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The Fantastic Mr. Fox

This evening we took our kids to see the new movie, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on a book of the same title by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach).  The kids loved it and I was thrilled at Mr. Fox’s relative proficiency with Latin terms – especially for a fox.  Latin phrases were strewn throughout.

  • per diem and et al. were used in the first half of the film.
  • Towards the end Mr. Fox calls all of his animal compatriates by their Latin names, each Latin name flashing onto the screen as he says them. 
  • Later, a rabid dog even wears a collar that is engraved, “Canis Familiaris.” 
  • My favorite scene is when Mr. Fox turns to a wolf (who isn’t communicating in English) and calls out, “Canis Lupus, me Vulpes Vulpes.”  When he receives no answer he says something like “He doesn’t seem to speak Latin either.”

The film might provide you and your students a great conversation piece about how Latin lives in the sciences.  Animals always provide a fun object study, and I love integrating some botany and zoology terms with my classes.  The students really enjoy seeing yet another way that they can use their Latin skills.  Latin Alive Book 2 will provide just such a lesson in chapter 8 alongside an adaptation of one of Aesop’s Fables.

2 Responses to “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”

  • Karen Moore:

    If you are interested in seeing the full animal roll call from the movie “Fantastic Mr. Fox” along with Latin names and their meanings, please look for the other blog post on Fantastic Mr. Fox on this site: “Fantasic Mr. Fox – Latin Roll Call.”

  • […] other examples of Latin used in this movie visit the post titled, The Fantastic Mr. Fox.  It appears in the category “Funny Latin […]

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