FANTASTIC MR. FOX (in theaters)
Based on a book by Roald Dahl, Mr. Fox decides to pull off his greatest heist yet—robbing three different farms.
2009, Directed by Wes Anderson, starring George Clooney and Meryl Streep, nominated for a Golden Globe.
Fantastic is Right!
I didn’t really have any expectations going into Fantastic Mr. Fox, but who doesn’t love George Clooney and Wes Anderson? Honestly, I didn’t even look up to see who directed it before buying my ticket, but within 20 minutes or so, it was very, very clear that Wes did, even though his time-tested cast was in fox-form.
I feel like I’ve turned into a softy giving out so many great reviews this week (Roger Ebert, anyone?) but Fantastic Mr. Fox is definitely a deserving candidate. I’ve always been a fan of stop motion animation—a process that involves taking hundreds of pictures of a subject and moving it just slightly each time so that when played at 24 frames per second, it will look like a movie. Very few wide release films have been made using stop motion; it takes long enough to make a stop motion short—but a feature—forget about it! Wallace and Gromit, Coraline and The Nightmare Before Christmas are the only ones I can think of. However, Wes set out on the exhaustive task of animating fox puppets to create this movie. Let me tell you—he cut no corners in this production. A whole world is created in these tiny sets, and the detail is absolutely astounding. You have to see it to believe it.
The performances were very typical of Wes Anderson films. The best interactions occur between Ash and Kristophersson, two fox cubs. On a random side note, one aspect of the movie that I really got a kick out of was that they constantly replaced profanity with the word “cuss”—“this has turned into a real clustercuss” or “what the cuss?” At one point in the movie, “cuss” was written in graffiti on a wall. Hilarious.
I could go on about this movie for hours, but its one of the few movies that you really have to see to know what I’m talking about.
Bottom Line: Generally, I don’t agree with Truffaut’s auteur theory, but 30 minutes into this movie, I was convinced that Wes Anderson truly is one of the few modern auteurs. If you appreciate animation, Fantastic Mr. Fox will blow your mind. 4.5/5 stars.
For those of you who interested in stop motion animation:
FANASTIC MR. FOX VIDEOS:
General Making-Of Video
George Clooney as Mr. Fox
EXCELLENT STOP MOTION EXAMPLES FROM YOUTUBE:
Her Morning Elegance (my favorite)
Stop motion with Wolf and Pig
Andrew Bird: Imitosis