Kausler's Closet
January 23, 2019 posted by Jerry Beck

Japanese Fox Cartoons

Mark Kausler had several of these late 1940s Japanese ‘Fox’ cartoons and they are – considering when and where they were made – pretty darn good. I wish I could see them in their original form – and language. I don’t know much about them – were they made for theaters? Were they in color?

These are Medallion TV syndication prints from the mid-1950s. Medallion was the company that produced and syndicated Sam Singer’s Paddy The Pelican.

I know even less about director Satoshi Morino and animator Osamu Satomi. I assume Morino designed the characters. Here is the complete list of this series of shorts (from IMDB):

1947 Kitsune to hiyoko (Fox and Chick)
1948 Kitsune to kotori (Fox and Bird)
1948 Kitsune to komoriuta (Fox and Mummy Song)
1948 Kitsune to circus (Fox and Circus)
1949 Kitsune no homerun-ô (Fox, The Home Run King)

As usual, we welcome additional information from the readers on these cartoons. For now, take a look and decide for yourself as to their virtues…

CHICKIE ON A PICNIC (1947) Kitsune to hiyoko (“Fox and Chick”), the first one.

BIG TOP CRIME (1948) The Japanese title is “Kitsune to Circus” (Fox and the Circus), released by Kindaieigasha Co.,Ltd. Directed by Satoshi Morino and animation by Osamu Satomi. Story by Koji Koyanagi

SEVENTH INNING STRETCH (1949) Kitsune no homerun-ô (“Fox, The Home Run King”)

Seventh Inning Stretch is the American TV release of Kitsune no homerun-ô, another in the “Fox” series of shorts directed by Satoshi Morino, with animation by Osamu Satomi.

(Special Thanks to Milton Knight and Charles Brubaker)


  • Just briefly:
    According to Yamaguchi Katsunori and Watanabe Yasushi (Nihon animêshon eigashi, Osaka 1977, p. 241) there’s another title in this series: Kitsune to ensoku (Fox and excursion), 1949.

    Also, according to the same, always useful, book (on p. 236), Morino Satoshi (森野佐登志) was the directorial alias of Asano Satoshi (浅野恵). According to this paper by Sano Akiko (http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/docs/05佐野 論文.pdf , p. 32), Asano had been working at Yokohama Shinema during the war (see also Tsugata Nobuyuki’s research report at http://www.kyoto-seika.ac.jp/researchlab/wp/wp-content/uploads/10008.pdf) and had intensely studied American Popeye cartoons; the influence upon the Kitsune series (all produced by Kindai eiga sha) was said to be discernible.

    • Thank you for this additional information!

  • Fascinating stuff:

    But Suggestion for next week’s Kausler’s Closet regarding the original copy of

  • 愛でる甚し Omedetou (nicely done)!

    The design of the girl mouse in “Circus” sorta kinda resembles Terrytoons’ Hashimoto from a decade later.


  • It’s clear that Japanese animators have yet to develop the style we now recognize as anime; that wouldn’t come about until the late fifties. For now, they’re just copying the American style. Some interesting staging and timing here, reminiscent of Tashlin’s Looney Tunes.
    About 6:50 on “Big Top Crime”, the Fox does a traditional taunting gesture, pulling down his eyelid while sticking out his tongue. Very common in modern anime.
    “Seventh Inning Stretch” seems to have the original soundtrack, unlike the other two which seem to be fully redubbed; you can hear some of the original Japanese dialogue under the narration. Also, you can see a player get nailed in the groin at 4:03. Not something you’d expect on an American cartoon.
    Any idea who the female narrator is? It sounds a little like a young June Foray, but that might be unlikely.

  • lol In Seventh Inning Stretch, it sounds like the narrator misspeaks at 5:49. Sounds like she starts to say “walk,” but then changes it mid-word to “hop.” “No wonder these foxes never win. They don’t know how to wa-hop away!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *