Fun Times with a Fox!

Posted: December 22, 2014 in Comedy, Family
Tags: ,

th (1)I absolutely love writer/director Wes Anderson’s work. The Royal Tennenbaums, Grand Budapest Hotel, and Moonrise Kingdom are some of my absolute favorite films of all time. So today, I decided to sit down and watch Anderson’s family film, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. It is a screen adaptation of the book with the same name by Roald Dahl.

I have nothing but good things to say about this movie. I have never read the book so i do not know how close to the actual story Anderson kept it but I loved it regardless. It made me think of the movie Chicken Run quite a lot in the twinge of British humor that was throughout it, as well as, the antics and things the animals in the movie get up to.

I guess if you are unfamiliar with this film, as I was earlier today, you might want a short synopsis. So here it goes. Basically the plot centers around Mr. Fox and his family, and how, due to his need to be amazing (fantastic), Mr. Fox decides to quit his journalism job to go back to his old career of stealing poultry from farmers. He uproots the family from their borough to move into a tree (wild animal real estate {so funny}). This tree they move into is close to the top three poultry farms in the city…im sure you see where this is going. Mr. Fox decided to plan this amazing heist to clean out all three farms, and all is going well until the farm owners decide to hunt him down which put he and his family and friends all in danger. Eventually they move into the sewer where they hatch this grand strategy to fight back, save a captive family member and still wipe out the farms of their stock. This being a family movie everything goes as planned…Oh and I forgot…get Mr. Fox’s tail back. Needless to say it a great plot full of physical comedy.

I think what makes this great is, yes it is animated, but it is not CGI or hand drawn, it is a stop-motion animated feature like James and the Giant Peach  or Nightmare Before Christmas. And it is beautifully animated. The speech patterns of the animals is so “life-like” (if animals could talk). Frame by frame it is so aesthetically pleasing to watch. You know it took hours to do one frame, but it is done so flawlessly that you get consumed in it and forget you are watching essentially a very well done puppet show. The sets just envelope you in this world from Dahl, and Anderson’s imaginations that is so magical and well thought out you believe it could exist. I think the sets might have been my favorite part of the art of the whole experience.

The script is also phenomenal. The humor is smart and witty, but unlike many of his other films, Anderson branched awayth (2) from the sarcasm and went more to the satirical and farcical in this script. The comedic timing of the script is perfect. Some of the line are said three times but they are spaced through the film so well that the power of three rule still works wonders. I also did not find it to be predictable at all, which I liked as well. So many movies have such predictable scripts that i can sit there and finish lines having never seen the movie, and that was not the case with this film at all.

The soundtrack was great as well. I was immediately interested to see where this movie was going to take me when the opening shot are backed by “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” which is not British (setting of story) or a 20th Century Fox (production company) song but an American, Disney song. And that was not the only Disney song heard in the film either. “LOVE” from Disney’s Robin Hood is also played and I enjoyed this more than I probably should have because in the animated feature of Robin Hood by Disney, Robin Hood and Maid Marian are also foxes. But over all the music was superb and just brought the world of the film that much closer to reality for me.

Fantastic Mr. Fox wallpapers desktop background HD 3D movie review (21)Anderson also cast the voices so well. Of course it is Wes Anderson so the cast usually is made up of people that would not usually be cast together minus three staples of Anderson filmography: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and Willem DaFoe. But George Clooney does and excellent job of bringing Mr. Fox to life. Meryl Streep was also a fabulous choice for Felicity Fox, Mr. Fox’s wife. She was sweet but visceral when she had to be and Streep was excellent. My favorite, however, was Jason Schwartzman as Ash, their son. His role was perfection. An angsty teenage fox who just wants to be and athelet like his father was just to make his father proud. Jason Schwartzman did wonderful as Ash and I could not hear another person as him in my head at all. It was a perfect casting decision to me.

Needless to say, I was beyond pleased by this movie, and will now try to purchase it for myself at some point. Wes Anderson, you are a brilliant genius of film and comedy. Please, keep doing what you are doing for the cinema today.

And with that I also want to wish my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season!



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