NOW ON APPLE TV! Prepare to be entered involuntarily into a treacle chugging contest with the Oscar-winning animated short The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, directed by Peter Baynton and Charlie Macksey. It is the adaptation of the British children’s book by Macksey with a script by Macksey and Jon Croker. When conceiving his story, Macksey thought it would be cute to set Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood. Was he right?
A boy (Jude Coward Nicoll) is standing in the middle of the snow near some woods. A mole (Tom Hollander) comes across him and asks him where he is going. The boy says he is going home but doesn’t know where that is. The mole starts ranting about cake, and they start wandering aimlessly. They are attacked by a fox (Idris Elba) who attempts to eat the mole. But, the mole is able to free the fox from a snare, so the predator ignores his hunger.
“…rescues the mole from the river, and all three start wandering in the snow…”
Later, the fox rescues the mole from the river, and all three start wandering in the snow together. They find a horse (Gabriel Bryne) who has never really felt like he has been understood. We find out that the fox has self-esteem issues. The boy still has no idea who his family is or where he lives while the mole jabbers on about cake. It then starts raining.
F**k me to tears, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse is awful. It makes the mistake of developing the characters less in order to increase the chance of symbolism more. Occasionally the mole says some clever little line, like wasting time with friends is never time wasted. A parent may be impressed with this material, but a child would pick apart with a few deft “but whys?” A boy is lost in the woods. “But why?” Because he doesn’t remember where his home is. “But why?” Because that boy is not a kid but a cipher for platitudes.
"…wants to be a fable..."