Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Review - Fantastic Mr. Fox
The holiday season is the perfect time to go to the movies and while
some of us are not “wild” to go see other so called canine related
movies, New Moon, I was keen to see Wes Anderson’s film on Roald Dahl
children’s novel Fantastic Mr. Fox.
This was not only Wes Anderson’s first animated film but 20th Century
Fox had not distributed a stop-motion prior to Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Most of the previous American based stop-motion animation films, such
as The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach animation
director had been Henry Selick. Selick was asked to assist Anderson
on this project but left to create Coraline. Selick was replaced by
Mark Gustafson who I realized, after research, worked on claymation
movies like The Adventures of Mark Twain and Meet the Raisins which I
remember seeing as a child.
Everything about Fantastic Mr. Fox worked, from the writing, the
characters, direction and animation. Watching the movie you could see
the ties in style between Anderson’s previous films, such as actors
and Wes’s quirky sense of humor, but I was watching it more as an
animated art piece. The involvement and details the artists put into
creating the set, costumes and characters along with the animators
making the characters come to life on the screen were amazing. My
favorite scene has to be all the characters dancing; I swear one of
them was doing the robot.
Fantastic Mr. Fox is like the Robin Hood of the twenty first century
and the movie has an Ocean’s Eleven plot to it, which George Clooney,
who voices Mr. Fox, was in. However, what I found most interesting
about this movie was how it touched on the nature of animal instinct
and cross relating it to human characteristics and emotions. For
instance the fox survives by hunting for food because that is how they
evolved. Mr. Fox raids chicken farms to provide food for his family
and though he sworn it of in the past his urge to steal or “hunt”
again surfaces when his new home is located near three farmers.
While humans go through emotional changes especially in our teen years
and Mr. Fox’s son Ash was struggling to find his “fantastic” identity
while competing for his father’s affection. I think those little
details on what is being addressed is what makes this movie complete.
I recommend this movie to everyone and it is also a fun movie to take
your child to go see, though be warned the movie does touch on the
topic of animal death. They don’t deliberately show the animals
hunting but suggest it when Mr. Fox has a dead chicken in his mouth.
They also don’t use any profanity and instead use the word “cuss” when
suggesting it, which I found rather entertaining.
So if you have time off or need to distract a little one while the
other does some last minute shopping this is a great movie. I
definitely will see it again but in the meantime I need to work on my
whistling and clicking like Mr. Fox’s signature sound.
Review by Lauren Anabela Beaudoin