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Fantastic Mr. Fox (Original Soundtrack) Soundtrack

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, November 3, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2009 soundtrack to Wes Anderson's first animated feature, based on the beloved Roald Dahl book. Academy Award nominee Anderson is best known for his film's Rushmore, The Royal Tenebaums and The Darjeeling Limited. Fantastic Mr. Fox. makes its Atlantic-crossing aboard a magical soundtrack featuring an unforgettable score by award-winning composer Alexandre Desplat, as well as vintage Folk, Jazz, Pop and Rock tracks hand-picked by Wes Anderson and music supervisor Randall Poster. Standouts include an unreleased track by former Pulp founder and frontman, Jarvis Cocker and a classic Rolling Stones track. Also features music from The Beach Boys, Burl Ives, The Bobby Fuller Four and The Wellingtons.


3 1/2 STARS
Director Wes Anderson's whimsical style is just as present musically as it is visually, and "Fox" is one of his finest showcases on both fronts. Anchored by tender but sprightly sketches from Alexandre Desplat, the soundtrack veers into familiar but still fruitful territory with a version of "Ol' Man River" from the Beach Boys and a few charmers from Burl Ives. In this playful mix, Jarvis Cocker's twangy banjo ditty fits right in. -- Los Angeles Times, Todd Martens, December 26, 2009

Sounding Fantastic. If the trailers for Wes Anderson's stop-motion-animation adaptation of the Roald Dahl children's book Fantastic Mr. Fox aren't enough to suggest great stuff ahead (the film opens Nov. 20), the sound track should clinch the deal. An integral component of the writer/director's movies thus far (think John Lennon's "Oh Yoko!" in Rushmore, Nick Drake's "Fly" in The Royal Tenenbaums), the collection of songs and tunes for Fantastic Mr. Fox includes such furry numbers as "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" from the Wellingtons, two from the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man," and a handful of Burl Ives incantations - yes, Burl Ives! - guaranteed to spark a Burl revival. Throw in some Art Tatum, Jarvis Cocker, and Bobby Fuller Four, plus beautiful instrumental sketches from French composer Alexandre Desplat, and you have one of the loveliest, most eccentric sound tracks to come along since - well, since Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited. -- The Philadelphia Inquirer, Steven Rea, October 25, 2009

Nearly all of Wes Anderson's films have had a strong sense of childlike wonder, but Fantastic Mr. Fox, which is based on Roald Dahl's charming book, is his first film specifically for children. The movie's soundtrack manages to take nearly all of Anderson's musical fascinations -- Anglophilia, Francophilia, '60s pop and rock, and music from other gentler and/or quirkier times -- and tailor them to a younger audience. Though Anderson's films and their soundtracks have been criticized for valuing style over substance, Fantastic Mr. Fox's stylization is fitting, given that the film's characters are stop-motion animal puppets. The soundtrack's songs and Alexandre Desplat's score mix delicacy and rough-and-tumble energy while reminding listeners of what children's movies and music used to be like before being cool took precedence over everything else. While there are two songs from Anderson favorites the Beach Boys, "Heroes and Villains" and "Ol' Man River," it's Burl Ives who contributes the most songs to Fantastic Mr. Fox. Ives' grandfatherly tone made him one of the most enduring and endearing voices in children's entertainment, and the tracks that appear here ("Fooba Wooba John," "Buckeye Jim," and "The Grey Goose") dig into his pastoral folk roots. Likewise, the Wellingtons' "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" conjures instant nostalgia and childhood adventure, both of which are echoed in Desplat's score. Cues like "Jimmy Squirrel and Co." and "Boggis, Bunce, and Bean" are as twinkly and precious as previous Anderson film scores, but more rural elements like banjo and Jew's harp roughen them up enough to fit in with the soundtrack's overall folky feel. Meanwhile, "Just Another Dead Rat in a Garbage Pail (Behind a Chinese Restaurant)," "Great Harrowsford Square," and "Stunt Expo 2004" have a spaghetti Western-like air of danger and intrigue that sets the stage for the somber "Canis Lupis" and Georges Delerue's noble "Le Grand Choral." Moodier moments aside, Fantastic Mr. Fox is mostly gleeful, especially on the Bobby Fuller Four's "Let Her Dance," Jarvis Cocker's "Fantastic Mr. Fox aka Petey's Song," and the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man" -- this may be one of the only children's films where a song about "violent revolution" is actually appropriate. While this album is less about digging into Anderson's deep record collection than his other film's soundtracks have been, Fantastic Mr. Fox may be the most purely joyous one since Rushmore. -- All Music Guide, Heather Phares, October 30, 2009

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. American Empirical PicturesAlexandre Desplat0:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. The Ballad Of Davy CrockettThe Wellingtons 1:40Album Only
  3. Mr. Fox In The FieldsAlexandre Desplat 1:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Heroes And VillainsThe Beach Boys 3:37Album Only
  5. Fooba Wooba JohnBurl Ives 1:07Album Only
  6. Boggis, Bunce And BeanAlexandre Desplat0:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Jimmy Squirrel And Co.Alexandre Desplat0:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. LoveNancy Adams 1:48Album Only
  9. Buckeye JimBurl Ives 1:19Album Only
10. High-Speed French TrainAlexandre Desplat 1:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Whack-Bat MajoretteAlexandre Desplat 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. The Grey GooseBurl Ives 2:48Album Only
13. Bean's Secret Cider CellarAlexandre Desplat 2:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Une Petite IleGeorges Delerue 1:34Album Only
15. Street Fighting ManThe Rolling Stones 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
16. Fantastic Mr. Fox AKA Petey's SongJarvis Cocker 1:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
17. Night And DayArt Tatum 1:27Album Only
18. Kristofferson's ThemeAlexandre Desplat 1:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
19. Just Another Dead Rat In A Garbage Pail (Behind A Chinese Restaurant)Alexandre Desplat 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
20. Le Grand ChoralGeorges Delerue 2:22Album Only
21. Great Harrowsford SquareAlexandre Desplat 3:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
22. Stunt Expo 2004Alexandre Desplat 2:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
23. Canis LupusAlexandre Desplat 1:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
24. Ol' Man RiverThe Beach Boys 1:18Album Only
25. Let Her DanceBobby Fuller Four 2:35Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 3, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: ABKCO
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,816 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jon Broxton on November 9, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I grew up reading and loving Roald Dahl's stories; everything from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches and The Twits to The BFG, James and the Giant Peach and Matilda, his words (as well as Quentin Blake's incomparable illustrations) were an indelible part of my childhood, and remain beloved to this day. Strangely, the one Roald Dahl story I don't think I ever read was Fantastic Mr. Fox, written by Dahl in 1970 and which has now been turned into an animated feature film by directed Wes Anderson with a voice cast that includes such luminaries as George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Michael Gambon, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, and Jarvis Cocker from the English rock band Pulp. The story - as is always the case with Dahl's work - is a dark morality tale dressed up as an innocent children's story. The plot concerns Mr. and Mrs. Fox, a pair of wily and cunning animals who feed their family by stealing chickens, ducks and cider from under the noses of three despicable farmers named Boggis, Bunce and Bean.

The music for Fantastic Mr. Fox is a wild amalgam of styles and influences that places songs by everyone from The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones to Burl Ives, two old Georges Delerue pieces, and a new score from French composer Alexandre Desplat, writing music for his second animated film after Le Château des Singes in 1999. In many ways, Fantastic Mr. Fox is the perfect response to those who criticize Desplat for being a one-trick pony, who can only write pretty little waltzes and clinical orchestral lines with no heart and soul. Fantastic Mr.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Sagheb on December 21, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am a great fan of Wes Anderson's films and the music he uses in them. This soundtrack features some very fun Burl Ives classics as well as the beautiful score by Desplat. This score sounds like something that Anderson's previous collaborator Mark Mothersbaugh would have composed but more sophisticated and orchestral. Fun, nostalgic and lovely.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. F. on December 12, 2009
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Amazingly well done and heart-warming movie. I just Had to have the soundtrack, which helped make this movie so impressive.
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I'm going to be honest. I never actually saw the movie "Fantastic Mr. Fox" due to taking a keen interest in the said film at too late a date, (was removed from theaters at the last second in my area.) But seeing as how the release for this movie on DVD is just over the horizon, I thought to check out the soundtrack in preperation and anticipation. And it did not disappoint! This CD (or MP3 album) has a little bit of everything that sure to please the ears and appeal to a wide variety of tastes!

The composers and bands range from The long-since-heard-of french musician Alexandre Desplat. The always upbeat and catchy Beach Boys. The group with a south aesthetic, The Wellingtons. The late but still nevertheless kicking musically, Burl Ives. The occasionally docile and beautifully played Georges Delerue. The unmistakable Rolling Stones. The colorful banjo player, Jarvis Cocker. The classic Art Tatum. And the simply superb Bobby Fuller Four. There's even a song in there sung back Nancy Adams that's reminiscent of another film starring foxes.

Each of these many groups and lone wolves play an important factor in the overall end product by contributing something truly special of their own! Whether it be the "Ol' Man River" piece that puts the mind at ease, or the rousing orchestral score that is "Stunt Expo 2004," or even the brisk but undeniably refreshing "Mr. Fox In The Fields" that elegantly paints a canvas in one's head of broad green acres spanning miles amid a clear blue sky. Every song offered feels like something different; making for an irresistibly unique list that is nothing short of a pleasure to hear!

Bottom line, if your curious about this one then don't hesitate to give it a listen.
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I really enjoy the Fantastic Mr. Fox soundtrack, and I'm glad it was nominated for an Academy Award. (In a slightly related note, I'm glad Up's soundtrack was nominated as well.) This CD is a good mix of songs by film composer Alexandre Desplat and licensed songs. The first track "American Empirical Pictures" serves as a nice intro to "The Ballad of Davy Crockett". The soundtrack includes two songs (sung) by the Beach Boys: "Hereos and Villains" and "Ol' Man River". There are three Burl Ives songs, and a few other classic rock songs.

The song "Fantastic Mr. Fox AKA Petey's Song" has really clever lyrics, and I think it deserves one or two awards anywhere. Using the song "Love" (sung by Nancy Adams) makes a subtle connection between this film and another film, based on shared key story elements in each.

What really stands out on this soundtrack, however, are the tracks "Great Harrowsford Square" and "Stunt Expo 2004", where Alexandre Desplat takes the original lyrics of "Boggis Bunce and Bean" which Roald Dahl wrote and composes music for it. Then the London Oratory School Boy's Choir sings the lyrics as if they were "local human children" singing about the farmers. With the cool arangement backing it, and the climatic scene which it accompanies in the film, this just might be the Crowning Music of Awesome for both the soundtrack and movie, but that's just my opinion. If you loved "Fantastic Mr. Fox", then I reccommend getting this soundtrack too when you buy the film on DVD. If you really loved the film, then you should get the "making of" book about the film, written by Wes Anderson himself. It includes lots of concept art and photos of the puppets, interviews, and more.

Anyway, this is a great soundtrack, and one I'm glad I purchased.
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Fantastic Mr. Fox (Original Soundtrack)
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