Movie Name: Fantastic Mr. Fox
Studio: Indian Paintbrush
Release Date(s): October 14, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Mr. Fox can’t fight his nature. Despite making a promise to his wife Felicity, he and his partner Kylie Sven Opossum have taken to robbing the nearby farmers Boggis, Bruce, and Bean…leading to retaliation from the farmers that could threaten all the animals of the area. Mr. Fox, Felicity, his son Ash, and his visiting nephew Kristofferson must evade the farmers deadly attacks, and they need a plan that only Mr. Fox can invent.
Directed by Wes Anderson, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a stop-motion animated film adapting the 1970 children’s story by Roald Dahl. The film was released to critical acclaim but the small release film faired so-so at the box office. Following Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited in 2007, The movie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score (it lost both to Up).
I love stop-motion movies, love Roald Dahl, and love Wes Anderson so this movie as a real match for me. The writing and story work perfectly for Anderson’s style and this made the movie one of my favorites of the year.
The story for the film isn’t necessarily for kids though the film. Most of the humor is adult (not sexual necessarily) and will go over the head of the kids. Anderson has always been about timing and style and the clever story plays into his best factors. I love how animal life is defined differently than human life (lifespan, eating habits, etc.) It is something that isn’t usually explored in animal pictures which has animals lives like humans…and despite this, these are the most human animals.
The movie goes back to Anderson’s classic players and recruits a few new ones. The title Mr. Fox is played by George Clooney with his wife as Meryl Streep. Jason Schwartzman plays Fox’s troubled son and Anderson’s brother Eric Anderson voices the perfect Kristofferson. Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, Brian Cox, and Adrian Brody return to Anderson’s film in voice rolls as well.
You can generally tell a Wes Anderson movie just by looking at it. What is really odd is that this movie is finally able to bring the great illustrations used for his project’s art work to life. Roald Dahl was always a great fantasy writer of the absurd and Anderson is a movie maker of the absurd…the visuals, the music, and the story all come together to make a unique looking film.
I love Fantastic Mr. Fox and hope with the continued popularity of Wes Anderson and the cult nature of his films that it is remembered. Though I did enjoy the film’s awards competitor Up, I liked Fantastic Mr. Fox more…it was just a fun ride with fun characters and a fun story. Anderson followed Fantastic Mr. Fox with Moonrise Kingdom in 2012.