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Movie: Fantastic Mr. Fox

A 2009 stop-motion animated film based on the Roald Dahl children's novel of the same name.

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Should Pixar be worried? It is quite possible that they should

  • Mar 31, 2011


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 his son, Ash (Jason Schwartzman) is much older, Mr. Fox decides it is time to get a real house and quit living in a hole. So he buys a house next to the meanest, and most scary farmers in the world. Boggis, Bunce and Bean. Mr. Fox brings in a good friend, Badger (Bill Murray) who will help him complete this one final job. The mission is a success, but the farmers are not happy with what has happened, and decide to fight back. This puts the entire world of animals in a load of trouble, and Mr. Fox, with his inspiring speeches, must lead animals of all different kinds against these three farmers and hopefully save everyone's lives.

This is nothing short of fine stop-motion animation. Fantastic Mr. Fox is a clear comedy that will make both kids and adults alike laugh, but it also has its moments of meaning, and plenty of life lessons. I am a huge Pixar fan, but it is movies like these that come around every once in awhile that remind me of the fact that Pixar is not the only animation studios that can make a great movie. These days, with DreamWorks having good films and bad, it just seems that Pixar controls all things animated. But Wes Anderson is here to say that he himself also has a talent for making animated films. Well, I must admit that this is the only Wes Anderson film I have ever seen, none of his films are really my type, so I tend to blow them off unless they are on TV. But what he does here impressed me. It is quite unique for a director to make several films, then just switch to animation, and make something so brilliant as this. Along with Noah Baumbach, Anderson wrote a screenplay funny, crazy, and yet so amazing. The use of the word "cuss" honestly never got old, and I can tell you I laughed out loud in this way more than I do in most comedies. The script is so funny and so well written, kids will find it hilarious, but there are sure to be plenty of jokes that slip by them and make the parents laugh as well. Fantastic Mr. Fox may go all over the place throughout the film, but Wes Anderson knows what he has going here, and that's what made this film come together so well in the end.

This also just further reminded me of why I have come to love stop-motion animation so much. Though I will go as far as saying some people will not like this type of animation, especially the way it is done here. Most will enjoy it, but I would not be surprised at all if someone made a negative comment about it. I recently went on a small animation kick, and watched some interesting films that I had not seen before. Some of which being 9, Tale of Despereaux, Coraline, and Mary and Max. Next to the last I mentioned, Fantastic Mr. Fox was definitely my favorite of these. I may not have found it to be quite the masterpiece some might have, but this certainly came through in every way for me.

Now on to the vocal cast. This is in fact some of the best vocal talent I have ever heard. I am not the biggest of George Clooney fans, even in some of his stand out roles like Michael Clayton he just gets on my nerves a bit. But here he is brilliant in every way possible. His lines are great and he is just plain funny. Meryl Streep is one of my all time favorites, maybe my favorite actress ever. She handles the role of Mrs. Fox just as she handles all of her roles, perfectly. Wallace Wolodarsky was actually my favorite of everyone. If you have seen the film then you know exactly what I am talking about here. He plays the part of the opossum, which was hands down the most funny of all the characters, mainly because of the acting. Eric Chase Anderson and Jason Schwartzman were both great as well, playing the two younger characters. And I can't forget Owen Wilson and Bill Murray, though playing small parts they make plenty of difference for their time in the film. One more thing to look out for is Wes Anderson playing the weasel. He sure does a bit of everything here.

Overall, Fantastic Mr. Fox is an absolute delight for all ages. It is easy to look at, and very well written. Packing plenty of heart and humor, Wes Anderson proves that he can make animated films as well, and I certainly hope this will not be the last that he ever does. And with plenty of unforgettable characters done incredibly by the vocal cast, Fantastic Mr. Fox shows that Pixar might just have a bit to worry about.

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March 31, 2011
I really liked this film!! Thanks for the review! and yes, Pixar should be on their toes at all times...
April 04, 2011
Thank you for reading!
More Fantastic Mr. Fox (movie) reviews
review by . January 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
He Truly Is a Fantastic Fox!
      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 …
review by . January 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . January 31, 2010
Just Couldn't Stop Laughing at this Stop-Motion Gem.
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, …
review by . December 01, 2009
   "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, …
Quick Tip by . April 03, 2010
posted in The Family Room
A funny film based on Roald Dahl's fantasy story for kids. Sophisticated, quirky, & a little dark for a kid's movie.
About the reviewer
Matt Stewart ()
Basically all anyone would need to know about me is I love movies. I watch movies, review them, and I can always enjoy a good, long talk about the art of film making.
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About this movie


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.
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Director: Wes Anderson
Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family
Release Date: November 25, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: Roald Dahl, Wes Anderson
Runtime: 87 minutes
Studio: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
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