In the beginning, a rhyme is presented to the audience:
“Boggis and Bunce and Bean/
One fat, one short, one lean/
These horrible crooks/
So different in looks/
Were none the less equally mean.”
Calling them mean is a bold statement. What makes them mean and who decides?
“Boggis, Bunce, and Bean [are] three of the meanest, nastiest, ugliest farmers in the history of this valley,” according to the animals. Even “the local human children” think they are mean. The human kids are actually the ones who sing the rhyme. The only reason everyone thinks these guys are mean is because they protect their livelihood. Fences, dogs, security cameras, and guards do not necessarily make them mean.
Having said that, the audience does get to see how mean these three actually are. Destroying the tree? Blowing up a fox’s den? That is a bit extreme. Also, tying Mr. Fox’s tail around your neck is pretty mean. Way to rub it in his face, Bean.
Also, he raids all three men’s storages. Mr. Fox steals their produce. What’s more, Mrs. Fox (Meryl Streep) asked him to stop stealing! “He stole and he cheated and he lied just to survive.” She could easily consider him mean because he lied to her.
Mr. Fox’s actions end up affecting the whole valley: humans, animals, and all. So who made who mean? Are the farmers mean because of the animals? Is Mr. Fox mean because of the farmers and his animalistic “nature”? Your answer is based on your perspective.
If you scroll down, this page offers an interpretation of the wolf scene. I find it interesting and informative.
Here is a huge geek-out fest about every aspect of this movie. Have a look!
Thanks for reading!