Saturday, 19 September 2020
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 21:55
the fantastic mr. fox movie posterThe moment I laid eyes on a preview of Fantastic Mr. Fox I thought to myself “This looks like a Wes Anderson movie”. Lo-and-behold it is just that! Considering this is the Royal Tennenbaum’s director’s first foray into animated movies it was quite a leap to make, but Anderson’s recognizable visual style is hard to miss and in this film he is free to show off that opulent style without it drowning his human actors.

Based on a book by Roahl Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Fantastic Mr. Fox is a quirky little tale about a very self-aware fox who makes a living stealing chickens. I say he’s “self-aware” because although they dress in nice clothes and behave much like humans, all the characters in this movie still know they are wild animals at heart.

fantasticmrfox_6-535x356Mr. Fox is forced to change his scavenging ways when his wife tells him she is pregnant. She makes him promise to stop stealing and make an honest living. Flash forward “12 fox-years” and the couple are living in a beautifully decorated tree-hollow raising their oddball son Ash, a somewhat surly cub who wants nothing more than the approval of his father and for people to recognize him as an “athlete” despite his small size. Ash immediately becomes jealous when cousin Kristofferson comes to stay. A natural at everything, Kristofferson captures the attention and admiration of almost everyone, including Ash’s dad.

The Fox’s home just happens to be directly across a field from three of the biggest businesses in town – Boggis, Bunce and Bean who manufacture all manner of fine foods. Mr. Fox just can’t resist one last big heist and ends up earning the wrath of the three smarmy humans who can only think of vengeance.

fox2webFantastic Mr. Fox truly is fantastic! The stop-motion puppets have an organic quality to them, making me want to reach out and tousle their textured fur. They also have incredible beautiful eyes that really added to the depth and emotion the puppets portray. I loved the slightly jerky movements, which only added to the endearing look of the characters. They walk on two legs and wear great little outfits and crazy-dance when they are happy, which made me feel happy in turn.

The amazing voice cast is a big part of what makes it such a treasure of a movie. George Clooney as Mr. Fox is a perfect fit since he is basically the animal reincarnation of Danny Ocean from the Ocean’s Eleven movies. Meryl Streep adds warmth to his lovely wife and Jason Schwartzman gives a great performance as Ash. Rounding out the cast are the talents of Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe and Michael Gambon.

fox_1The script is wonderful, loaded with lots of subtle humor, touching moments and pure fun. It’s not your typical children’s movie since it touches on a lot of deeper issues we all face in life and actually has a note of Existentialism. Mr. Fox actually asks himself what he wants out of life, and does some serious soul searching. All of this might sound pretty serious but it’s actually not that heavy, and kept me laughing throughout with catchy music and lots of action.

I enjoyed every minute of this beautiful little gem of a movie. It may not appeal to everyone, but I think it is one of the nicest surprises of the year.