Monday, March 15, 2010

The Fantastic Mr. Fox

WORTH-IT: (Wes Anderson) Another take from this year's Oscar Animation Category, the stop-motion Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the novel by Roald Dahl, is a worthy watch for Anderson-lovers. It's the story of a quirky fox family, on the run after Mr. Fox steals from the local farmers-3 of the biggest in the industry. All is well, and Fox's night of adventure seems harmless upon initial steal, that is until the farmers take revenge, threatening rodents of all species in the process of killing Fox. The film is fast-paced, heavy on Anderson-style dialogue and thought-provoking in very subtle ways. It's any Anderson movie. And as with all of those, for me, it was a bit disconnected, but in the end, left me with a strong suggestion of newly learned life lesson and a new perspective on survival. With the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and more this film has added personality and credibility, picking up what could have been vanilla animation with unknown actors. Each voice carried the quirks of its owner, helping add depth to the roles and chemistry between characters. It's opposite end of the spectrum from Dahl's earlier adapted novel, James and the Giant Peach - and even less for kids. In fact, I think most kids wouldn't notice if all the dialogue was left out. Bottom-line on this one, I love Wes Anderson, and saw this film for that reason only. If you're not a fan, and didn't like Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Darjeeling Limited, etc... you won't be on board with this either. On the other hand, if you do enjoy his eclectic story-telling, Fox is another great addition, right on par with what you'd come to expect from Anderson's films. I won't say its my favorite, but its worth seeing.

1 comment:

Damon said...

I'm a bit late on commenting on this (I blame it on the fact that I rent from the public library). I whole heartily agree with you point that it's a consistent Wes Anderson film in the visuals and style, but what I thought stood out on this one was the great non-verbal stuff: the mole bumping his hands in the air when he's assigned a job in the caper, Mr. Fox's feet constantly shifting when he's toasting, and the final scenes dance number. I'd probably watch this movie on mute.