Guest / Limited Access /
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Our Rating
3½ Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
(6 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG (for action, smoking, and slang humor)
Directed By
Wes Anderson
Run Time
1 hour 27 minutes
Cast
George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray
Theatre Release
November 25, 2009

It's hard to begin a review of a Wes Anderson film without using the word "auteur." From his debut film Bottle Rocket (1996) onward, Anderson has established a style that is clearly his own: tracking and slow-motion shots, montages, classic rock songs (often played over the montages or slow-motion shots), wry humor, immaculate production design, the Futura Bold font—and so on. He also returns to many of the same themes, like family dysfunction and identity crises. If an auteur is defined as a director "whose complete control over all aspects of a production gives the end result a recognizable feel," Anderson fits the label as well as anyone.

Anderson's newest film, Fantastic Mr. Fox, is an adaptation of a children's book by the oft-adapted Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda). Fantastic Mr. Fox represents Anderson's first attempt at an animated film—more specifically, stop-action animation, with real-life models painstakingly photographed one frame at a time. My biggest question going into this film was how Anderson's distinctive style would translate from live action to this new medium.

When asked by the Chicago Sun-Times about using stop-motion, Anderson said, "With stop-motion over other forms of animation, I think you can sense that somebody's moving these physical objects and making them seem alive. You can somehow sense the hands being put on these things, and there's a charm to that, I think." This awareness of "the hands" is especially true in Fantastic Mr. Fox, because the character models wear real fur. As the animators re-position the models between frames, the bristles in the models' fur get pushed around, creating in the final product an effect known as ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueThe Most Uncomfortable Christmas Verse
Subscriber Access Only
The Most Uncomfortable Christmas Verse
"But women will be saved by childbearing," may not mean what you think it means.
Current IssueNew & Noteworthy Books
Subscriber Access Only
New & Noteworthy Books
Compiled by Matt Reynolds.
RecommendedHacksaw Ridge: The Bloody, True Story of Faith in Action
Hacksaw Ridge: The Bloody, True Story of Faith in Action
Mel Gibson’s new film raises questions about religious liberty and moral conviction amidst national turmoil.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickThe Bible Never Says ‘All Men Are Created Equal’
The Bible Never Says ‘All Men Are Created Equal’
How the New Testament offers a better, higher calling than the Declaration of Independence.
Christianity Today
Fantastic Mr. Fox
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

November 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.