in Review

21st Century Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox

After director Wes Anderson’s last two movies, which weren’t without their charms, but were kind of lacking in the story department, I was almost ready to give up on him. However, Anderson’s latest offering, an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s childrens book Fantastic Mr. Fox, shows Anderson truly exploring new and inventive territory while still retaining his signature style.

After retiring from his days of stealing chickens, Mr. Fox decides to embark on one final raid on the farmers Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. Mr. Fox (voiced by George Clooney) is joined by a band of furry creatures that are voiced by an assortment of Anderson regulars such as Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Michael Gambon, and Willem Dafoe, as well as Meryl Streep as Mrs. Fox.
I guess the most striking thing about Fantastic Mr. Fox is the look of it. The old-fashioned stop-motion approach is pretty charming, and the attention to detail on each of the characters and sets is quite impressive, even in this world were computer animation seems to be thought of as the only option for animation. It’s also pretty cool how the film has that signature look of a Wes Anderson movie but is able to blend it with the stop-motion look of the film so seamlessly.
Much like last month’s Where The Wild Are, this film is kind of questionable in regards to its accessability to the younger kids. Anderson’s dry wit is in perfect form in this story, but I’m not sure that most kids will pick up on some of the humor, and some parts of the story are a little dark, but nothing too bad for any kid that’s read a Roald Dahl book before. And despite the fact that it definitely has Anderson’s typical hipster feel to it, I think any kid could enjoy the vivacity and energy with which this story is told.
So for Wes Anderson fans, I think this about as good of a foray into kids films from the director that you could ask for. Fantastic Mr. Fox is nothing short of a pure visual delight, while still retaining all of the wit, humor, and quirkiness of Wes Anderson at his best.
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