Fantastic Mr. Fox
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George Clooney and Meryl Streep lend their voices to this hilarious and heartwarming animated adventure from visionary director Wes Anderson. Mr. and Mrs. Fox (Clooney and Streep) live a happy home life with their eccentric son Ash (Jason Schwartzman) and visiting nephew Kristopherson. That is until Mr. Fox slips into his sneaky, old ways and plots the greatest chicken heist the animal world has ever seen. Based on the beloved, best-selling book by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Fantastic Mr. Fox is family fun at its finest.
Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of the few animated features that is hilariously great entertainment for kids, and absolutely engaging entertainment for adults. From the animation to the story to the direction (by Wes Anderson) to the acting of the voice-over stars, Fantastic Mr. Fox ranks with the likes of Toy Story or the Wallace & Gromit films as robustly entertaining for movie lovers of all ages. George Clooney lends his voice and talents to the character of Mr. Fox, who's recently retired from his long, successful career of stealing poultry to become a journalist. His wife (Meryl Streep) is pregnant, and his son, Ash (the Anderson staple Jason Schwartzman), and nephew, the golden-boy Kristofferson (Eric Anderson), have a low-level rivalry that feels all too human. The story, based on the Roald Dahl tale, is slim, involving the return, just one more time, of Mr. Fox to his old profession--and the repercussions that may befall his pals from the mean farmers as a result. But the true charms of Fantastic Mr. Fox are in the smart dialogue, in the immersive animation that keeps the characters' faces just as expressive as humans', and in the very believable family and friend dynamics we can all relate to. When Clooney's Fox and Bill Murray's Badger get into "cussin'" matches, you can't help but crack up. Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of the all-time best films for the whole family. --A.T. Hurley
- From Script to Screen
- Still Life (Puppet Animation)
- A Beginner's Guide to Whack-Bat
- Theatrical Trailer
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Mr. Fox: One of those slovenly farmers is probably wearing my tail for a necktie.
(Very mild spoilers)
The Fantastic Mr. Fox is just that: FANTASTIC. This is a classic gem of stop motion animation that should be in every father's movie collection. The story may be a child's ( written by Roald Dahl ) but the humor is definitely adult.
The voice talent in this film is top notch. George Clooney somehow makes Mr. Fox endearing even though he's kind of a jerk. MERYL STREEP voices Mrs. Fox; who dreams she can reform the outlaw fox and steer him into a more respectable - I.e. safer - vocation. Bill Murray voices Fox's best friend Badger, who works at the prestigious law firm of Badger, Beaver and Beaver.
It all starts when Fox has his midlife crisis at age seven (forty two in fox years) and becomes discontent with his lot. Keenly aware that his own father died at only seven and a half, Mr. Fox decides that he is tired of living in a hole. He moves his family to a pricey tree that overlooks the farms of the three meanest farmers in England. Immortalized in a chilling little ditty sung by the local Human children, Borgus, Boggs and Bean are old nemesis's of Mr. Fox. The three farmers and the reformed chicken thief/cider poacher Mr. Fox are set on a collision course when Fox spies an ad for a sale on bandit hats in the local paper.
I loved this film at the cinema and never forgot it. Now that it is available on Blu-Ray I've watched it four additional times. What gives this film legs, what makes it an animation classic is that you uncover some new detail in every scene whenever you watch it. Who can resist Willem Dafoe as Bean's Psychotic Security Rat; a Ciderholic who carries a switchblade and moves like a Shark from Westside Story? Brian Cox, Jason Schwartzman, and Owen Wilson help round out the cast. Michael Gambon ( Albus Dumbledor ) is classic as a farmer "skinny as a pencil, as smart as a whip and possibly the scariest man currently living."
This is a film filled with witty dialogue that you will come to love.
Some of my favorites include: •Well, anyway... It's not half as bad as double pneumonia, right? I mean, HIS dad has got one foot in the grave and three feet on a banana peel!• and then there is the non sequitur: •That's just weak songwriting. You wrote a bad song Petey!• and my favorite, the frantic Mr. Fox: of: •Oh no! Where did you get that Nutmeg Ginger Apple Snap? And why are you wearing that fake bandit hat?!?•
Believe it or not, you cannot help but love it when these incongruent gems of dialogue pop up. You'll see. This whimsical tale is just like Bean's Alcoholic Cider: Tastes almost exactly like pure melted gold.
That said, I can't stop watching "The Fantastic Mr. Fox". The animation is fascinating, the voices are perfect, and the writing and vibe are pure Wes Anderson. On every subsequent viewing, more details come to light. The expressions on the faces of the characters, the way they eat (you'll have to see it), etc. Can't stop watching. Every wordless gesture invites repeated viewing. i.e., something as simple as Kylie shrugging his shoulders and grinning caused me to watch it over and over. Same with Ash turning to look at the camera after a redemption of sorts.
I'm almost embarrassed by how much I like this movie. I'm 46 years old, for crying out loud. But I do.
But "Fantastic Mr. Fox" has changed everything. I don't know if it is due to the cartoon nature of the movie, or a screenplay that was better than the others; but for the first time I feel like I understand what Wes is trying to do. The characters were perfect, the humor was funny, and the dialogue was witty. I was truly surprised that one movie set at the right pitch could change my entire perspective on a director's body of work. I look forward to watching the "Grand Budapest Hotel" with my new found understanding of Wes Anderson and his surrealistic world.
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