When I first saw previews about this film, I was unimpressed. I had read the book a long time ago when I was a child, but I didn't recall anything about the story. So, why would I be interested in the movie? Plus, the previews were confusing and unimpressive, except for the stop motion animation, which I wasn't sure I would enjoy in a full length feature. Oh, how wrong I was! This movie was one of the most enjoyable family films I have seen in a long time, and it's definitely not just for kids. A lot of the humor is catered to the adult audience, similar to Shrek. Overall, it was light-hearted, charming, and cussin' funny. It has even rekindled an interest in Dahl's book.
From the very first scene, the viewer is propelled into the action. I even guessed the secret surprise, which I won't spoil here. The details on the foxes' faces, the characters' comical expressions, and all the dynamic movements transcend the film to a new level of enjoyment that many fully computer generated movies lack. I attribute these positive elements to the stop motion animation, which breathed life into the characters. What is truly astounding is that all the animals have the same attention to detail. In fact, my favorite character was a supporting one, Kylie the opossum, whose running gag cracked me up in every scene that it occurred. The animals even have signature moves or sayings, another aspect that kept me laughing and smiling as the film progressed.
This film was not all laughter, though. In fact, there are plenty of teaching opportunities for adults and children alike. One of the neatest things that I learned was the Latin names for the wild animals. There were also lessons in forgiveness, growing up, thinking of others (selflessness), and accepting difference in all creatures. In fact, being unique is what makes you "fantastic." The relationship between Mr. Fox and Ash (his son), Mr. Fox and Kylie, Mr. Fox and Mrs. Fox, and Mr. Fox and Kristofferson (his nephew) teach some of the best lessons about relationships as well as drive the film. What makes their interactions truly dynamic are the voice actors. They were all perfectly suited to the roles they played. As I watched, I forgot that these weren't real foxes, badgers, weasels, opossums, rabbits, etc. I was drawn into the world of civilized yet wild animals who were merely trying to create a social space in a dangerous environment. This is as much a character film as an adventure one: You won't be disappointed with all the actors offer: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The villains are especially well-developed; they would have to be to compete with the likable heroes. Yet, the farmers and their rat also have much to learn from the animals. The hardest lesson for them is that foxes are harder to outsmart than they could ever have imagined. Boggis, Bunce, and Bean (the farmers) never truly grasp that it's best to just leave wild creatures alone.
The music also catered to the mood of the film, again made apparent from the beginning scene in which Mr. Fox presses play on his pocket radio to the song of "Davy Crockett." There were some interesting original musical compositions as well. "Petey's Song" was an endearing tribute to the fantastic fox. The music not only sets the mood but foreshadows the great (mis)adventures everyone is in store for. The music was so enjoyable that I would buy the soundtrack.
There were only a few things I didn't understand about the film, which is probably because I didn't grasp the intended jokes. For example, Kylie's fear of thunder and Mr. Fox's phobia of wolves were two aspects that confused me. Other than that, the antics of the characters were easy to follow.
Unfortunately, I can't comment on how closely this film resembles the book. However, I can say that it stands on its own as a fun-filled adventure that will have you laughing and smiling the rest of your day.
Boggis, Bunce and Bean One Fat One Short One Lean These Terrible Crooks So Different in Looks But Nonetheless Equally Mean One of the things I've always enjoyed particularly about Roald Dahl adaptations is that there is usually something magical about them. Most of his books... at least the ones I've read are books you read and think to yourself, "They couldn't do it as a movie." Admittedly … more
Fantastic Mr. Fox is the crazy story of Mr. Fox (George Clooney) and his many wild adventures. Back in the old days he and his wife, Mrs. Fox (Meryl Streep) would steal birds for a living, and were good at it too. Needless to say though, the fox world was a very targeted species by humans. But on his last job Mr. Fox discovers that he is going to be a father, and this convinces him that his days are over being a wild animal, and he settles down to focus on the family. However, one day when … more
It's always a good sign when you're an adult in a movie marketed for kids and you find yourself laughing louder than the restless children in the audience. Albeit, it's a tad embarrassing too, but a good sign for the movie none the less. It's that funny. It might even be more embarrassing to admit that I don't think I ever read the book in my youth. I get the feeling that this is one of those stories that every kid has read. But somehow Mr. Fox got away from me then. Thankfully, … more
"Fantastic Mr. Fox" is a long way from film verite, or anything like it, but it is great fun, full double entendres, very entertaining and full of clever commentary about greed, materialism, real estate, big money, power and class warfare. If you would like to keep digging and stretching for metaphor and symbolism, you might even dig out homophobia, racism and military hardware. George Clooney and Meryl Streep, as the primary voices, … more
Fantastic Mr. Fox is a 2009 stop-motion animated film based on the Roald Dahl children's novel of the same name. Released in the autumn of 2009, it was produced by Regency Enterprises and Indian Paintbrush, and features the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, and Bill Murray. It is the first animated film directed by Wes Anderson, and the first stop-motion animated film to be distributed by 20th Century Fox.
Development on the project began in 2004 as collaboration between Anderson and Henry Selick (who worked with Anderson on the 2004 film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) under Revolution Studios. In 2006 Revolution folded, Selick left to direct Coraline, and work on the film moved to 20th Century Fox. Production began in London in 2007.