Fantastic Mr. Fox
Cool. I believe that is the best word to describe THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX. In all aspects this movie was simply cool. The characters, the dialogue, the story, the animation, even the peer pressure I was putting on myself to like the movie seemed to be the definition of cool. If I didn’t like it, I would definitely be uncool. Thankfully I did like the movie, but I would say that’s a safe bet. It would be hard to hate this PG film about an animated fox stealing chickens for his family. With that said, the movie did leave a tinge of emptiness, never fully pulling me in.
Mr. and Mrs. Fox (George Clooney and Meryl Streep) move into a great piece of tree property, which is a little out of their price range. Mr. Fox see’s the location as an opportunity to start up his old profession and passion as a thief, stealing from Boggis, Bunce and Bean. These are a few oddly different but ruthless farmers that live nearby. The fight is on between Fox and Man. While the farmers are spending all their time and energy digging up the Fox family, they are simultaneously destroying the neighboring animals that, while angry with Mr. Fox, must work together to out “fox” the farmers and survive. Meanwhile, Mr. Fox’s son, Ash (Jason Schwartzman), is fighting for attention and approval from his father while his cousin, Kristofferson, who seems to be the perfect specimen of a fox, is unknowingly and unwantingly stealing all the attention.
The voice actors did a fine job with Clooney basically playing an animated fox version of his Danny Ocean’s character from OCEAN’S ELEVEN. We also get a little Bill Murray as a lawyer Badger and Willem Dafoe as a ciderholic, knife wielding, guard rat. What makes this film work so well, are the distinct and diverse looks and personalities of all the characters. They are full of funny detail, important to any child’s story. I am curious what kids will think of this. I really like the animation, which was different than any thing I’ve seen before. I personally enjoyed the times when the wild animals acted like wild animals and Mr. Fox citing that very reason for his actions. The sight gag of the blank looked face on an opossum made me laugh every time!
I have to say, I was very amused throughout. I had a smile on my face the entire time with a few out loud chuckles but it never quite pulled me in all the way so the amusement was mild, but definitely pleasant. It seemed to lack some energy, which would make sense, since most of Wes Anderson’s (RUSHMORE, ROYAL TENEMBAUMS) movie characters are so dry and straight faced. I love all of Anderson’s work and THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX is no exception to the enjoyment his films bring. It was a neat little fox family heist film, full of clever wit, good music and coolness.