It’s been almost 40 year’s since the classic children’s book, Fantastic Mr. Fox hit shelves in America and the U.K. to the delight of kids everywhere. Author Roald Dahl told a simple story about a fox and his attempts to outwit and for lack of a better word “outfox” three of the richest men around. The story is brought to life on the silver screen by director Wes Anderson, using stop motion animation that literally makes you feel like you’re a kid again. His feature version is charming and stays true to the source material, while keeping it fresh for younger viewers.
Check out our review below…
- Director: Wes Anderson
- Writers: Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach
- Starring: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Michael Gambon, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson
Mr. Fox (Clooney) is an animal that’s wild by nature but forced into a life of domestication when his wife Felicity (Streep) announces that she’s pregnant with their first child. Fox reluctantly agrees to give up his shady ways to become a family man that she and their son can be proud of. Unfortunately after years of living on the straight and narrow he begins to get that itch for mischief and makes a plan to rob the meanest, nastiest and ugliest farmers in the valley, Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. With his careless antics in full swing, everyone he loves ends up in danger, causing him to finally grow up and change his foxy ways.
- Stop Motion Technique: One of the best things about this film is the use of stop motion animation. It’s a refreshing step away from the heavy CGI based movies that have flooded theaters in recent years. You can see the hard work that went into the character’s movements, because they are so fluid.
- Jason Schwartzman: Usually name actors in voice over roles can be very distracting in a film, but that’s not the case here. Schwartzman was perfectly cast as Ash, the awkwardly small son of Mr. Fox. He’s able to convey the insecurity and humor of the character without being over the top.
- Eric Anderson: Anderson is the younger brother of Wes, and has made bit appearances in several of his other films, but this is the first time he’s taken on such a meaty role. As Kristofferson, Ash’s athletically inclined cousin he has amazing comedic timing and is still able to play up the vulnerable side of his character.
- Production Design: The overall production design on this film including the costumes and the sets were extremely detailed. In every close up you could see the tiny life-like fibers on Mr. Fox’s face and even the threads in his peacoat. Everything was very well crafted.
- Screenplay: One of the main concerns you may have going into this movie is whether or not it will be able to play out the original story and still appeal to all ages. Without a doubt, this film delivers in both areas. There were comedic moments, as well as a few emotional scenes, and they all progressed the story. Everything served a purpose and was put to good use.
Nothing: This may be a bold statement, but Fantastic Mr. Fox is a well adapted, polished piece that Wes Anderson transformed into a legitimate feature film.
If you’re a long time fan of Anderson’s body of work it’s a given that you will enjoy Fantastic Mr. Fox, and even if you’re not you will walk away with a smile on your face. This film is funny, sweet, and most importantly it’s entertaining. You won’t leave the theater feeling as if you wasted your time and money. Fantastic Mr. Fox sets out to make you feel like a kid again and it delivers tenfold.
Fantastic Mr. Fox hits theaters on November 13, 2009