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Villain Overview
"But who is this creature with terrible claws and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws?"
"He has knobbly knees and turn out toes and a poisonous wart at the end of his nose."
"His eyes are orange, his tongue is black, he has purple prickles all over his back."

Fox, Owl and Snake talking about The Gruffalo

Fox, Owl and Snake are the main antagonists of The Gruffalo, minor characters in it's sequel, The Gruffalo's Child and Magic Light's adaptations of the same names. They're three predators who tried to eat a mouse (the protagonist of the book) but got tricked by him when he make up a creature called a gruffalo and scare them by telling them that they're his favourite meals, roasted fox, owl ice cream and scrambled snake. When The Gruffalo is later revealed to be real, Fox, Owl and Snake got even more scared of him and retreats to their homes. They are Mouse's arch enemies.

Fox was voiced by Tom Wilkinson, Owl was voiced by the late John Hurt, who also voiced Sailor John from Thomas & Friends: Sodor's Legend of The Lost Treasure, The Horned King from Disney's The Black Cauldron Mr. Mole from Don Bluth's Thumbelina, General Woundwort from Watership Down TV series and Claudandus from Felidae, and Snake was voiced by Rob Brydon, who also voiced various characters from the other film adaptations of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's books.

Fox, Owl and Snake


Fox (The Gruffalo)


Fox is very sly as he tries to trick Mouse into going to his underground house so that he can eat him. Despite that, he gets scared very easily as shown when Mouse told him that The Gruffalo's favourite food is roasted fox and when he saw that The Gruffalo is actually real all along. He also has an allergy to dandelions as shown when he sneezes every time he gets near them. Fox is the most intelligent member of his group, as shown when he immediately recognized that The Gruffalo's Child belongs to the same species of her father, which Owl and Snake failed to realize.


Owl (Gruffalo)


Despite his tactics to attack his prey, Owl is not very good at flying when he keeps bumping into trees while flying and when he got frightened or startled, he fall off his branches to the ground.


Snake (Gruffalo)


Snake is shown to be sneaky and very determined to eat the mouse like Fox and Owl. Out of the three predators, despite his fear of the Gruffalo, Snake is shown to be the only truly sadistic member, as seen when he grins evilly at The Gruffalo's Child while tricking her into going to the frozen lake in an attempt to drown her.


Fox, Owl and Snake are very sneaky and tries to trick Mouse into coming to their homes to eat them, though Mouse quickly figure out their intentions by imagining them. They revealed to be cowards when Mouse describes The Gruffalo's features to them and what his favourite food is which makes them run off in fright. They run off in fright again when they saw that The Gruffalo is real after all. In the sequel adaption, Snake is revealed to be sadistic when he tricks the Gruffalo's Child into going to the icy lake in an attempt to drown her as evidenced by smiling evilly at The Gruffalo's Child's predicament. Fox has shown his intelligence by recognizing The Gruffalo's Child as the same species as her father, The Gruffalo, which Owl and Snake didn't know of.  


The Gruffalo

Fox first appears when some dandelions (which were blown off by the mouse) flew into his underground house and make him sneeze which wakes him up. He sniffs the mouse's scent and follow him into the wood and into a field of dandelions which makes him sneezed again which caught Mouse's attention although Fox quickly hides in the dandelions. Fox catches up and step on Mouse's tail to stop him then attempts to trick Mouse by inviting him to have lunch in his home, although Mouse quickly figure out his true plans by imagining it and polity refuses. He told Fox that he's having lunch with a gruffalo instead which puzzles him and ask of what the creature is. Mouse describes what features the gruffalo has, which makes Fox a little frightened and nervously ask him where he's meeting the gruffalo. Mouse replies that he's meeting by the rocks nearby and that his favourite food is roasted fox, which terrifies Fox and he said goodbye to Mouse before running off, scared, unaware that the gruffalo is made up and that Mouse tricks him to avoid getting eaten.

Owl makes his appearance when he saw Mouse crossing a tree trunk across the stream from a tree and flew down to catch him but misses, causing the log to roll off the banks and float down the stream, carrying Mouse towards a waterfall. Owl attempts to trick Mouse by inviting him to have tea in his treetop house. Although Mouse figure out Owl's intentions like before, he fearfully agrees to avoid going over the waterfall. Owl carries Mouse in his claws and flew to his tree. Once there, Mouse polity refuses Owl's invitation and tell him that he's having tea with the gruffalo. When Owl asks, Mouse add more descriptions of the gruffalo's features while climbing down the tree to escape. Owl asks him for where is he meeting him and Mouse said that he's meeting him by the stream, which makes Owl fearful. He got more frighted when Mouse added that the gruffalo's favourite food is owl ice cream which makes him fall off the branch and after saying goodbye, he flew back up to his hole, unaware of Mouse's trick.

Snake's body appears when he swims in the lake before slithering onto land and wraps his tail around Mouse in the tall grass and attempts to persuade Mouse to come to have a feast in his log pile house though Mouse refuses (figuring out Snake's true intentions) and said that he's having a feast with a gruffalo. Snake ask about the gruffalo but since he chokes Mouse in his coils, he lets him go to let him describe even more features of the beast and got bored by that, though he grew surprised when Mouse told him that the Gruffalo has purple prickles all over his back. He ask Mouse where is he meeting him and he replies that he's meeting him by the lake they're at and added that his favourite food is scrambled snake. Scared by this, Snake said goodbye and slithers off, unaware that Mouse has tricked him.

Unlike in the book and in the film adaption, Fox, Owl and Snake meet up in a dark part of the wood to discuss what Mouse told them about The Gruffalo. When they get to the gruffalo's favourite food and imagines all three of them, the three predators then realized angrily that Mouse have made the gruffalo up to trick them and they set off in different directions, determined to catch him.

When Mouse came by the lake again, Snake corners him again, only to find out that he's accomplished by The Gruffalo who is actually real all along, much to his shock. Frightened, he retreats to his logpile house.

Further on, Owl saw Mouse from a tree again and flew down towards him. He tries to look intimidating to Mouse but when he saw The Gruffalo for real, his eyes irises shrink down in fright and he flew back to his treetop house in defeat, bumping into trees along the way.

Fox sniffs the ground for Mouse when some dandelions flew by and make him sneezed again. Hearing Mouse's voice, he turn around and to his horror, he saw that The Gruffalo is real with Mouse in his paw and he runs off, yelling.

Fox, Owl and Snake are last seen, hiding in their homes, frightened by The Gruffalo's tummy rumbling which echoes through the wood.

The Gruffalo's Child

Fox, Owl and Snake appears in the sequel, only this time, they're minor characters in it as they spend most of the time sleeping in their homes during a cold winter's night and not going after Mouse.

Snake first appears when The Gruffalo's Child (the sequel's protagonist) saw his tail poking out of his logpile house and thinks that it's one belonging to the Big Bad Mouse that her father, The Gruffalo warns her about. As she look around, Snake tries to sneak up from behind in a attempt to eat her, but the small Gruffalo, startled jammed her stick doll into his mouth, foiling his attempt in the progress. The Gruffalo's Child said to Snake that he's not The Big Bad Mouse and after she pulls her stick doll out of his mouth, Snake crossly agrees with her about that. Then he saw the lake and told The Gruffalo's Child that The Big Bad Mouse is down by the lake. Delighted, she runs down with Snake added that the mouse is eating gruffalo cake and slithers off, chuckling. The Gruffalo's Child is unaware that Snake is tricking her until it was too late as the ice starts to crack beneath her and when she saw Snake watching her with sadistic pleasure, she realizes that he's attempting to drown her and as the ice breaks, she scrambles to the other side just in time, much to Snake's fury who slithers off back to his logpile house in anger.

Owl next appears when he briefly appears, catching a white ferret and flying to his home but as he flew out to get another prey, he was grabbed by The Gruffalo's Child (who thinks his eyes belong to the Big Bad Mouse) and they both fell down from the tree. Owl gets up, shakes the snow off him and starts to fly off but bumps into a tree instead. Owl said to The Gruffalo's Child that he's not the mouse she's searching for but he tells her that he's somewhere nearby eating gruffalo pie and tries to fly off again but a big gust of wind blew him away, forcing The Gruffalo's Child to take shelter.

Fox appears when The Gruffalo's Child came across his underground house (thinking that it's the mouse's home), sleeping but got startled awake when she slides into his home. Fox stalks around for her but The Gruffalo's Child briefly grabs his nose to look at his whiskers, making him sneeze. The Gruffalo's Child frustratingly shouted that Fox is not the Big Bad Mouse, making run backwards into a rock in fright, making snow fell on him. Fox then saw that that The Gruffalo's Child is the same species as her father, much to his fright, unlike Owl and Snake who didn't realizes this. He then nervously said that he's not the mouse and that he's under a tree, drinking gruffalo tea before chuckling nervously and retreats to his den, not wanting The Gruffalo's Child to eat him.

Later, Fox is woken up again by The Gruffalo's Child as she run past his home in fright (been tricked by Mouse into thinking that his shadow cast by the moon is The Big Bad Mouse's to avoid getting eaten like with The Gruffalo once) and as he look around puzzled, a pile of snow fell on top of him from above his den. He is last seen, watching Mouse walk past him, following The Gruffalo's Child's footprints, unnoticed.

Owl is asleep on his branch when The Gruffalo's Child's yelling startled him awake, making him fall off the branch and into a pile of snow where he got stuck upside down. He is last seen, struggling to get out of the snow with Mouse noticing him and chuckles at his incident. It is unknown if Owl ever gets himself free from the snow, but if he didn't and stay there for too long he would gotten hypothermia.

Snake last appears, being woken up by The Gruffalo's Child's panting and as he slithered out of his home, he got trampled by The Gruffalo's Child as she run past and he snarls at her for that. It is presumed that Fox and Snake went back to sleep afterwards.



  • In the film adaption of The Gruffalo's Child, Fox is the only antagonist to realize that The Gruffalo's Child is the same species as her father, The Gruffalo, which Owl and Snake failed to do so.
  • Snake's appearance in The Gruffalo's Child contradicts to snakes hibernate during winter in real life so in the book, Axel draws the snake very sleepy when meeting The Gruffalo's Child. That doesn't happen in the film adaption as he is shown to be wide awake when trying to drown The Gruffalo's Child.



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Fox, Owl and Snake | Dragon

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