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Alfie

"Alfie had been with Mrs Silver for years and he lived on her balcony summer and winter. Planks had been placed around the sides of the balcony so that Alfie could walk about without toppling over the edge..." - Esio Trot

Alfie is a tortoise, and the much-loved pet of Mrs Silver. He lives on the balcony of her flat, beneath Mr Hoppy (who is secretly in love with Mrs Silver.) 

Mrs Silver worries about Alfie's size, but he doesn't appear to have many concerns himself. He has his own little house on the balcony and enjoys breakfasting on lettuce, tomato and celery. He hibernates in winter, and on his return is greeted joyously by Mrs Silver.

It's Mrs Silver's desire to see Alfie grow that sets Mr Hoppy's plan into action. He provides Mrs Silver with a spell that will, apparently, help Alfie do just that. Mrs Silver is delighted, and the stage is set for Alfie's grand adventure. Let's just say it involves a trip up to Mr Hoppy's, where he gets to meet a lot more tortoises...

BBC One's 2015 adaptation of Esio Trot sees the addition of a new character that does not appear in the original story. James Corden narrates the action of the film, charting Alfie's progress from Mrs Silver's to Mr Hoppy's and all the way in between...

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Mr Fox

"On a hill above the valley there was a wood. In the wood there was a huge tree. Under the tree there was a hole. In the hole lived Mr Fox and Mrs Fox and their four Small Foxes." - Fantastic Mr Fox

Mr Fox is clever. Far too clever for his local farmers, Boggis Bunce and Bean. Still, even a very clever and cunning fox sometimes gets caught out - and when those devious farmers finally locate the whereabouts of Mr Fox's home, it puts him and his family in danger.

But Mr Fox is never beaten - and by trapping him and his family inside their foxhole, it looks like Boggis, Bunce and Bean might have accidentally shot themselves in the foot instead...

In 2009, director Wes Anderson's stop-motion animated adaptation of Fantastic Mr Fox featured George Clooney as "Foxy" Fox. In the film, his character was a newspaper columnist and the father of one son, Ash, as opposed to the four Small Foxes that appear in the original story. A nephew, Kristofferson, also lives with the family.

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Mrs Fox

"...Mrs Fox said to her children, 'I should like you to know that if it wasn't for your father we should all be dead by now. Your father is a fantastic fox.'" - Fantastic Mr Fox

Mrs Fox is the loyal and loving wife of Mr Fox, a husband who by her own admission is pretty fantastic. In Roald Dahl's original story she is also the mother to the four Small Foxes, although in Wes Anderson's 2009 animated film adaptation she has only one child, Ash, and also looks after her nephew, Kristofferson.

Wes Anderson also gave her the first name Felicity. In Roald's original tale she is simply Mrs Fox, but Felicity was the name of Roald's own wife. Wes's film adaptation draws on Roald's life in many other ways too, not least the locations of many of the sets which were based on areas in the Buckinghamshire countryside where Roald wrote the story.

Mrs Fox is a supportive wife, ably holding the fort while her husband is off poaching chickens and turning her hand to the creation of a superb feast.

In Wes Anderson's film adaptation, the character was voiced by Mery Streep.

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The Small Foxes

"Mr Fox looked at the four Small Foxes and he smiled. What fine children I have, he thought." - Fantastic Mr Fox

In Roald Dahl's orginal Fantastic Mr Fox story, Mr and Mrs Fox have four children who they live with in their foxhole. They are all eager to assist their father in his bid to get as much food as possible form those horrible farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean.

In Wes Anderson's 2009 film adaptation of the story, the Foxes have only one child, Ash, and a nephew who comes to stay with them called Kristofferson. Ash is voiced by Jason Schwartzman, and Eric Anderson is Kristofferson.

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