rat's neck. Rat kicks and bucks and
          struggles, but Fox holds him fast. Rat goes limp. Fox
          releases him.
          Everyone slowly gathers around Fox and Rat. Ash kneels next
          to his father. Fox cradles Rat in his arms. Rat whispers:

          The boy's locked in an apple crate on top
          of a gun-locker in the attic of Bean
          Annex. It's a set-up.


          Would you have told me if I didn't kill
          you first?
          Rat smiles sickly. Blood drips from his mouth. His voice



          (shaking his head)
          All these wasted years. What were you
          looking for, Rat?
          Fox wipes the blood from Rat's chin. Rat mutters.

          He's trying to say something, Dad.
          Fox leans his ear close to Rat's mouth. As quiet as a mouse,

                         RAT WHISPERS:






          Fox nods. He looks around the drainpipe. He cups his paw into
          the pool of murky water and holds it to Rat's lips.

          Here you are, Rat. A beaker of Bean's
          finest secret cider.
          Rat's slivery, scratchity, long, pink tongue laps up a taste
          of the black liquid. He licks his lips and says faintly:

          Like melted gold.
          Rat's eyes turn into X's. He is dead. Ash stands up.

          He redeemed himself.


          Redemption? Sure.
          Fox swallows and says hopelessly with tears in his eyes:

          But, in the end -- he's just another dead
          rat in a garbage pail behind a Chinese
          Ash puts his hand on Fox's shoulder. Fox lays Rat gently onto
          the sewer floor. He stands up and turns to the rest of the
          group. Badger claps his paws together.

          Well, I suppose we should --


          Excuse me, again, B. The search party's
          been cancelled. We're replacing it with a
          go-for-broke rescue mission. It's a set-
          up, but maybe we can make it work. You
          two little rabbits run tell the others.

          Now, go!
          The two little rabbits scurry away down the drainpipe. Badger
          walks with Fox and Ash.

          What was he saying about that wristwatch?
          I didn't get what he was talking about.





          Fox hesitates. He shrugs and says with a sad nostalgia:

          Just some old back-story.


          The entire community of animals has reconnoitered in the
          brick cavern. Fox stands on a large spigot and addresses the
          group. He has a bandage on his chest.

          In a way, I'm almost glad that flood
          interrupted us, because I don't like the
          toast I was giving. I'm going to start
          Fox pantomimes raising a long-stemmed glass.

          When I look down this table with the
          exquisite feast set before us, I see: two
          terrific lawyers, a skilled pediatrician,
          a wonderful chef, a savvy real-estate
          agent, an excellent tailor, a crack
          accountant, a gifted musician, a pretty
          good minnow fisherman, and possibly the
          best landscape painter working on the
          scene today.
          As Fox describes them, the shot cuts to: Badger and Beaver;
          Mrs. Badger; Rabbit; Weasel; an especially small, waifish
          field mouse; Mole; Kylie (who looks slightly offended); and
          Mrs. Fox, respectively.

          Maybe a few of you might even read my
          column from time to time. Who knows? I
          tend to doubt it.

                         (DRAMATIC PAUSE)
          I also see a room full of wild animals.
          Everyone stares at Fox curiously, skeptical but intrigued.
          Fox points at them:

          Wild animals with true natures and pure
          talents. Wild animals with scientific-
          sounding Latin names that mean something
          about our D.N.A. Wild animals each with
          his own strengths and weaknesses due to
          his or her species, and also -- well, I
          guess these things usually have a lot to







                         FOX (CONT'D)
          do with the parents, as we all know.
          Anyway, I think it may very well be all
          the beautiful differences among us that
          just might give us the tiniest glimmer of
          a chance of saving my nephew and letting
          me make it up to you for getting us into
          this crazy whatever-it-is. I don't know.
          It's just a thought. Thank you for
          listening. Cheers, everyone.
          Fox motions with his imaginary glass and pantomimes drinking
          it. A few of the others reluctantly pantomime drinking. Fox
          finishes his glass and pantomimes throwing it on the floor.
          He makes a smashing-glass sound. Kylie shouts:

          Let's eat!
          Everyone turns to Kylie uncertainly. Kylie hesitates.

          What? I'm just playing along with the --


          All right! Let's start planning! Who
          knows shorthand?
          Pause. Badger points to his otter secretary. She is Linda.
          Fox darts over to her and grips her by the arm.

          Linda! Lutra Lutra! You got some dry
          paper? Here we go!
          Fox, highly energized, moves among the group, touching their
          shoulders and patting their backs.

          Mole! Talpa Europea! What do you got?


          I can see in the dark?


          That's incredible! We can use that!


                         (TAKING SHORTHAND)
          Got it.






          Rabbit! Oryctolagus Cuniculus!

          I'm fast.

          You bet your cuss you are! Linda?


                         (TAKING SHORTHAND)
          Got it.

          Beaver! Castor Fiber!

          I can chew through wood.

          Amazing! Linda?


                         (TAKING SHORTHAND)
          Got it.

          Badger! Meles Meles!

          Demolitions expert!


          What? Since when?

          Explosions, flames, things that burn!

          Demolitions expert! OK! Linda!


                         (TAKING SHORTHAND)
          Got it!
          Fox's cheeks and forehead are beaded with perspiration. He

                         SCREAMS INSANELY:

          Weasel! Mustela Nivalis!






          Stop yelling!
          Fox snaps his fingers, kicks a rock, and throws his arm into
          the air.

          All right!
          Fox points to the various cubs and pups.

          All you little kids get organized and put
          together some kind of a K.P. unit or
          something to keep this sewer clean. It's
          good for morale.
          The field mouse shoves his way to the front of the crowd. He
          makes a fist with his paw.

                         FIELD MOUSE
          I want to go with you, too! I want to


          Good. Fabulous! Microtus Pennsylvanicus!
          Do you do that, in fact? Are field mice

                         FIELD MOUSE
          Not particularly, except maybe domestic/
          kitchen sink-type stuff, but I have a
          hunch I might just --

          -- land a few good punches before I get
          stepped on, poisoned, or lured to my
          death by a little piece of cheese. Who's
          to say?

          (smiling with admiration)
          You're a cuss of a lot bigger than you
          look, Rickity.
          Kylie tugs at Fox's sleeve. Fox turns to look at him. Kylie

                         SAYS SHYLY:

          I didn't get a job yet -- or a Latin
          name. What's my strength?
          Fox raises an eyebrow. He thinks of something:






          Listen, you're Kylie. You're an
          unbelievably nice guy. Your job is really
          just to... be available, I think. I don't
          know your Latin name. I doubt they even
          had opossums in ancient Rome.
          Kylie puts his hands in his pockets and scowls.


          Mrs. Fox puts the finishing touches on a vast mural painted
          on the longest, tallest wall of the brick cavern. She stands
          on a ladder. Her sleeves are rolled up, and she is splattered
          with twelve different colors of paint. She looks down to Fox
          standing below with an entourage of Kylie, Badger, Linda, and
          Rickity. The animal children mop and scrub in the background.
          Ash stands leaning against a push-broom watching his parents.
          Fox surveys the mural. It is highly detailed, filled with the
          textures of the landscape, and decorated with images of
          flowers, leaves, acorns, etc. It is signed Felicity Fox. Fox
          opens his arms wide and shouts:

          It's stupendous. Where's us?

          MRS. FOX
          (pointing to a spot)
          Right here.

          Paint an X.

          The bottom of the map. Mrs. Fox's paw paints a red X and puts
          a circle around it.
          The shot zooms out to reveal the entire valley -- no longer a
          painting on the brick wall. Lighting strikes at the horizon.
          Dark clouds loom over the three farmers' compounds. It looks
          exactly like one of Mrs. Fox's paintings of a landscape in a
          rainstorm. Bean's helicopter circles the area.

          EXT. HILL. NIGHT

          A bicycle messenger with a head-lamp rings his bell as he
          approaches the farmers' camp. He stops in front of Bean and
          hands him an envelope. Bean tears it open and unfolds the
          letter inside.






          A note written in letters cut out of magazines and pasted
          onto a piece of paper. It reads:
          Dear Farmers Boggis, Bunce, and Bean,
          I have no alternative but to agree to
          your terms. Move the station wagon and
          open the manhole cover below the foot of
          the drainpipe next to the cobbler's shop
          and meet me there today at 10 A.M. sharp.
          I will hand myself over to you in
          exchange for the boy's safe return.
          Mr. Fox
          Bean frowns. He studies the letter. He shows it to Boggis and

          Why'd he write this in letters cut out of


          I don't know, but you did the same thing.


          I don't trust this guy. Anyway, set up
          the ambush.

          INT. ATTIC. DAY

          The top floor of Bean Annex. The room is filled with boxes of
          Christmas ornaments, old sports equipment, two stained
          mattresses, and a broken birdcage. Cobwebs hang from the
          rafters below the sloped roof.
          Kristofferson stands with his hands in his pockets looking
          out between the slats from inside a padlocked apple crate on
          top of a gun locker in the corner. He clears his throat. He
          calls out politely:

          Could I have a cup of water, please?
          Kristofferson waits for a reply, but no one answers. He
          whistles to himself for a minute. He clears his throat again.
          He calls out:

          Excuse me! Excuse me?







          A cement conduit with an iron grating above it. A fast stream
          of sewer water runs along its side. Fox walks briskly down
          the pipe followed by his entourage and Ash. Their steps echo

          Synchronize your clocks. The time is

                         NOW --
          Fox looks at his wrist. He is wearing Rat's plastic, digital,
          sports-themed wristwatch.

          -- nine forty-five A.M.
          Everyone checks their watches. Badger points at Fox's wrist.

          Is that Rat's watch?


          No. Originally, no.

          Well, OK, here's the back-story: when I
          was a teenager I spent a summer working
          as a bar-back at a jazz pub called
          Django's where Rat played horn down
          near -- can I tell this another time? We
          should stay focused on what's happening
          right now.
          Ash comes up to Fox's side and says discreetly:

          I should probably ride with you and Kylie
          since it's my fault Kristofferson got
          captured stealing those nutmeg-ginger-
          apple snaps.


          I didn't understand a word of that
          sentence, but none of it matters, anyway,
          because it's too dangerous for you to
          come with us.






          EXT. STREET. DAY

          An old craftsman looks out from the window of Ferguson
          Cobblers as he taps little nails into the heel of a loafer. A
          station-wagon with wood-grain side-panels and a flat tire
          sits parked on a manhole cover in front of the shop. Boggis,
          Bunce, and five armed farmhands watch as Bean monkeys with a
          slim-jim until he gets the car door jimmied.
          Bean hops inside. He starts the engine, puts his arm over the
          top of the seat as he looks back out the rear window, and
          throws the station-wagon into reverse. The farmers clear out
          of the way as Bean backs up off the manhole cover.
          Boggis and Bunce stick tools into the manhole cover and lift
          it open.

          Rat's watch. It is now 10 A.M.

                         CUT TO:
          Six armed farmhands on the roof of the Nag's Head Tavern.

                         CUT TO:
          Seven armed farmhands in the bushes behind Sweetings Bakery.

                         CUT TO:
          Eight armed farmers in the window of Harrison Travel.

                         CUT TO:
          The Action 13 reporter and camera crew in an alley next to
           St. John's Coin-op Laundry.

          EXT. STREET. DAY

          Boggis, Bunce, and Bean crouch behind the open doors of a
          pick-up truck with three beagles. Boggis checks his carbine.
          Bunce loads his shotgun. Bean cocks his Luger. Fox's voice
          hollers from deep inside the manhole:

          FOX (O.S.)
          Did you bring the boy?

          Of course, we did! Say something, kid!
          Bunce presses play on a tape recorder. Kristofferson's voice
          comes over a loudspeaker:






                         KRISTOFFERSON'S VOICE
          Excuse me! Excuse me?
          Bunce presses stop.

                         CUT TO:
          Fox and his entourage at the bottom off the manhole. Fox
          scoffs. He smiles and shakes his head.

          Come on! That doesn't sound anything like
          him! It's amateur night in Dixie!
          Badger rapidly slaps two pieces of flint together. A bit
          chips off, and sparks fly from the break. He blows on some
          kindling. He takes a pinecone out of a basket.

          EXT. STREET. DAY

          A ribbon of white smoke rises out of the manhole. The three
          farmers watch curiously as it thickens and turns black. Bean

          What the cuss is he burning?
          A blazing pinecone shoots out of the manhole and flies
          through the air, over the farmers' heads. It lands in a trash
          can and lights some rubbish on fire. A man with a dart in one
          hand and a mug of ale in the other comes out of the Nag's
          Head and pours his beer into the trash can. The fire goes
          The three farmers laugh smugly. Bean shouts:

          Is that all you've got, Mr. Fox?
          Twenty-seven blazing pinecones shoot out of the manhole and
          hit: a wood-pile on the roof of the Nag's Head, a box of
          pastry wrappers in the bushes behind Sweetings, a stack of
          brochures in the window of Harrison Travel, a hay bale in the
          bed of the pick-up truck, Boggis, Bunce, Bean, and a crate of
          cam-corder batteries next to the Action 13 camera crew, which
          explodes. Farmers scatter, grabbing hoses, yelling, and
          tamping out the flames as the beagles bark, yelp, and
          scramble in the confusion.
          Rabbit darts out of the hole and races up the street. Six
          farmers chase after him, firing their weapons.







          Down in the brick cavern, Mole listens to a tin can attached
          to a string. He says urgently as he makes notations in a


          Twenty-eight pinecones fired! Twenty-two
          targets hit!
          Mrs. Fox, standing on her ladder, paints black checks quickly
          on the street in her mural. The stolen, portable television
          set sits in the corner, tuned into Action 13's coverage of
          the chaos in the street.

                         CUT TO:
          Rabbit running full-steam out of the village being pursued by
          the six farmhands. He hurdles an empty Coke bottle lying on
          its side in the road.

          EXT. STREET. DAY

          Badger jumps out of the manhole and throws more blazing
          pinecones at farmers, trucks, parked cars, doors, windows,
          and the Action 13 camera crew. Seven farmhands chase him down
          a cobblestone lane.
          Weasel and Beaver climb out with straws in their paws and
          start firing blueberries toward the disoriented beagles. The
          beagles eat blueberries. They fall over. Eight farmhands
          chase Weasel and Beaver up a wooded path.
          Rickity, the field mouse, bounds out of the hole and leaps
          into the fracas. He fires a rubber band at Bunce off a
          paperclip. It snaps Bunce in the corner of his eye. Rickity
          lets out a little whoop.
          There is a small explosion and a burst of flames blasts from
          the manhole. Fox and Kylie jump out and run over to a vehicle
          with a tarp over it parked in front of Paddington Automotive.
          Fox whips off the tarp, revealing a miniature motorcycle with
          a sidecar.

                         CUT TO:
          Fox driving the motorcycle with Kylie in the sidecar. They
          both wear helmets and goggles. Thunder rumbles in the
          distance. Kylie sinks lower in the sidecar. He shouts to Fox
          over the sound of the motor:

          Are you scared of wolves?






          Scared, no! I have a phobia of them!

          Well, I have a thing about thunder!


          Why? That's stupid!
          Ash pokes his head up from the rear compartment of the
          sidecar. He also wears a helmet and goggles. His white cape
          flutters behind him. He shouts:

          I don't like needles!
          Fox and Kylie look to Ash in disbelief. Fox says furiously:

          Where'd you come from again? How'd you
          get in the sidecar? I feel like I'm
          losing my mind!
          Fox angrily steers toward a small mound of dirt. They jump it
          slightly and fly over a little ditch. Ash yelps
          enthusiastically as Fox drives them back onto the road.


          A pilot with a red moustache and a South African accent flies
          Bean's chopper. He wears a Bean, inc. patch on his shoulder.
          He shouts into the microphone connected to his helmet:

          I've got a fox on a motorcycle with a
          littler fox and what looks to be an
          opossum in the sidecar riding north on
          farm lane seven. Does that sound like
          anything to anybody?
          A military-type voice responds over the radio:

          MILITARY VOICE (O.S.)
          Roger that, Red. Let me just, uh -- Oh, I
          think the boss wants to --

          BEAN (0.S.)
          Red, it's Franklin Bean! Turn around, get
          the cuss back here, and pick us up on the








          The Bean, inc. windmill spins briskly in the dusty winds.
          Shutters on the farmhouse bang open and shut. Leaves rustle
          on the branches of the apple trees. A few stray turkeys
          wander in the yard. A white-washed brick pile six stories
          tall sits apart from the other structures. The doors to its
          courtyard are made of iron and painted yellow. This is Bean
          The front gates of the farm are open, and a gardener waters
          vegetables next to the driveway. Fox, Kylie, and Ash look out
          from a high branch over a reinforced concrete and barbed-wire
          security barricade.

          That's the annex over there on the right.
          Ash nods. Kylie does not respond.

          The white building over there on the
          Pause. Fox looks to Kylie.

          Kylie turns to Fox and stares at him vacantly. Fox says




          I did it!

          When? I didn't see it!
          Kylie makes his slight gesture with his paw. The gardener
          puts three turnips into a basket and rides away on his
          Fox, Kylie, and Ash scramble down the tree trunk. They come
          out of the bushes on their motorcycle and ride through the
          gates, across the yard, past the wandering turkeys. They park
          outside the courtyard doors to Bean Annex and jump off the





          Fox climbs onto Kylie's shoulders and tries the knobs. They
          are locked.

          Kylie, you got a credit card?

          (digging in his pockets)


          See, this is what I was saying about how
          good you are at just being available for

                         WHATEVER --
          Kylie hands Fox a World Traveler Titanium Card. Fox frowns.

          A Titanium Card? How the cuss did you
          qualify for this?


          I pay my bills on time. I've always had
          good credit.
          Fox examines the card with mild resentment. He picks the lock
          and opens the doors.
          The courtyard has high walls and a gravel floor. On one side,
          there are ten trash cans, a stack of newspapers, and a
          compost heap. On the other side, there is an old, rusted,
          broken-down tractor and a new one. By far the largest,
          fattest, toughest beagle yet lies sleeping in the middle.
          White foam froths around its mouth as it breathes heavily.
          Its collar is hooked to a thick chain. A tag around its neck
          reads Spitz.
          Fox, Kylie, and Ash stop in their tracks. The beagle opens
          his eyes. Fox turns to Kylie.

          Give me a blueberry.
          Kylie looks surprised. He shrugs. He shakes his head and
          gestures, I don't have any. Fox frowns. He throws up his
          hands in the air. Kylie makes a frustrated face. Fox points
          at him. Kylie looks away and snorts angrily. Fox looks away
          and spits at the ground. Ash says quietly:

          What's that white stuff around his mouth?







          I think he eats soap.
          Fox sees an amber, plastic pharmacy bottle on a shelf above
          some bags of fertilizer. It's reads:
          Drug: Phenomoxylcarbobubytol, 10 mg

                         NAME: SPITZ

                         BREED: BEAGLE
          For: RABIES (chronic)
          Other: Take with meat, do not operate heavy machinery
          Fox frowns. He says grimly:

          That's not soap.


          Well, then why does he have that bubbly --

          He's rabid. With rabies. I've heard about
          this beagle.
          The beagle stands up. Fox says carefully:

          Easy, boy.
          Fox takes a cautious step toward the beagle. He holds out the
          back of his paw for the beagle to sniff. He says back over
          his shoulder to Kylie and Ash:

          I'm going to try to befriend him. I feel
          like there's a tenderness in his eyes.
          Fox takes another step. He makes a soft, kissing noise. The
          beagle watches him calmly.

           Yes, I'm right. He's a good boy. A little
          lonely, maybe, but --
          Fox takes another cautious step.

          -- but terribly sweet. Hello, there, boy.
          Is your name Spitz? That's German, isn't






          (aside, to Ash)
          I thought he said you never look a beagle
          in the eye.


          Why, you're just as sweet as a --
          Fox and the beagle lock eyes. The pupils of the beagle's eyes
          contract then completely disappear, and the whites turn
          bright red. Fox's eyes open wider than their sockets.
          The rabid beagle erupts ballistically, attacking like an
          enraged maniac. His chain rips out of the cement. Fox, Kylie,
          and Ash shriek and scream, sprinting frantically around the
          courtyard as the rabid beagle, frothing, roaring, and
          snapping, tries desperately to kill them. Fox shouts, his
          voice cracking like a grandmother's:

          Climb the trellis!
          In well under a second, Fox, Kylie, and Ash scale the trellis
          six stories -- Kylie's pants catching on a nail and ripping
          off on the way up -- and find themselves standing on the roof
          of Bean Annex. Kylie wears blue Fruit-of-the-Looms with a
          pattern of stars, moons, and planets on them. They all look
          down at the rabid beagle, which continues to pitch an insane
          fit, running in circles after its tail at the bottom of the
          Fox takes in their new surroundings. He says, pleased:

          So the attic is probably in the area
          right up around here somewhere, I figure,
          Kylie and Ash, panting and dripping with sweat, both stare at
          Fox vacantly.
          (NOTE: a second set of alternate eyeballs indicating Kylie's
          vacant look will be used for Ash in this shot.)


          Come on, guys. Stay with me. We did good.
          That's just some dog. Let's not get






          EXT. ROOF. DAY

          Bean's helicopter lands on top of the Nag's Head. Fires
          smolder and farmers continue to chase around after animals in
          the village streets below. Boggis, Bunce, and Bean, leaning
          over and holding onto their hats, run to the chopper and
          climb inside. They take off.

                         CUT TO:
          The street below. An orange and yellow Citroen van screeches
          into the melee. Painted yellow letters spell Badoit et Fils,
          Destruction des Animaux Nuisibles on the side of it with an
          image of a trapped fox.
          An old man with a grey moustache and a young man with a black
          moustache, both dressed in orange-and-yellow-striped
          uniforms, jump out of the van. They open the side door and
          start unloading stacks of metal cages.

                         CUT TO:
          Rabbit still running full-steam down a country lane being
          pursued by the six farmhands.

          INT. ATTIC. DAY

          Kristofferson stands inside the apple crate leaning against
          the wall with his legs crossed and one arm akimbo with his
          hand on his hip. There is a clanking sound from above.
          Kristofferson looks up.
          A trap door in the ceiling creaks open. Fox, Kylie, and Ash
          look inside, down at Kristofferson. Kristofferson smiles
          oddly and says in a surprised, fancy-meeting-you-here voice:


                         CUT TO:
          Fox and Kylie lowering Ash into the room with three different-
          colored shoelaces tied together and belted around his waist.
          Ash holds the shoelace and keeps a paw behind his back like a
          mountaineer. His feet touch down on the shelf. He runs to the
          apple crate and jiggles the padlock. He hesitates. He says


          Can I get one of those karate lessons
          real quick?







                         (LONG PAUSE)
          OK. Normally, we start with some
          breathing exercises and such. Stand like
          Kristofferson stands with his paws clasped in front of him.
          Ash mimics this.

                         CUT TO:
          A fox-trap hanging from a chain suspended above the alley
          behind the Nag's Head Tavern. A second one hangs behind
          Sweetings Bakery. A third one hangs behind Harrison Travel. A
          fourth one hangs behind St. John's Coin-op Laundry. A fifth
          one hangs behind Ferguson Cobblers.
          Rickity curiously examines a little, hanging wire. He mutters

                         TO HIMSELF:

          Is this spring-loaded?

                         CUT TO:
          Kristofferson continuing Ash's karate lesson:

          This next part is mental. Position
          yourself on the balls of your feet.
          Kristofferson stands lightly poised with his arms out. Ash
          mimics this.

          Close your eyes.
          Kristofferson closes his eyes. So does Ash. So do Fox and
          Kylie. Kristofferson says mystically:

          You weigh less than a slice of bread.

                         CUT TO:
          Each fox-trap in rapid succession as it falls on: Rickity,
          Badger, Weasel, and Beaver. The two small rabbits watch from
          a sewer-gutter drain under the street-curb. They panic. They
          race down a pipe, into a tunnel, and through a conduit.

                         CUT TO:
          Kristofferson continuing Ash's karate lesson:






          Let's review the principle agility
          techniques: jumping, flipping, landing.

                         CUT TO:
          Mrs. Fox looking down from her ladder at the three, panting
          rabbits. She looks stunned. She motions to her mural/map and


          MRS. FOX
          Show me where they are!

                         CUT TO:
          The two small rabbits, Mrs. Rabbit, Mrs. Badger, Mole, and
          Mrs. Fox each furiously digging a new tunnel.

          KRISTOFFERSON (V.0.)
          Now for a rudimentary version of the
          cyclone chop.

                         CUT TO:
          Kristofferson continuing Ash's karate lesson:

          First, you need to get a running start,
          which, obviously, I can't do in here,
          then, as you arrive at the destination of
          the chop --

          -- lean and thrust into the point of
          contact, paw remains open and straight,
          then withdraw instantaneously. Remember,
          it's the pull-back that matters. The pull-

                         BACK --

          -- generates the force of the impact.


          Got it.
          Ash walks ten paces away to the far end of the shelf. Fox and
          Kylie watch from above. Kylie says excitedly:

          He's going to do it!
          Fox makes a face that says, I'm not so sure. Ash takes a deep
          breath. He screams at the top of his lungs as he sprints
          toward the apple crate:






          Ash's toe catches on a loose nail. He somersaults twice
          through the air and bounces off the side of the apple crate,
          which falls off the shelf.
          Kristofferson braces himself. The apple crate hits the floor
          and shatters into pieces. Kristofferson lies among the
          Ash looks over the side of the shelf. Fox and Kylie watch
          from above, grimacing.

          I'm sorry.


          That's all right. You were just trying to
          unlock the apple crate.

          No, I mean I'm sorry about --

          (picking himself up)
          Oh, you mean from before. The apology you
          owed me which you never actually said.

          Kristofferson nods sadly. He takes a deep breath. He nods

          That's all right, too. Throw me the
          shoelace, please.
          Ash smiles.

                         CUT TO:
          Badger trapped in his cage. He hears something. He looks
          quickly down the alley. The old, orange van turns the corner
          and approaches, bumping over potholes. Badger shrinks into
          the corner of the cage and mutters grimly to himself:

          Badoit et fils.





          A cobblestone beside Badger suddenly drops straight down and
          disappears into the ground. Badger recoils, scared and
          Mrs. Fox pokes her head up through the hole. She is beaded
          with perspiration and breathes heavily. Her fur is wildly
          dishevelled. She looks to the van driving up the alley. She
          looks to Badger. She extends her paw to him and says


          MRS. FOX
          Let's go!

          EXT. YARD. DAY

          Fox, Kylie, Ash, and Kristofferson come around the side of
          the building. They run to their motorcycle, outside the
          courtyard doors. They freeze.
          The front gates to the compound are closed and bolted. Bean's
          helicopter waits on top of the vegetable garden with its
          rotar-blades whirling. Boggis, Bunce, and Bean stand in front
          of Bean Annex with their weapons drawn.
          Fox sees his tail around Bean's collar. His eyes narrow. His
          jaw sets. He says to himself with growing emotion:

          Your tractors uprooted my tree. Your
          posse hunted my family. Your gunmen
          kidnapped my nephew. Your rat insulted my
          wife -- and you shot off my tail.

          I'm not leaving here without that neck-
          Bean smiles his sickly smile. Fox smiles back defiantly.
          Kylie looks utterly baffled. Ash says mystically:

          I weigh less than a slice of bread.



          I'll be right back.
          Ash runs. Fox, Kylie, and Kristofferson watch, shocked, as
          Ash sprints back to the courtyard doors. The three farmers
          open fire at him. Fox, Kylie, and Kristofferson duck and take
          cover behind a hay-bale.





          Ash dodges bullets. He jumps off the balls of his feet with
          his arms out over a sprinkler-pipe and swings like a gymnast
          onto a clothesline, then flies through the air doing another
          of his spectacularly awkward four-armed and three-legged back-
          flips. He lands on the handle of one of the courtyard doors

                         AND SCREAMS:

          Ash cyclone-chops the doorknob. The lock clicks. Ash's eyes
          light up.
          Ash drops to the ground. He digs a hole and burrows into the
          dirt as bullets fly everywhere. He breathes in through his
          nose and out through his mouth. Fox watches with his jaw
          hanging open.
          The courtyard doors smash apart and the rabid beagle tears
          out into the vegetable garden growling, foaming, and
          thrashing crazily. The farmers shriek and scream and run
          around, panicking, with their guns blazing.
          Fox, Kylie, Ash, and Kristofferson jump onto their
          motorcycle. The beagle rips the tail from Bean's neck, shreds
          it, chews it up, and swallows it. Fox deflates for an
          instant, then recovers. He looks to Ash on the back of the
          motorcycle, behind him, with his hands around Fox's waist. He
          says with the deepest affection and respect:

          Ash, that was pure, wild animal
          craziness. You're an athlete.
          Ash swallows. He beams. He sits up straighter.
          (NOTE: from this point onwards, an alternate version of Ash
          will be used which is slightly taller, slightly leaner, and
          animated slightly more gracefully.)
          Fox kick-starts the motorcycle and races across the farm.
          Boggis, Bunce, and Bean scramble onto the roof of a car port
          with an old, white Mercedes convertible under it. The
          snarling beagle barks and snaps below them. They watch as:
          Fox steers the motorcycle toward a broken apple cart at the
          edge of the property. He guns the motor and yells:

          Holy swearing cuss!!!





          Fox races the motorcycle up the apple cart, into the air, and
          over the concrete barricade. They land in the middle of the
          road, skidding, and speed off down the hill.

                         CUT TO:
          Boggis, Bunce, and Bean watching from the roof of the car
          port. Boggis turns to Bean and says, deadpan, needling him:

          Franklin? You got any final twist for
          this plot?


          Bean grabs Boggis by the neck and throttles him. Bunce starts
          throwing punches. Bean holds him back by the forehead. Boggis
          kicks Bunce in the stomach. They brawl chaotically while the
          rabid beagle continues to go bananas below them.

                         CUT TO:
          Each fox-trap with a cobblestone missing underneath it and a
          hole in the ground. The old man with the grey moustache turns
          to his son and says with a strong French accent:



          Mrs. Fox sits anxiously at the bottom of her ladder. Badger,
          Weasel, Rickity, the two small rabbits, and the others sit,
          exhausted, in the dark cavern, passing a jar of cider. Mole


          Stand by!
          Everyone looks to Mole. Mole is holding the tin can with the
          string attached to it to his ear. He nods and says urgently:

          I just intercepted a high-frequency radio
          signal with the can --
          (gestures with the tin can)
          -- and I think they're on their way home!





          Mrs. Fox jumps up, embraces Mole, and kisses him on the
          snout. Mole blushes.

                         CUT TO:
          Rabbit still running full-steam back into the village being
          pursued by the six farmhands. He comes to the manhole where
          they started and darts into it. The six farmhands stop at the
          manhole and look down. They go straight to the Nag's Head,
          walk inside, and close the door behind them.

          EXT. ROAD. DAY

          Fox, Kylie, Ash, and Kristofferson ride down a country road.
          Kylie sees something across the meadow. He says warily:

          Don't turn around!

          Fox turns around. A huge, wild, grey wolf with ice-blue eyes
          stands on a rock fifty feet away from them. Fox slams on the
          brakes. The motorcycle slides to a halt.

          Where'd he come from?

          Where'd you come from? What are you doing
          Pause. Fox points toward the wolf:

          Canis lupus!
          Fox points to himself:

          Vulpes Vulpes!
          The wolf does not answer. Fox, Kylie, Ash, and Kristofferson
          watch idling from the motorcycle.

          I don't think he speaks English or Latin.

          Pensez-vous que 1'hiver sera rude?

          I'm asking if he thinks we're in for a
          hard winter.





          The wolf shakes his head. Fox nods.

          He doesn't seem to know.
          Silence. Fox shouts to the wolf with a strange hitch in his


          I have a phobia of wolves!
          The wolf does not answer. It breathes heavily with its mouth
          open. Its teeth are long, sharp, and yellow. Its tongue hangs
          out, and its eyes are wild. Fox looks back at it with the
          identical expression for a minute, mesmerized -- then Fox
          closes his mouth and his eyes soften.
          Fox raises his paw in the air. The wolf blinks a few times.
          It raises its paw in the air. It turns away and trots off
          into the woods. Fox says wistfully:

          What a beautiful creature. Wish him luck,
          Fox guns the motor. Gravel spits from under the spinning
          tires, and they tear off down the road. The shot booms down
          into the ground, below the grass, through buried pebbles,
          layers of soil, and subterranean mineral deposits.

          THREE DAYS LATER (2 1/2 Fox Weeks)
          The shot continues to descend past Badger and his family
          having dinner in a nicely furnished drain-pipe, past Rabbit
          and his family watching Magnum, P.I. on the stolen, portable
          television set in a well-appointed cement tunnel, past Beaver
          and Mrs. Beaver hosting Mole and Weasel for cocktails in a
          tasteful sewer-conduit.
          The shot stops in a small chamber adjacent to the brick
          cavern. The walls are filled with electrical cables, wires,
          pipes, and a large, new mural which depicts the Fox's former
          view of the valley as seen from their tree with a trompe
          1'oeil window-frame around it. It is signed Felicity Fox.
          Ash and Kristofferson sit Indian-style meditating on a
          braided rug. Mrs. Fox works mixing paints and turpentine at
          an easel in the corner. There is an armchair with a folded-up
          copy of the Gazette on its cushion in the center of the room
          under a glowing lamp. Classical music plays on a radio.





          Fox swings his head into the room from a tunnel. He says


          My darlings?
          Everyone looks to Fox. He signals them to follow him.


          The cement conduit with the iron grating above it. Fox and
          his family walk briskly down the pipe. A knitted, woolen,
          artificial tail has been sewn into the seat of Fox's

          Where are we going?

          Nobody knows.

          We were in the middle of a meditation

          Watch your step.
          Fox takes everyone through an opening and starts climbing a
          metal ladder. He says theatrically:

          Let's see, now. Where does this lead?

          MRS. FOX
          Oh, no, Foxy. It's filthy.

          Keep a good grip, everyone.

          This better be worth it.

          I think I see a little sliver of light.
          What's this? Is that a door?

          MRS. FOX
          You're a terrible actor, Foxy.






          Do you smell something? Is that --

                         (SNIFFS TWICE)
          -- freon?

          Shh. I'm going to crack open this trap
          door and see if something's on the other
          side. I highly doubt it, though. There's
          probably just more sewer.
          Fox clears his throat. Pause.

          You know, wouldn't it be surprising if --

          Open it.
          Fox pushes open the trap door and crawls out. Everyone
          follows him.


          Fox and his family stand in the middle of an aisle at the
          center of a large grocery store. To their left is the
          refrigerated section of milk, eggs, meat, fish, and cheese.
          To their right are canned goods, breakfast cereal, laundry
          detergent, rice, pasta, and condiments. The lights are half-
          dimmed, and a metal grate is closed over the front windows.
          There are no people. Fox says casually:

          Hey, look! There's a whole, enormous,
          glorious, gigantic supermarket up here!
          Ash and Kristofferson seem dumbstruck. Fox raises an eyebrow
          and smiles at Mrs. Fox. She puts her arm around his shoulder.

          MRS. FOX
          You really are kind of a quote-unquote
          fantastic fox.


          I try. I guess now that Kristofferson's
          dad's already down to single-pneumonia
          and getting better, he'll be going home
          soon, huh?

          MRS. FOX
          Actually, when he spoke to me from the
          hospital, he said he was already talking






          MRS. FOX (cont'd)
          to Weasel about real-estate availabil-
          ities down in our sewer system.

          Oh, really? Well, now's the time to buy.
          Kylie comes around the end of the aisle pushing a miniature
          shopping cart filled with jars of jelly, jam, olives,
          pickles, and honey, plus three loaves of bread, Band-Aids,
          toothpaste, and a carton of strawberry ice cream. He says


          Did I hear my name?


          Not down here, you didn't.


                         (SMILING BLANKLY)
          Why not?

          Because we were talking about other


          Oh, well.
          Fox looks at Ash, who is studying a twelve-pack of tropical
          juice punch-boxes.

          The white cape rather suits him, doesn't
          it? Actually, I had to do quite a bit of
          searching myself before I found a look
          that really flattered me. Remember those
          horseshoe cuff-links?
          Fox and Mrs. Fox crack-up laughing. Fox notices something and
          stops. He stares at Mrs. Fox strangely. She is glowing. She
          hesitates. She shrugs.

          MRS. FOX
          I'm pregnant again.
          Fox is confused and moved. He holds Mrs. Fox's face in his
          paws. She smiles. Ash interrupts:






          Fox and Mrs. Fox look to Ash. An empty punch-box lies on its
          side behind him with a straw sticking out of it. There is a
          huge, purple stain all over the front of his white shirt.

          Should we dance?
          Pause. Everyone breaks out giddily dancing an ecstatic jig.
          Kylie waltzes the cart in circles. Fox spins Mrs. Fox.

                         CUT TO:
          A wide shot of all sixteen aisles of the supermarket stacked
          with boxes, cartons, cans, bottles, bags, and jars of every
          possible variety of food. The family of foxes continues to
          dance at the distant end of the center aisle.

          EXT. STREET. DAY

          Boggis, Bunce, and Bean sit silently in folding metal chairs
          around the manhole. Boggis's carbine rests across his lap.
          Bunce's shotgun hangs from a strap over his shoulder. Bean
          cleans his Luger. Petey sits on a cider box outside the Nag's
          Head strumming his guitar in the background. The bartender
          pulls the shutters shut and flips a sign on the door to
          Closed. Petey starts singing his song as the credits roll.
          The sun sets. The farmers sit waiting in the dark.

Fantastic Mr Fox

Writers :   Roald Dahl  Wes Anderson  Noah Baumbach
Genres :   Animation  Adventure  Comedy  Family

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