Directed by: Wes Anderson
Synopsis: An urbane fox cannot resist returning to his farm raiding ways and then must help his community survive the farmers’ retaliation.
Wes Anderson was a shoe-in to direct a children’s movie at some stage or other. His films, despite being decidedly adult in their content, contain a certain child like quality and charm to them. For his first foray into animation (apart from the small bits which pop up in films such as The Life Aquatic) is a take on the Roald Dahl classic, Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Those who love the book will admire much of this picture, whilst probably scratching their heads at some of the random Anderson whimsy that he inserts. I think he did an amazing job of bringing these characters to life, with some fantastic, painstaking animation and some smart choices for voice actors.
For those of you who have never read the book, Mr Fox is a cheeky chappy who, like most foxes, provides plenty of plump chickens and apple cider for his family. He gets this stuff from the farms of three mean farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean. This leads to no end of trouble for the Fox family and their woodland friends. Anderson fills in the gaps himself to flesh out the story to a respectable length of time.
The stop motion animation is great, It’s different to anything you will have seen before. They used real animal fur on the models, and you can see every little ruffle and thumb mark on the characters where they have been moved by the animators. The voice acting is great. George Clooney is perfect as the irascible and smooth Mr. Fox. Meryl Streep is fun as his put upon wife. The other stars are Jason Schwartzman and Anderson’s brother Eric as the kids Ash and Kristofferson. Michael Gambon as Bean and Willem Dafoe as the evil rat are good villians, and Jarvis Cocker pops up with a great little ditty mid way through.
There is much fun to be had for both adults and kids in Anderson’s film, and he showed he is equally at home making these types of films as he is the live action movies he’s famous for.