Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

by Paul on October 15, 2012

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In the elegantly crafted Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), director Wes Anderson has once again combined his unusual sense of humor with bright colors and an offbeat script to create a beautiful, stop-motion animation film. In addition, he hasFantastic Mr. Fox gathered an all-star cast of voices that includes George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Michael Gambon, Eric Chase Anderson, Owen Wilson and Willem Dafoe, who entertain the audience with their humorous delivery and wit. The result is one of the funniest animated movies of all time, that will leave you smiling and laughing long after the credits are over.

Mr. Fox (George Clooney) is a wild fox that makes his living stealing chickens. When his wife, Felicity (Meryl Streep), becomes pregnant Fantastic Mr. Foxshe asks Mr. Fox to give up his life as a thief for their family’s safety. Years later, Mr. Fox is tired of his mundane life and with his friend, Opossum (Wallace Wolodarsky), he steals everything he can from the local farmers: Boggis, Bunce and Bean (Robin Nurlstone, Hugo Guiness and Michael Gambon).  The farmers become enraged and begin the greatest foxhunt in history. The further the farmers’ dig into the ground, the deeper Mr. Fox has to take his family into the earth. In a desperate fight for survival, Mr. Fox (along with his family and friends) must take on the farmers in a battle between humans and wild animals.

Wes Anderson collaborated with director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline) on the animated effects in The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004). It was then that they began discussing the possibility of makingFantastic Mr. Fox Fantastic Mr. Fox into a movie, and Wes Anderson decided to undertake the challenge. Even though the rest of his career is filled with character driven live action movies, Anderson was able to use his natural talents as a storyteller to create a truly remarkable and funny movie for everyone to enjoy. This film may be a bit advanced for the youngest audiences, but I don’t even know that Anderson was gearing Fantastic Mr. Fox for children as much as he was making a film for those of us that grew up reading this story.

I have seen hundreds of animated movies in my life, and although many of them are enjoyable, I find Fantastic Mr. Fox to be a great combination of children’s storytelling and adult humor. Director Wes Anderson made this film based on his Fantastic Mr. Foxlifelong adoration of author Roald Dahl (Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Matilda) and his many successful children’s books. With this excellent source material, Anderson uses his luminous ability to make normal characters appear quirky and aloof. Everyone in a Wes Anderson movie has personal problems; just like everyone in the real world. That is why his movies are very hit or miss with audiences. Usually we can find a piece of one of his characters that is similar  to someone we know (or perhaps ourselves) and  we are able to laugh because of the way they look through Anderson’s eyes. Some viewers don’t understand these seamlessly insane characters, and others can’t stop laughing at the resemblances we have discovered; even in an animated feature like Fantastic Mr. Fox.

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